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Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review

Proves bigger isn't always better
Tue Dec 11 2012, 16:54

Product Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Website Samsung
Specifications 4in 480x800 Super AMOLED touchscreen, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB/16GB internal storage, 5MP rear-facing camera with HD 720p video, VGA front-facing camera, HSDPA 14.4Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76Mbit/s, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, DLNA, microSD expansion up to 32GB, 1,500mAh battery, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 121x63x9.9mm, 111.5g
Price From £300 SIM-free, £28 per month on Three


THE ORIGINAL Galaxy S3 is Samsung's best-selling smartphone to date, so of course the firm was going to bring out a miniature version aimed to appeal to those not so keen on the original Samsung Galaxy S3's stately 4.8in screen.

Unfortunately though, it's not just the screen that Samsung has downgraded, as the Galaxy S3 Mini also features a lesser dual-core processor and a 5MP rear-facing camera, not quite on par with the 8MP snapper found on the original Galaxy S3.

That's not to say that the Galaxy S3 Mini is a bad device, as it certainly charmed us with its miniature styling. The question is, however, can it be as successful as the original Galaxy S3? We put this to the test.

Design
In terms of design, the Galaxy S3 Mini is exactly what it says on the tin - it's a downsized Galaxy S3. In fact the handset looks identical to its bigger sibling, albeit a bit stumpier, boasting the same glossy plastic casing available in both blue and white and the same pebble-like rounded edges.

Samsung galaxy S3 Samsung Galaxy S3 MIni

It might look the same, but we found the Galaxy S3 Mini much more comfortable to hold than the original Galaxy S3, thanks to its small 121x63x9.9mm size and weight of just 111.5g. The device was easier to operate with one hand too, and we didn't find ourselves stretching to reach across the screen.

Screen
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini features a 4in 480x800 screen, which, to be frank, doesn't sound like much.

However, thanks to Samsung's Super AMOLED screen technology the screen is surprisingly impressive. Of course, text is a tiny bit fuzzy compared to the HD screens on the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, but the AMOLED technology brings vibrancy to the screen, and we found that it gave the Nokia Lumia 920 a run for its money.

Our only real gripe with the screen is its size. Although measuring 4in, the same size as the screen on the Iphone 4, everything looked a little cramped. The onscreen keyboard, for example, proved very fiddly throughout our testing, and it wasn't fantastic for watching videos.

Next: Performance, operating system

 

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