The Samsung Galaxy S3 was and still is the best selling Android phone in the market. An amazingly spec’d device with killer features. So it will come as no surprise that the Korean giant has revealed a little brother; the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
Now I will say this there are two things I do not like in a phone, the first being small screens. I often wonder how I managed to work with a screen less than 4.6 inches (there is a tweet from me only 18 months ago saying 4 inches is all I need in screen estate for a business phone..mmm). The other thing is I really dislike white phones, they make any device look cheap and like it should be located in a handbag not a manbag
In the Box
In the box we have the usual.
- Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
- 1500 mAh Battery
- Uk Three Pin Adapter
- Micro USB Charge/Sync cable
Being the smaller brother to the Samsung Galaxy S3 the Mini looks almost identical in terms of style. The single hard button on the front of
the device is the same shape as it is on the SGS3 and the two soft keys are quick and responsive. On the left side we have the volume rocker switch, on the right is the power button.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini sports a 4.0 inch display making the screen a whole 0.8 inches smaller than the once found on the SGS3. It does feel small
to hold but I put that down to the fact that my daily driver is a Nexus 4.
Having a hard home key I feel is a nice touch and I found myself reaching for one on the Nexus 4 when I went back to it.
Surprisingly the SGS3 mini comes with Jellybean 4.1. I wont go into the OS itself but more about how the phone performs.
In the time I was using the SGS3 Mini I found it to be fast and responsive but there was on occasion some lag sadly, not a huge amount
but it was there.
When I owned a SGS3 I really disliked Touchwiz but for some reason on the SGS3 Mini I didn’t mind it and it actually works well
with the handset. This could be because the user this device is aimed at is your casual Androidian (new word) they just want to charge/talk/text.
These people are not interested in whats the best ROM out there and probably haven’t a clue about rooting the device are never likely to and
this is where devices like this have an audience.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini comes with a 5 megapixel camera on the rear and a 0.3 megapixel camera on the front. The front facing one
designed for video calling more than anything else.
Samsung have done a great job of proving the user with a vast array of options in the camera application. Those of you with big thumbs may find
it a little cluttered and taping the wrong softkey by mistake (I did consistently).
For the majority of users who wont be looking to play with all the settings the point and shoot does still provide pretty good results.
I did find action shots such as where I was trying to take pictures of the kids playing the focus was a little slow and the results were slightly
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is a good music player with a decent music app. Using a good set of head phones I found no issues with playback.
One nice little touch is when you do connect a pair of headphones to the device the notification area presents you with shortcuts to applications
that you may want to take advantage of the headphones.
The display on the SGS3 Mini is a 4 inch 480×800 AMOLED display which is an average spec these days for phones in this price range.
The screen is crisp and clear but existing SGS3 users who are used to a display spec of 720×1280 are not going to be blown away by the
screen resolution of the little brother.
I found the colours and saturation to be good, a comment that has been made a few times about whites is that they come across a touch yellow
and I did find this myself on the unit I have been using.
One thing I was surprised about is the fact that the Mini has no autobrightness, something these days I know I personally take for granted and it wasnt
until I spent time with this device I realised just how important it is to me.
The other issue I have with the screen is the amount of pinch and zoom I had to do when reading text. If like me you spend a large amount of time
accessing web content on your phone then you need to be aware of this fact
Video is HD/720p but is fixed focused so its ok but not amazing.
Comparing this device to a SGS3 or Nexus 4 et al is like comparing Renaldo to Boutros Boutros-Ghali there really is no comparison.
The dual core processor makes easy work of calls/texts/emails, and when scrolling between screens with various widgets in place it performs well
There is lag I noticed on this device when going from the browser to the play store and the calendar to contacts.
Its still a quick device it just needs the lag dialing out.
The battery in the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is 1500mAh but the smaller less powerful devices do tend to perform better in this area than their larger
more powerful counterparts. The S3 Mini was no exception, I found it would give me a days worth of charge and I wasn’t scrabbling in the glove box of the
car each evening to charge the device on the journey home.
- Running JellyBean 4.1
- Battery Life
- Screen performance
- Slight lag
I have to admit that when I first looked to spend some time with the SGS 3 Mini I was a little pessimistic as I do think that Samsung are saturating the market with devices and there are at times a lack of demarcation points between one device and another . The SGS 3 Mini is actually a good mid range device in a market where it is up against the HTC One S and the Sony Xperia S. If Samsung could dial out the lag and camera issues then this would be a really great mid range handset if it wasnt white
Rating this device is simple and straight forward. Had there not been the lag when navigating around the operating system I would be giving this device 5/5
Sadly though this is not going to be the case. I did like the SGS 3 Mini alot more than I thought I would.
So it gets……