Samsung Galaxy S III mini Android phone (preview)
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a smaller, less powerful version of the company's flagship Galaxy S III
- Compact size
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Similar look and feel to original
- Low resolution screen compared to original
- Downgraded camera
- No word on AU price or release
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a downgraded version of the flagship Galaxy S III in both size and power. It will attempt to appeal to those who find flagship Android phones too big to handle but aren't necessarily interested in top-end specifications.
Its specifications were leaked only a few days ago, but Samsung has finally made it official: the Galaxy S III mini is real. A downgraded version of the Galaxy S III in both size and power, the Galaxy S III mini will attempt to appeal to those who find flagship Android phones too big to handle.
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a downgrade over the flagship Galaxy S III in more ways the one. The biggest change is obviously the physical design. It has a 4in screen compared to the 4.8in screen of its larger brother and that gives it a much smaller footprint. The Galaxy S III mini is only 63mm wide compared to 70.6mm and it's significantly shorter at 121.6mm compared to 136.6mm.
The compact design means the S III mini will suit users who find flagship smartphones too big. However, Samsung has done well to keep the an identical shape with rounded corners and smooth edges. While the mini is thicker (9.9mm) than the flagship Galaxy S III (8.6mm), the reduced overall size should make it far more comfortable to hold and use.
The 4in super AMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S III mini has a resolution of 480x800. That gives it a pixel density rating of 233ppi compared to the 306ppi of the bigger variant. The screen obviously won't be as impressive as the the original Galaxy S III and won't be able to display the same crisp text, but as long as the phone is competitively priced we don't necessarily think this is a huge issue.
Many expected the Galaxy S III mini to have near identical specs to the flagship model in a smaller package but that isn't the case. Samsung is obviously banking on users who want a smaller phone not wanting the most powerful device. The Galaxy S III mini is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and has either 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. There's also a microSD card slot for extra storage.
The downgrades don't end there. The rear camera is 5-megapixels compared to 8-megapixels and the front-camera is VGA compared to 1.9-megapixels. The rear camera will record HD video up to 720p whereas the flagship Galaxy S III supports full HD 1080p video recording.
Perhaps the best aspect of the Galaxy S III mini is its software. It will come with the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Android out of the box and will once again feature Samsung's TouchWIZ UI overlay on top. The user experience appears to be identical to the regular Galaxy S III with the same "inspired by nature" theme, though it remains to be seen if all of TouchWIZ's features will make it across to the mini. The lesser technical specifications are likely to mean that features like 'pop-up play', where a video can be running in a small window on the screen while you use other applications, may not be supported.
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a 3G device, but it doesn't have LTE 4G connectivity. Therefore, it won't work on the 1800MHz 4G networks used in Australia by Telstra and Optus.
Samsung hasn't yet announced pricing or a release date for the Galaxy S III mini and Samsung Australia hasn't confirmed whether the phone will be sold Down Under. "Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased there is interest about the Galaxy S III mini in Australia, but we are unable to make any announcements at this time."
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 3 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 4 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 5 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- IBM detects skin cancer more quickly with visual machine learning
- ICANN data compromised in spearphishing attack
- US agency sues Sprint for alleged unauthorized charges
- Top five smartphone disappointments of the year
- Microsoft helps crack developer problems with Bing-based tool
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.