Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Buying Guide

The Galaxy S3 Mini is a carbon copy, albeit smaller, of the much bigger Galaxy S3 and for the most part it works well. Samsung has adopted its usual plastic chassis onto the Mini, and although the device may look metallic in parts, it isn’t. The plastic build isn’t as premium a finish when compared to some of the other devices in this group test, but it does feel well put together. Fortunately, the backplate is removable meaning you can switch the 1500mAh battery at any point – a definite thumbs up over the fi tted backplate of the Xperia T.

Familiar design
Samsung like to encase all its devices in a plastic shell and that’s what you get in the S3 Mini. It’s incredibly lightweight, but we can’t fault how the phone feels in hand

Using Touchwiz 
Touchwiz has its critics, but this iteration is probably the best yet. It’s quick and easy to use, but is nowhere near as useable as the pure Android experience

No extra ports
One of the unusual features on the S3 Mini is the lack of ports. You’ll fi nd the usual volume rocker, power button, 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port, but nothing else of note

Samsung suite 
By taking a look at the app drawer of the S3 Mini, you’ll be able to use some of the official Samsung apps, including S Planner, S Voice and S Suggest

Samsung tends to have decent, if unspectacular screens, and it follows suit here with a four-inch Super AMOLED offering. Colours look deep and vivid, but there’s slight pixelation if you look closely. For a device of its size, the 1GHz dual-core processor blitzes through all tasks we set it, and with the Mini shipping with Android 4.1, you’ll have your hands on nearly the latest operating system update. As with all its Galaxy devices, Samsung has implemented its TouchWiz skin and it offers a mixed bag.

The latest version of the skin is the best yet, but clearly lacks behind Sony’s version and the pure Android experience. A positive of TouchWiz, however, is that you do get full access to the Samsung suite of apps, with S Planner being a particular highlight.

» Price £282
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Tech Specs
» Operating system........Android 4.1
» Processor ........................... Cortex-A9 1GHz dual-core
» Storage................................1GB RAM, 8/16GB storage (expandable to 32GB with micro SD)
» Dimensions ...................... 121.6 x 63 x 9.9mm
» Weight .................................. 111.5g
» Display size ......................Four-inch Super AMOLED
» Display resolution .......480 x 800 pixels
» Connectivity ..............Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,
micro USB
» Camera ............................... 5-MP rear, VGA front, 720p video recording

One of the limitations of a device this small is the impact it has on the camera and the S3 Mini produces distinctly average photos. However, there are plenty of fi lters and options available for you to customise, and video recording is generally of decent quality. Samsung has done a terrifi c job in bringing a smaller version of the gigantic Galaxy S3 to the market, and for the most part, it’s a great little device. It’s small enough not to impact on your everyday use, the processor is superfast and the selection of pre-installed apps is impressive. But, it does lack any breakthrough features that make it a must have. Source. 

Does the signifi cantly smaller version of the Galaxy S3 live up to the expectations its bigger brother set? The S3 Mini is a much smaller device, and it certainly has some nice touches but there’s nothing to make it stand out. Source. Android Magazine UK - Issue 24 - 2013