Comparing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the GS4

Following the success of its flagship handset, the Galaxy S4, Samsung announcedthat it will launch a smaller version of the device in the U.S. and U.K. Aptly named the Galaxy S4 Mini, the manufacturer will release 4G, 3G, and 3G dual-SIM models.

While pricing and carrier information remain unknown, a few key specs were released. As you can see from the chart below, not only is the new device physically smaller, it also has some less powerful hardware features.

For example, it has an 8-megapixel camera (compared with the GS4’s 13-megapixel), a dual-core CPU, and a 1,900mAh battery.

That doesn’t mean the phone is at all entry-level, however. In and of itself, the GS4 Mini is a promising device. It would appear that after hearing gripes about the GS4 being “too big,” the Mini is a solution for users who want a GS4, but in a smaller, more easy-to-manage package. To learn more about the handset, including suggestions about which version would be right for you, be sure to check out Jessica Dolcourt’s first impressions.

Spec Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Samsung Galaxy S4
Operating system Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2
Dimensions 4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches; 3.8 ounces 5.38 x 2.71 x 0.31 inches; 4.6 ounces
Display 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED; 1,920×1,080 pixels, 441ppi
4G LTE Yes, in addition to 3G and 3G dual-SIM versions Yes
NFC Yes (LTE version only) Yes
Rear camera and recording 8-megapixel 13-megapixel, 1080p HD video
Front-facing camera 1.9-megapixel 2-megapixel
Processor 1.7GHz dual-core processor 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 (U.S. version); or proprietary 1.6GHz octa-core Exynos 5 Octa
Capacity 8GB; 1.5GB RAM 16GB, 32GB, 64GB; 2GB RAM
Expandable memory Up to 64GB Up to 64GB
Battery 1,900mAh 2,600mAh
Price TBA Verizon: $199.99, 16GB with contract; AT&T: $199.99, 16GB with contract; T-Mobile: $149.99 down plus $20/month for 24 months; Sprint: $249.99, 16GB, new customers get it for $149.99. Unlocked GS4: $649*, 16GB
Carriers TBA AT&T, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon
Available colors Black, white Black, white; blue, purple, and brown coming later this year

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Here’s Samsung’s Newest Galaxy Phone

Samsung officially announced today a smaller and cheaper flagship phone, the Galaxy S4 Mini.

The phone has many of the same features as the current Galaxy S4, but with a smaller screen and less powerful internal hardware.

The Galaxy S4 Mini has a 4.3-inch screen versus the 5-inch screen on the Galaxy S4. It also has many of the same extra software features Samsung added to Android like several special camera modes. Other hardware specs include an 8 megapixel camera, 8 GB of storage, and expandable storage with a SD card.

There’s still no word on pricing or a launch date.

Take a look:

Here’s a breakdown of the specs:


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Sony Xperia Tablet Z Hands-On

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Sony dropped some beauty on us back at CES in the form of the Xperia Z smartphone

silhoutte james‘s insight:

Sony dropped some beauty on us back at CES in the form of the Xperia Z smartphone, and the company hasn’t taken its foot off the gas since. The Xperia Tablet Z is one of the lightest ten-inch tablet computers we’ve encountered, and Sony claims its the thinnest ever produced. The beauty doesn’t end there, so dive in to the video and follow along for our very first impressions of this sleek new Android-powered slate from Sony.

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Teen’s Invention Could Create 20-Second Phone Charge

Eesha Khare
Tech manufacturers that boast how fast their devices can juice up might want to listen up: A California teen has developed a super-capacitor that could lead to a 20- to 30-second phone charge.

Super-capacitors are energy-storage devices that have a long cycle life, and have the potential to store a lot of energy per unit volume. Sounds dandy, right? Not quite. The devices have limited use because they store less energy than batteries. But Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, Calif. has made quite an advancement with this technology.

“The super-capacitor I have developed uses a special nanostructure, which allows for a lot greater energy per unit volume,” Khare said in a video interview at last week’s 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. The world’s largest science fair brought together 1,600 high-school finalists from all over the world, who competed for more than $4 million in awards.

“It can charge very quickly, and it can last for 10,000 cycles, compared to batteries which are only like 1,000 cycles,” added Khare, a student at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif.


Imagine this: If this sort of technology replaces conventional batteries, our gadgets could someday spend much less time plugged in, as demonstrated by Khare’s test with an LED light.

“After charging my super-capacitor for 20 seconds, I was able to light an LED device,” she said. “Just seeing that LED light was my signal that I know what I’m doing, and this is truly applicable to the real world.”

A phone could be fully charged in 20 to 30 seconds since Khare’s tiny device fits inside cell-phone batteries. This sort of advancement in energy storage could also be applied to laptops and electric vehicles, among other devices.

As part of Intel’s competition, Khare won a $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award (pictured above, far left). After receiving the award, Khare said she wants to “just keep making a lot of scientific advancements.”

Khare, who reportedly has already generated interest from Google, will be attending Harvard University this fall, according to San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX.

Other high-school participants in last week’s Intel fair that Mashable has featured include Brittany Wenger, who developed a computer algorithm to diagnose leukemia, and Justin Krell, who invented a concussion-detection prototype for car accidents.

Images courtesy of Intel

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New Apps Arrive on Google Glass

google glass

Google Glass, the company’s Internet-connected glasses, will soon have seven new apps, including breaking news alerts from CNN, fashion features from Elle, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook posts and reminder notes from Evernote.

Google announced the apps, which it calls Glassware, Thursday at its I/O developers conference, the largest assembly yet of people wearing Glass in the same place. They join Path and The New York Times as the only apps so far available on Glass. The glasses also offer Google services like search and maps, connect to users’ cellphones for text messaging, take photos and record video.

Just as apps transformed smartphones from cellphones into devices that have become essential to daily life for many people, so Google hopes that apps will make Glass more functional. Still, Google is moving slowly and cautiously in opening Glass to developers. Apps have limited access to Glass users’ data, for instance, and for now, cannot include ads.

Google wants developers to experiment with building apps tailored to Glass, as opposed to just transporting mobile apps to the new device. Glass is different than phones because it is in a user’s line of sight and has a smaller screen. So notifications, for instance, could easily be disruptive or unwanted.

Google has given Glassware developers four pieces of advice: keep it short and sweet for the small screen, make sure alerts are relevant, send timely information people need on the go and make tasks easier and more seamless than they are on other devices.

CNN’s app, for instance, lets people choose which types of news alerts they receive (politics but no sports, for instance), and the time of day at which they are delivered. Then they can read or hear aloud a short summary and watch a video clip.

Similarly, Elle’s app allows people to choose the sections of the magazine they want to see on Glass, swipe through photos from a story, hear a section of a story read aloud, add stories to a reading list for later and share stories with friends. At Elle, there is a team dedicated to taking monthly magazine content and turning it into real-time updates that make sense for Glass, like posts from the Elle Dispatch blog.

So far on Glass, photos are shareable only through Google Plus. With the Facebook app, Glass users will be able to share photos taken with Glass on Facebook. Twitter’s Glass app lets people tailor their stream to only receive posts from certain people and transcribe new posts using voice. Tumblr’s app shows a user’s full feed or just select updates.

When people are using Evernote on the Web, they will be able to send notes, like a grocery list, to Glass, so it’s accessible when they need it.

Another new app was built by three of the developers who received an early edition of Glass. It’s a game called Ice Breaker that some people could say bridges the divide between the physical and digital worlds — and others might say creates some socially awkward situations. Glass users see a notification of someone who is also playing the game nearby, and the people introduce themselves and take a picture of one another, rate their conversation and earn points.

The Glassware will be available to people who signed up and paid $1,500 for an early edition of Glass. Though other developers are beginning to build apps for the device, there is not yet an app store where anyone can offer such apps.

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Samsung tests 5G technology to download movies in a second

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Samsung Electronics on Monday said it had successfully tested super-fast fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology that would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second.

That will permit users to “transmit massive data files including high quality digital movies practically without limitation”, it said.

“As a result, subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition (UHD) content, and remote medical services,” it added.

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