The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini: A Midget Gem
The Samsung Galaxy S III has been a stand-out smartphone this year, receiving an unprecedented response from both hardcore Galaxy fans and newcomers alike. The level of excitement and secrecy that shrouded the Galaxy S III launch had only been seen before at iPhone unveilings, proving that the Koreans were upping their game to become a serious rival for top dog Apple.
So when we heard that Samsung was creating a smaller version of the galactic smartphone, dubbed the Galaxy S3 Mini, it came as no surprise. But is this miniature mobile simply a scaled-down version of the Samsung flagship, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
Now, if you’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini to be exact smaller replica of the Galaxy S III then you may be disappointed. Although the Galaxy S III Mini takes design cues from the flagship, when it comes to functionality the handset has a more mid-range feature set.
At first glance, the handset looks just like a Galaxy S III that’s been in a hot wash, however on closer inspection the front facing camera is positioned in the top left corner of the device instead of on the right, the tactile home button is positioned higher up, the device is thicker measuring 9.9mm, and has a curved back fascia. That said, it feels of a substantial build quality and rests nicely in the hand, with curved corners that make it pleasant to hold and easy to operate, even if you have small hands. If you’re put off by the size of handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or even the Galaxy S III itself, the Galaxy S III Mini offers a much more pocket friendly option.
Of course, with a smaller chassis comes a smaller display, but the 4-inch super AMOLED display sported by the Galaxy S III Mini doesn’t disappoint. It may not be a HD screen, but put it beside displays on other mid-range handsets like the HTC Desire X and it offers similar sufficient visuals whether you are viewing images, watching videos, or just navigating around the phone’s features.
Scaled down specs
Even though the Galaxy S III Mini may not boast the incredible quad-core processor and HD display of its bigger brother the Galaxy S III, its spec sheet is definitely nothing to be scoffed at. Housing a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM means navigating around the Galaxy S III Mini’s features is smooth and speedy, with no annoying lag or stutters. This is even more important when you consider the handset runs the Android Jelly Bean operating system, which has even more cool functions than previous iterations.
Jelly Bean features Google Now, which uses your location and search data to offer handy hints and tips to help you on your daily routine. For example, Google Now can learn your commute to work then if there’s a traffic delay it can alert you and suggest an alternative route.
Samsung has seen fit to include some of its own flagship features on the more moderately priced device too, including Pop-up Play, which allows the user to minimise a video into a smaller box whilst using other functions of the handset. Samsung’s voice activated personal assistant S-Voice is on board too, which is similar to Apple’s Siri, allowing users to perform tasks such as making calls and sending texts by speaking into the device.
When it comes to multimedia, the Galaxy S III Mini’s camera produces surprisingly good pictures that are of a higher quality than you would expect from a 5-megapixel snapper. Photos are crisp and detailed with good colour saturation; however the 720p video recording isn’t as impressive but does the job if you want to grab a quick video of your mate doing something funny. The addition of a VGA front-facing camera enabling video calling is a bonus, especially when you consider the similarly positioned HTC 8S doesn’t have front-facing snapper at all.
The Galaxy S III Mini’s 8GB and 16GB internal storage variants can be expanded using a microSD card too, so there’s plenty of space meaning you can download all five seasons of Breaking Bad, and still have room to take loads of photos when you’re out clubbing.
If you were looking to bag a pint-sized replica of the Galaxy S III with all its quad-core power and HD loveliness then you may have been mislead by the Galaxy S III Mini moniker. However, disregard its big brother and take the handset as a standalone device in its own right and it certainly does shine. Compare it to other mid-range handsets such as the HTC Desire X or Sony Xperia U, and the Galaxy S III Mini wins hands down when it comes to design and functionality.
It looks stylish, performs smoothly and efficiently, has loads of great Jelly Bean features, and a few fab extras from Samsung. So if you want an affordable compact handset that looks the business and performs like a flagship smartphone, then the Galaxy S III Mini is the mobile for you.
This guest post was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, who have loads of great deals on the latest mobiles.