What’s in a name? Not necessarily all that much, if Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini is anything to go by, revealed tonight.
In the transition from full size quad-core wonderphone to miniaturised handset, it’s lost much of what made the Galaxy S3 one of this year’s most exciting phones.
Firstly, the processor. It’s a 1GHz dual-core affair, looking decidedly “last-year” when put next to the full-fat S3’s 1.4GHz quad-core heart.
The Super AMOLED screen too gets a downgrade, not just in size (down from 4.8-inches to 4-inches), but in sharpness too. Whereas the S3 has a 720p display, the S3 Mini has a screen sporting just a 480×800 resolution. That’s by no means bad, but pales in comparison to its namesake. And though the S3 Mini is smaller than the regular Galaxy S3, it’s thicker too measuring 9.85mm thick, compared with the S3’s 8.6mm. It remains light (111.5 grams) though.
A 5MP camera sits on the rear; not quite as high a resolution as the Galaxy S3’s 8MP snapper, but with the right imaging tech that may not matter much too much.Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the OS of choice, re-skinned with Samsung’s usual TouchWiz UI and one of the few features the Mini S3 has over the standard S3. 8GB or 16GB versions will be available, each with the option of microSD expansion, alongside software features like Smart Stay eye-tracking screen dimming.
So, in reality, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks closer to the Galaxy S Advance than the top-tier smartphone it shares its name with. It’s still a good-looking handset (especially if Samsung nail an attractive mid-tier price tag), but it seems that name is all that’s shared here. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 branding may help to elevate the Mini above the sea of mid-range Android handsets. Once we’ve had some extended time with the phone, we’ll tell you whether or not it deserves to.
By Gerald Lynch | October 11th, 2012