Episode 47: Galaxy S4 Mini takes a kicking

This week on Always On, we unbox Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini and Apple's MacBook Air. The S4 Mini gets a workout in a torture test, and we check out the latest with higher education and online learning, for free.

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Always On is back for its fifth season! Yep, five seasons without a slouch. Let's just say it feels pretty awesome. We've only just begun story hunting, and we already have an impressive multitude of material. Rumor has it that drones, music festivals, and maybe even a TV torture test are in the mix for the next couple months. But let's get on with it!

This season jumps off with an unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It's funny how companies have taken to tacking the word "mini" on the back of phones that just a couple of years ago would have been enormous. But this isn't the "S4 Enormous" circa 2009 (they call it the Mega ). It's the new S4 Mini, and while we think it's a bit pricy for a little brother, it is indeed a slick little brother.

Pink gloves scare just about everyone but the S4 Mini.

Shortly after we take the S4 Mini out of the box, we take it into the ring. Well, sort of. We buckle it up in its car seat and head for SobeKick in Emeryville, Calif., for a workout-themed torture test. This thing undergoes an absolute onslaught of sweaty abuse, including a duel with a kickboxer, and comes out like Ali over Liston.

Next up, Season 5 gets its first taste of Future Tech. With student loan debt soaring into the trillions worldwide, and the education system remaining more or less unchanged over the last century, there's a group of very smart people looking to turn it upside down. Want to take a class from Princeton for free? Well, now you can. We're calling it "limitless learning."

It's been way too long since Always On delivered an "unboxing twofer." So here's a look at Apple's new MacBook Air. The Air was already a pretty sweet machine. On the outside, not too much has changed...and we're not complaining.

In the mailbag this week, a concerned viewer asks if there's any Oz-like character hiding behind a curtain, telling us what we can and cannot do for our torture tests. Thankfully there isn't. That would be supercreepy.

That's it for the first episode of Season 5! Thanks for watching, and see you next week!

 

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