Galaxy S III Mini - Flagship Features In A Smaller Device

1/25/2013 10:56:13 AM

Much attention was paid to the minimized version of the well-known Galaxy S III. Galaxy S III Mini aims at middle segment, pricing around $400, released in Jan 2013.

Galaxy S III accomplished its mission successfully when being stealing the crown of iPhone to become the best-selling smartphone in the quarter. After dominating the classy market with S III and Note II, Samsung wanted to make something for lower segment where Nokia have been dominant. That was the reason why Galaxy S III Mini was introduced. The model looks like its predecessor yet has mid-class specs to meet the low price.

S III Mini can be described as being “sufficient”. The price of $400 is quite enough, either cheap or expensive. The device is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor, owning similar clock rate like quad-core models do, quite enough to serve daily use.

Ten years ago, phone manufacturers were on the race of releasing mobiles that was as small as possible. Now, they are fighting with large-sized models. Though the large screen gives people better experience on movie-watching, web-browsing…, Galaxy S III Mini’s 4in display is still the standard for both men and women.

Galaxy S III Mini


The model looks simple. As named, the product share similar appearance with Galaxy S III but it is smaller (122.55x63x9.9mm, 111.5g), along with some inconsiderable changes: jack’s position and Home button (raised a bit).

Galaxy S III was once criticized for having rounded corners that eliminated manly features. This feature is quite appropriate for the Mini version. Some people considered it was irrational to call this 4in device “Mini”, but in fact the product looks quite small and pretty. The white colored version best suits women.

Mini shares common things with S III: plastic case, removable back lid, right power button and left volume keys. User can easily adjust these with single hand, regardless anything difficulty.


As stated, Samsung not only shrink down the size but also the specs to lower the price. Unlike S III with HD screen, the new model comes with an 800x480pixel screen which display doesn’t much sharp and pixels are visible.

However, 233ppi density is supported by Super AMOLED color technology. Though not as blazing attractive as from other higher-resolution phones, this phone still has contents displayed clearly and brightly. The AMOLED is also appreciated for its liveliness.

Although the display is not smooth at all, image looks vibrant.

Although the display is not smooth at all, image looks vibrant.

There’s no auto-brightness, thus user has to enter Setting to select a suitable brightness level for existing conditions.


S III Mini retains a lot of appealing features from its predecessor but user can call the onscreen number by leaning the phone on ear or shake the phone for update…

Pop-up Play allows for doing stuff concurrently: watching video, playing game, browsing Facebook… Although it is not much efficient in 4in space, this feature is still useful in some specific tasks; for example, when user wants to checks info about playing videos. Especially, the most favorable, Best Photo (shooting 8 continuous photos then choosing the best one), is also integrated. However, Mini is not equipped with NFC, thus user is unable to share file instantly with other Samsung device via S Beam.

It’s an upside that Mini has Android 4.1 Jelly Bean installed by default. Maybe some people don’t like the customized interface; this differentiates each brand’s product. Negatively, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI looks untidy with a lot of options whereas it is designed nice, visual and fluent. Plus, keyboard is a downside. Buttons are placed too close so mistyping is unavoidable, slowing user’s input.

Camera interface

Camera interface

The Mini version uses front 5MP camera and back 0.3MP camera; they are commonly seen in the segment. Focusing was a little slow and noise existed in low-lit conditions. In normal condition, result was quite good (even better than some rivals), quality was sharp while colors were fairly accurate yet a little faded. Panorama, Burst, HDR modes are also included. Overall, the camera meets common demand for capturing and sharing photos. Besides, the device also supports 720p video recording at 30fps, resulting in steady clips and satisfying user to some extent.

Samsung S III Mini is also a good music player thanks to clear sound and loud stereo. Apps are friendly. User is able to customize tabs or sound effects.


Inside the device, there are 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and other stuff like those from mid-segment models such as Sony Xperia J, HTC Desire X… Once used to hi-class models you may find a little lagging when pressing Home button to return to home screen or to switch between apps. But this is acceptable for a mid-segment model. S III Mini still meets multitasking demands. Concurrent operations, like game, email, photo, video, web…, were all performed fluently and steadily. Not as fast as Galaxy S III, the phone is quite enough for such a price which is half as much as Galaxy S III’s one.

Performance test

Performance test

In Quadrant Benchmark Standard test of overall performance, Galaxy S III Mini got 2,420, on par with HTC Desire X (2,421) and twice as much as Sony Xperia J (1,299) yet lower than LG Optimus L9 (2,690). Meanwhile, AnTuTU BenchMark gave the model the result of 5,969 while Xperia only got 3,127.

Regarding graphic performance, S III Mint obtained 38.8fps, given by Nenamark 2, twice as much as from Xepria J (19.2fps).

Graphic test

Graphic test

Thanks to a 1,500mAH battery, S III Mini can deal with a common 2-day usage including: call, message, e-mail, web, Facebook… However, video-playing and frequent web browsing may consume power much, reducing runtime down to around 1 day.

General info

§  2G network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

§  3G network: 3G: HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100


§  Size: 121.6x63x9.9mm

§  Weight: 111,5g


§  Type: Super AMOLED touchscreen

§  Size: 800x480pixel, 4in display

§  Multi-pointing: Yes


§  Notification: Vibration, MP3 ringtones

§  Stereo: Yes

§  3.5mm jack: Yes


§  Card slot: Yes

§  Storage: 8 GB

§  RAM: 1GB


§  GPRS: Yes

§  EDGE: Yes

§  Speed: HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps

§  WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot

§  Bluetooth: Yes

§  USB: Yes


§  Primary: 5MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash

§  Features: Geo-tagging, touch-to-focus, anit-shaking, HDR

§  Video: Yes, 720p

§  Sub-camera: Yes


§  OS: Android OS, v4.1, Jelly Bean

§  Chipset: NovaThor

§  CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9

§  GPU: Mali-400

§  Sensor: Image; accelerator; compass

§  Messaging: SMS (conversation), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email

§  Browser: HTML5

§  Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS

§  GPS: Yes, A-GPS support

§  Java: Yes, via Java MIDP emulator

§  Colors: White, blue


§  Type: Li-Ion 1.500mAh

§  Standby time: Up to 450h (2G) /  up to 430h (3G)

§  Talk time: Up to 14h10min (2G) / up to 7h10h (3G)


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