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Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review

Tue Dec 11 2012, 16:54

Performance
When Samsung revealed that the Galaxy S3 Mini features a downgraded 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor, we sighed, as we were hoping that Samsung would equip its miniature Galaxy S3 with the same high-performance specifications found on the original. 

While the Galaxy S3 Mini is by no means sluggish, it's noticeably slower than the original Galaxy S3. Browsing the web was not as slick, and we noticed a slight pause when opening apps. 

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Browser

However, although apps take a little longer to fire up, the Galaxy S3 Mini handles them well. A game of Angry Birds, for example, is no slower than playing it on the Iphone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3. BBC Iplayer worked fine too, but we still found the screen a little cramped.

It's worth noting also that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini isn't a phone aimed at those after the highest specifications and latest technology, so the average buyer won't notice the handset's slight downgrade in speed.

Operating system
Impressively, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini arrives running Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system. Of course, this comes skinned in Samsung's Touchwiz user interface, giving the phone many of the features found on the original Galaxy S3.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini S3

Among these features is Samsung's Pop up Play video player, which works surprisingly well on the pint-sized smartphone. This feature enables users to continue watching a video - be it on Youtube or BBC Iplayer - while using another application.

The Galaxy S3 Mini comes with Google Now too, thanks to its up to date operating system. Due to the small size of the Galaxy S3 Mini this can't be opened by swiping up from the bottom of the phone, but it proved just as functional as it did on the Google Nexus 4.

It's not all good, though. When we first fired up the Galaxy S3 Mini, our homescreens were full of Samsung's own apps, be it Samsung Hubs or Samsung's Chaton instant messaging service. These are unnecessary considering the number of Google apps that come preloaded, but thankfully they can be easily removed.

Also thankfully, unlike on some older Samsung phones, the custom user interface doesn't seem too heavy and doesn't slow the device down.

Next: Camera, battery and storage

 

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