This year shares in the smartphone market have soared. Samsung, in particular, has shifted more devices than ever thanks to the introduction of the Galaxy S III.
During the third quarter of 2012 the Galaxy S III beat Apple’s iPhone 4S to become the best-selling smartphone in the world after shipping 18 million units. A further boost for the company came in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Note II which shifted five million units in just two months.
The South-Korean firm has now decided to turn its attention to its mid-range offerings, with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
Design wise the S III Mini features the same aesthetics previously seen on the S III, although its measurements are far more compact. Despite being similar in looks can a mid-range handset of this size really cram in the same high-end specs as its elders to deliver a top end user experience?
Specification round -up
Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung Galaxy S III Mini
|4.8-inch HD SuperAMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass||4-inch SuperAMOLED display|
|1.4GHz quad-core processor||1GHz dual-core processor|
|1GB RAM||1GB RAM|
|Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (4.0)||Android Jelly Bean operating system (4.1)|
|8MP camera with auto-focus and dual-capture||5MP autofocus camera|
|16GB internal storage (expandable up to 64GB via microSD)||8GB or 16GB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD)|
|2MP front-facing camera||0.3MP front-facing camera|
|Full 1080p HD video capture||720p video capture|
|TouchWiz UI||TouchWiz UI|
|2100mAh battery||1500mAh battery|
|133g weight||112g weight|
|8.6mm thickness||9.9mm thickness|
Some of the main differences
- Display: Once you power up the S III Mini the display is quite underwhelming compared to the sharp, HD quality seen on the S III, however, for a mid-range Android device the sharpness and clarity of colours is good, putting it on a par with the likes of the HTC Desire X.
- Processor: As expected the processing power on the S III Mini isn’t as impressive as that found on the S III, but its dual-core offering is enough to ensure that the handset runs smoothly and remains stutter-free.
- Operating system: The Android Jelly Bean operating system is an impressive and welcome addition, bringing with it features such as the Google Now service and Chrome web browser.
- Camera: A 5 megapixel camera is what we’d expect from a handset of this stature and while it can’t compete with the S III it’s still very impressive, capturing images in various lights, to a very high standard. There’s also a range of adjustable settings and shooting options including Panorama and continuous shooting mode for the more creative photographers.
A handful of unique features which launched on the S III are now also available on the S III Mini. These include Pop-up Play, which allows users to watch videos while still navigating around the device. Although it’s not quite as useful on a smaller screen it’s still a great feature and makes multi-tasking even easier.
Direct calling makes an appearance so users can call a contact just by lifting the device to your ear, as well as one of the most publicised features of the Samsung Galaxy S III – SmartStay, which recognises the user’s eye movements and adjusts the screen’s brightness according to their gaze.
While many of the S III Mini’s similarities with the S III end at looks there’s no denying it’s a very capable and affordable smartphone. Of course it will all be down to personal preference and if you’re a user that values a smaller screen then this could be for you.
Unfortunately its name is slightly deceptive and although it never promised to be a smaller version of the S III, there was undoubtedly great expectation. That said we were pleased to see some of the high-end features making a comeback on the S III Mini and we’re sure this miniature smartphone will make a big impression on the mid-range market and help boost Samsung’s profile even further.
Written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of great mobile phones.
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