The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini may play second fiddle to company’s flagship but it’s still packed with a ton of features. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from it.
Tip 1: Improving battery life (Disable radios and use dark wallpaper)
Samsung is certainly generous when it comes to out-the-box features and the Galaxy S4 mini is packed to the gills. With all the radios, sensors and features on board however, it’s not surprising to find that battery life can take a hit, particularly when you don’t use all the phone’s features to begin with.
First and foremost, you can immediately improve power efficiency by choosing a dark or ideally true black wallpaper. The phone’s AMOLED display uses effectively zero power on black pixels. What’s more by swiping from the top with two fingers you can toggle a number of the S4 mini’s features off, including NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, Smart stay and S Beam, whilst also switching Power saving on.
Tip 2: Lockscreen widgets (Multiple widgets)
As the S4 mini comes running Android 4.2.2 – one of the latest iterations of Jelly Bean, it supports lockscreen widgets, which grant you the ability to access certain features and services without having to unlock the phone.
By default lockscreen widgets are disabled, but if you jump into the My Device tab in your Settings, open the Lock screen menu and tick the Multiple widgets tick box you’ll then have access to this feature.
Swiping down from the clock or welcome message, (depending on which you’ve chosen) on the main lockscreen will then let you swipe to the right to reveal additional lockscreen panes. Tap the ‘+’ and then pick from the menu which widget you’d like to show up and you’re done.
Tip 3: Silence touch sounds
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini like to make noise, when you lock it, unlock it and more persistently whenever you touch the screen. Whilst the lock/unlock chimes are please, the same repeating water droplet sound effect can get a little irritating.
Thankfully it’s easy to disable by hopping into the Settings menu, tapping on the My device tab at the top, choosing the Sound options and unticking the Touch sounds tick box. You can also disable the dial pad and screen lock sounds from this menu too.
Tip 4: QuickPic
Samsung being Samsung, you’ll be hard pressed to find many true stock Android apps on the Galaxy S4 mini and this includes the Gallery app. Unfortunately for some unknown reason all of the latest S4 handsets including the S4 mini suffer from noticeable lag when opening this particular application, which is both a little bewildering and frustrating, but that’s why we suggest an alternative like QuickPic.
QuickPic is free to download from the Google Play store, is ad free and offers a lightning fast interface. The app offers a number of different view layouts and even has an Explorer mode so you can browse files and folders stored internally or on your removable microSD card.
Tip 5: Camera modes
The 8-megapixel camera on the S4 mini’s back produces decent shots when set to automatic shooting, but it’s worth toying with the additional modes to get the most out of it. Launch the camera and top the mode button in the bottom right. You can scroll through the 10 different shooting modes on the right side of the screen or tap the grid icon in the bottom left to see all 10 in one go.
Shooting modes like Sound & shot can only correctly be viewed on other Samsung devices or exported as a video.