Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini - A Small Galaxy Having Few Stars (Part 4)

4/27/2013 4:48:29 PM

Performance and Battery Life

If you jump straight to the section "What's difference?" above, you may have skipped right to this section? After all, this really is where you should stay if you are in the club "I want a small Galaxy S III".  Specifications are one thing, but could it do well? The answer is yes. And no. When using the original Galaxy S III with this phone, you can point out the difference immediately.  Exynos processor in our comparison model will not glance before anything you throw at it. However, the dual-core NovaThor (1GHz) let you know it's there from time to time with a slightly slower response. Not bad, but we have frequently hit the home button and there is a noticeable pause before we are brought back to the home screen. Sometimes you press the standby button to wake the phone, it showed the home screen for one second before the lock screen suddenly appeared on it, as if it just started acting.

Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini - Battery

Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini - Battery

In general use, it's actually pretty smooth, though still slower than its elder sibling. Beside those comparisons, the Galaxy S III mini doing pretty well when we use it as a daily phone for an entire week without any problems. This includes playing game normally, which had quite a lot of laps on Asphalt 7 with heavy graphics, video, take photos and using applications (certainly we would love to check email). If you are switching to this phone from another phone with lower specifications, then it is very interesting to use, and will serve you well as a daily phone.  If you just want to compare with its bigger brother which clearly have higher specifications, then it's never be good enough. On the other hand, if you compare it to other mid-range phones - because it really is - it starts to stand out from the crowd a little bit. HTC Desire X is a good example. Similar specifications, and Samsung S3 mini feels much faster when placed next to each other. Sony Xperia U, which runs on the same NovaThor chip, also feels like its direct competitor when you understand its reality. Compared with this phone, Galaxy S III mini began to seem more plausible on its position in the market. However, for those who want a performance analysis in pure data, here are the results for you (the lower the score, the better):

Samsung Galaxy S III mini (i8190)

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 3,048

·         Vellamo (v2.0): 1,389

·         AnTuTu: 4,539

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 2,021

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): 6

·         CF-Bend: 4,572

Samsung Galaxy S III mini

Samsung Galaxy S III mini

HTC Desire X

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 2,682

·         Vellamo (v2.0): 1,147

·         AnTuTu: 4,938

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 3.448

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): Not Work

·         CF-Bend: 5,460

HTC Desire X

HTC Desire X

Samsung Galaxy S III (i9300)

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 5,875

·         Vellamo (v2.0): 1,626

·         AnTuTu: 10,344

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 1,194

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): 15

·         CF-Bend: 12,922

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

There is one area where the Galaxy S III mini side by side with its elder sibling, it was the battery life. When considering the high-end phone back in May, we are surprised that it lasted from 8.5 hours to 9.5 hours. We conducted a similar test battery (repeat video, fixed at 50% brightness, Wi-Fi open but not connected) and we have nearly the same results, a bit more than 9 hours (exactly is 9 hours 14 minutes).  We have to admit it's quite good, especially for a loss of 600mAh battery compared with 2100mAh battery of the original version. Samsung probably calculated the reduction rate of the screen too accurately so it can maintain this excellent run time. Or maybe it's just a classic coincidence. No matter how, we all love it. A lot.

In general, good battery life, even when we are not trying to drain the battery. We have been going through two days with regular usage (occasional phone calls, text messaging, games, photos, etc.) without any problems and has reached more than 1 day with a higher usage (for example, switch between data connections, working in poor signal areas). If you hang in there with this phone, then you will be pleased to know that it handles the traditional phone call quite good, with clear consistent sound no matter where we are (regardless of those extremely poor signal areas). HSPA/data connection in and around London is processed at a rate similar to its elder sibling, with figures ranging from 2.8Mbps to 4.3Mbps in London on the O2 network.


Oh Samsung, what have you done?  We think we know what you thought you were doing. A cheaper phone for those who want a little Galaxy S III experience, for less money, in shape that was easier to handle. And that is the real mini Galaxy S III. We know there is nothing to not like this idea, right? Surely, some people will understand everything literally and expect a high-end device in a smaller package – although it’s not. However, what you have is a pretty good mid-range phone with high-class designs. For those who are looking for something like that, Galaxy S III mini would be desirable, and we are sure that there will be many people like it. However, if it is different, it may take the Galaxy S III "brand" to a completely new direction. If this had come with specifications similar to its elder sibling, it really is something worth to behold.

We can understand if some people will be disappointed because it's not like that. Unfortunately, what Samsung has done is try to take advantage on the identity of the phone for some cheap scavenged segments along with those who are eager to taste a bit of luxury experience. For these people, the decision will be a little harsh. What we are left here is a perfectly good mid-range phone that can never really get the attention it deserves - after all, compared to most real competitors (HTC Desire X had similar price and specification, Sony Xperia U ... etc.), obviously it has its own position. Finally, maybe Samsung has played a gamble with its biggest brand, Galaxy S, and it is not clear whether it will be rewarded or not.



·         Product’s name: Samsung Galaxy S III mini (i8190)

·         Price: $450


·         Excellent battery life

·         Software experienced similar with Galaxy S3 (i9300)

·         Modern, attractive design.


·         Disappointed specification with a "Galaxy S III" phone

·         The price is still high for a mid-range phone


·         If you were hoping for a small version of Galaxy S III, it would not. If you want a good mid-range phone with beautiful design, this is a wonderful choice.

Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini specifications

·         Dimensions: 121.6x63x9.9 mm (4.79x2.48x0.39 inches)

·         Weight: 111.5 g (3.92 oz)

·         Display Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

·         Display Size: 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)

·         Memory: 8/16 GB internal storage, 1 GB RAM

·         Card Slot: microSD, up to 32 GB

·         WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot

·         Bluetooth: Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE, EDR

·         NFC: Yes (Market dependent)

·         USB: Yes, microUSB v2.0

·         Camera: primary, 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, with geo-tagging, touch focus, 720p@30fps; secondary, VGA.

·         OS: Android OS, v4.1 (Jelly Bean)

·         Chipset: NovaThor U8420

·         CPU: 1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9

·         GPU: Mali-400

·         Battery: Li-Ion 1,500 mAh battery



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