Other familiar friends include the lock screen apps, which we found ourselves quick to customize, ensuring these soon became a fast favorite of ours. Also the quick access widgets and shortcuts under the notification pull-down are still a great way to get to useful settings real fast. At the more basic level i.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review: Best entry-level Android $1 can buy - CNET
When the phone was first announced , there was loud chatter about this feature being included, with the caveat that it might be region-specific. Alas, that is indeed the case. We've asked Samsung for clarification on which territories will get the advertised NFC, but for now it's worth checking your local Samsung site just in case.
Overall, the takeaway here is that while you might be getting a slightly rougher deal in terms of specs, what Samsung let you do with the phone hasn't really changed. NFC notwithstanding, of course. Not bad, really, especially if you look at this from the increasingly obvious angle of it being more of a budget device, one that's inspired by the Galaxy S III, more than anything. Okay, we know some of you still wanted an exact scale replica of the GS III, but your cause was, regrettably, lost some paragraphs ago.
If you skipped straight to the "What's Different" section above, perhaps you came here next? Specs are one thing, but does it perform well? The answer, is yes. And also, no. When you use the original Galaxy S III alongside this one, you can spot the difference straight away. The Exynos processor in our comparison model won't bat an eyelid at anything you throw at it.
The dual-core 1GHz NovaThor, however, lets you know it's there from time to time with its slightly slower response. While not terrible, exactly, we'd frequently press the home button and there'd be a noticeable pause before we were returned to the home screen. Occasionally, too, when you press the standby button to wake the phone up, it'd present the home screen for a second, before the lock screen would suddenly appear on top of it, like it was only just kicking into action after the fact. In general use it's actually fairly smooth, though still more sluggish than its big brother. Comparisons aside, and fully on its own merit, the Galaxy S III mini performs well enough that using it as our daily driver for a week presented no problems at all.
This included the usual round of casual gaming, plenty of laps on the slightly more graphically intensive Asphalt 7 , video viewing, photo snapping and app usage we sure do love to check our email. If you are coming over from a lower-specification phone to this, then it's a pleasure to use, and will serve you well as a daily driver. If you just want to compare it to the clearly higher-specced sibling, then sure, it's never going to fare as well.
On the other hand, compare it with other mid-range phones -- for this is what it really is -- and it starts to stand out from the crowd a little bit more. Similar specification, and Samsung's mini feels much more responsive side by side. Likewise, Sony's Xperia U , which also runs on the same NovaThor chip, also feels like a more direct competitor when you get down to the reality of it. Against these phones, the Galaxy S III mini starts to make a bit more sense again in terms of where it fits in the market. For those that want the pure numerical performance breakdown, however, your benchmarks are below.
There is one area where the Galaxy S III mini does stand shoulder to shoulder with big bro, and that's battery life. When we reviewed the flagship back in May, we were surprised to find it lasted between 8. We performed the same rundown test video looping, brightness fixed at 50 percent, WiFi on but not connected , and we got almost exactly the same results, a smidgen over nine hours 9: This is rather good, we have to admit, especially as the cell is some mAh lighter than the OG's 2,mAh battery.
Perhaps Samsung was so precise in its calculations when scaling down the screen that it was able to keep this excellent running time. Or maybe it's just good old-fashioned coincidence. Either way, we like it. We like it a lot. In general, the battery performs well, and that's even when we're not intentionally trying to drain the life out of the cell. We got through two days of steady use occasional calls, messages, gaming, photos, etc.
If you've hung in there with this phone so far, then you'll be pleased to know that it handles those old-school telephone calls pretty well too, with clear audio that remained constant regardless of where we happened to find ourselves extremely poor signal areas notwithstanding. Oh, Samsung, what did you do? We think we know what you thought you were doing. A cheaper phone for those who want a little bit of the Galaxy S III experience, for less money, in a more manageable form.
We get that, and what's not to like about that idea? Sure, some people will have taken things a little more literally and expected a flagship device -- in a smaller package -- but that's just not what this is. What you do have, however, is a decent mid-range phone with top end looks.
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So, for those in search of such a thing, the Galaxy S III mini will be just the ticket, and we're in no doubt that's potentially a lot of people. There was a chance, however, that if done differently, this could have taken the Galaxy S III "brand," in a whole new direction. If this had come with specs similar to its bigger brother, it could have truly been something to behold.
Some, will understandably be disappointed that this isn't so. Sad, instead, that what Samsung did was try and stretch the phone's identity to mop up some of the more budget-conscious market along with those eager for a little bit of the top dog. For these people, that decision will have proved a stretch too far, with the phone's "credibility elastic" snapping under the tension. What we're left with, then, is a perfectly good mid-range phone that might never truly get the consideration it deserves -- after all, compared to much of the actual competition thesimilarly specced and priced Desire X, Sony Xperia U, etc.
In the end, Samsung has taken a gamble with arguably the largest of all its brands, the Galaxy S, and it's not entirely clear whether it will pay off. All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, Verizon Media. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Buyer's Guide.
Samsung Galaxy S III Mini (AT&T)
US Edition. Despite the handset featuring a similar design to the high-end Samsung Galaxy S3, that is where the similarities between the two devices end. Tasked with bringing the S3 brand to a wider audience, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is designed to appeal to younger markets, with its heavily reduced specs sheet, and lower price point testament to this. Playing host to a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini ticks all the boxes necessary to appease mid-market expectations, without ever standing out from the crowd.
We take a closer look at how the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini stands up to the competition. All the latest on the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Piggybacking on the success of its illustrious sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini plays host to a number of design characteristics found on its big brother, whilst a smaller 4-inch screen makes the handset a more viable mid-market offering and one that will appeal to younger markets. Appearing as a shrunken rendition of its iPhone 5 rivalling counterpart, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini features the now recognisable pebble-esque curved edge design of the original Samsung Galaxy S3.
Although a slightly curved, removable rear plate ensures the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini sits relatively comfortably within the hand, the device feels slightly undersized by modern standards. Lining up at just 9. The capacitive soft keys are out in traditional Samsung style, the Back and Menu buttons sitting either side of an elongated Home button just under the screen.
Samsung has kept this layout since the original Galaxy S, and we are big fans, since it means that unlike the newer Nexus phones - the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 - there is no searching for the on-screen keys.
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Elsewhere on the front of the Galaxy S3 Mini are the speaker and the front-facing VGA camera for Facebook profile pictures, as well as video chats through the likes of Skype. The two main ports sit at opposite ends of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, with the micro USB sat at the bottom next to the microphone , and the 3. This again follows the standard Samsung layout shown on other Galaxy devices, and we've never had a problem with it. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini comes with an advantage over other mid-range devices, since it has a removable battery cover, the Google Nexus 4 being the most notable exception.
The battery cover makes up the entirety of the back of the Galaxy S3 Mini, and sits tightly on the back, so there's no chance of it popping off accidentally. The back of the phone is a smart white or blue affair, housing the 5MP camera sensor, a small flash, the loud speaker and the obligatory Samsung branding. Hidden behind the cover is the mAh removable battery, which many heavy users will consider essential. Unfortunately the microSD isn't hot-swappable, which was a little frustrating.
It's located behind the battery, and isn't a pop-in slot. This means needing to lay the microSD card flat against the Galaxy S3 Mini, and pushing it in, which can get a bit fiddly.