Samsung has detailed the specs on its Galaxy S III Mini and, frankly, we’re disappointed. Image: Samsung Electronics
Samsung’s Galaxy S III Mini reeks of a missed opportunity. On Thursday, Samsung officially introduced its latest Galaxy handset, after telling the world that it would do so on Wednesday.
And while the Galaxy S III Mini wears the same nameplate as its big brother, the Galaxy S III, has the same outward styling, and runs the same TouchWiz UI glazing over the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, the two phones have disappointingly little in common when it comes to what’s happening on the inside.
While the regular S III features a 4.8-inch display, the S III Mini has a 4-inch screen. This would actually be a good thing (a 4-inch screen is easier to use with one hand than a 4.8-inch display), except that Samsung took the cheap route here. The S III Mini has a screen resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. That’s a far cry from the 1280 x 720 pixel resolution found on the original S III.
There are other cost-cutting sacrifices. The S III is available in two variants, an international version with a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor and a U.S. version with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Both are screaming fast and offer some of the best performance found on any smartphone. The S III Mini gets downgraded to a 1GHz dual-core chipset; Samsung hasn’t said where the chipset is coming from.
The rear camera on the S III Mini is a 5-megapixel shooter that would have been considered out of date last year, whereas the S III has a top-notch 8-megapixel camera. The front facing camera is also less than, with a VGA camera on the S III Mini instead of the 1.9-megapixel front camera on the S III.
And 4G capability? Forget about it. You won’t get it on the S III Mini.
Even the Mini name feels like a misstep. Yes, the S III Mini is smaller than the standard S III, but a 4-inch phone is not a small device. The name mostly feels like an underhanded jab at Samsung’s major rival, Apple, and the blockbuster iPhone 5, which is the first Apple phone to have a 4-inch display. But while the iPhone 5 is an example of a 4-inch phone stocked full of cutting-edge tech, the S III Mini comes off as an impostor that fails to live up to the excellent Galaxy S brand name that Samsung has worked so hard to build.