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The new Galaxy S III Mini might be smaller, but it also compromises a lot for a svelte form-factor

We first reported on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III Mini yesterday, and as promised, the device was officially announced today. The smartphone is aimed at Apple's new iPhone 5, which also uses a 4" display, instead of the monstrous 4.8" unit found in the standard Galaxy S III.
 
As previously reported, the Galaxy S III Mini packs in a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4" WVGA Super AMOLED display, a 5MP rear-facing camera (VGA front-facing camera for video conferencing), and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The smartphone will come with a 1,500 mAh battery and includes FM radio support. One big omission, however, is LTE connectivity.
 
Compared to the powerhouse Galaxy S III, its little brother is definitely not quite up to par.
 
“The GALAXY S III introduced a new concept of smartphone that has proven hugely popular around the world. We’re now delighted to bring its revolutionary design, intuitive usability and intelligence to the GALAXY S III mini in a more compact form,” said JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We continue to make every effort to provide extraordinary mobile experiences to meet a wide variety of user needs.”
 
The Galaxy S III Mini measures 4.78" x 2.48" x 0.38" and weighs 3.93 ounces.
 
There is no word yet on pricing or availability for the Galaxy S III Mini.

Source: Samsung



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Aimed
By aurareturn on 10/11/2012 1:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The smartphone is aimed at Apple's new iPhone 5


If it is, it fails miserably. I find it funny that Samsung has been hundreds of millions in advertisement to belittle Apple's smaller screen but not it's making a 4" phone that's not even half as good as the iPhone 5.

Note: I use a Galaxy Nexus. Own a Nexus 7. Use Windows 7. I possess no Apple products.




RE: Aimed
By GotThumbs on 10/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: Aimed
By othercents on 10/11/2012 1:45:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And yet you're ok with Apple coming out with a mini-ipad to compete with all the smaller existing tablets.


Absolutely OK, as long as the mini-iPad is just as powerful as the current iPad. If they are going to use the original iPad processor in the mini-iPad and call it just as good, then they would be making a significant mistake.

If the Galaxy S III Mini was just as powerful as it's big brother with the same features (except the smaller screen), then for those who like the smaller platform this would be a good option, but since they stripped it down my recommendation to friends will be the full size version and not the Mini.

Other


RE: Aimed
By Alexstarfire on 10/11/2012 2:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
I own a GS3, a US version, and even I have to agree with what you say. Granted they haven't put out a price for this and if it's like $50 or free, on contract, then it might be justified. If they ask for more than that then they are crazy. It's not really a competitor in my eyes given its specs. Of course, that depends on how you determine a "competitor." If you're just looking how well it runs, especially given that's how Apple views things, then it certainly could be. Rather hard to say, in that case, without a review of the product.


RE: Aimed
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2012 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
The only one's saying this is a competitor to the iPhone are Daily Tech writers.

Once again we see Androids biggest strengths, options and choice, construed into somehow being negatives.


RE: Aimed
By ritualm on 10/11/12, Rating: 0
RE: Aimed
By retrospooty on 10/11/2012 6:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
I read the article... It doesnt mention the iPhone, it just says "“The GALAXY S III introduced a new concept of smartphone that has proven hugely popular around the world. We’re now delighted to bring its revolutionary design, intuitive usability and intelligence to the GALAXY S III mini in a more compact form,” "

In other words, here is a smaller low end phone for those that dont care to pay high end prices for a high end Phone. the price tag agrees. Its NOT an iPhone competitor. Its like saying a Honda Accord is a competitor to a BMW 5 series. No, its not. Honda has the Acura TL that more directly competes. Samsumg has the GS3 that competes with the iPhone, the mini is just a cheap alternative like the Accord.


RE: Aimed
By retrospooty on 10/11/2012 6:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
I read the article... It doesnt mention the iPhone, it just says "“The GALAXY S III introduced a new concept of smartphone that has proven hugely popular around the world. We’re now delighted to bring its revolutionary design, intuitive usability and intelligence to the GALAXY S III mini in a more compact form,” "

In other words, here is a smaller low end phone for those that dont care to pay high end prices for a high end Phone. the price tag agrees. Its NOT an iPhone competitor. Its like saying a Honda Accord is a competitor to a BMW 5 series. No, its not. Honda has the Acura TL that more directly competes. Samsumg has the GS3 that competes with the iPhone, the mini is just a cheap alternative like the Accord.


RE: Aimed
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2012 2:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the Galaxy S III Mini was just as powerful as it's big brother with the same features (except the smaller screen), then for those who like the smaller platform this would be a good option


That would be a huge mistake if you thought about it. The full sized GS3 needs to remain the 'flagship' phone it is. If they packed all the power into a smaller form factor, it would marginalize existing GS3's while at the same time having nearly the same cost, alienating those who wanted a smaller cheaper Jelly Bean solution in a "Galaxy" phone.


RE: Aimed
By RufusM on 10/11/2012 4:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the Mini is the Galaxy S3 brand. They are diluting the brand with a slower and inferior product. At the store customers will see the GS3 and the GS3 Mini and think it's the same thing but smaller, which it's not.


RE: Aimed
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2012 4:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see it as "diluting" the brand so much as adding to it. Where is it written in stone the Galaxy line must NOT have a lower end option?


RE: Aimed
By Anonymous Blowhard on 10/11/2012 4:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's "diluting the brand" in that people will see "Galaxy S III", buy the crippled Mini, have a lousy experience, and declare to their friends that the "GS3 suxx, Imma get an iPhone."

Though to be fair, Android's had this problem for a while with low-end phones clouding the image of the better ones.

"Android sucks, man, I'm getting an iPhone."
"What phone do you have?"
some terrible bargain-bin 480x320 Android device
"Dude, you can't really compare a $100 prepaid Android to a $600 iPhone."
"I'm getting the one with more GBs!"


RE: Aimed
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2012 5:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well you guys are building an argument around consumer ignorance. Not sure that's a good position personally. If people spend their money carelessly without understanding their purchase, it's hard for me to sympathize with them.

But lousy experience? If Jelly Bean is silky smooth on an old Nexus, I doubt the experience will be lousy just because the hardware isn't equal to an iPhone.

Samsung can do no wrong at this point. Even the Note, which people called a joke, has been a pretty respectable seller. So we'll just have to see if the 'mini' proves to be worth it.


RE: Aimed
By Xplorer4x4 on 10/11/2012 10:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well you guys are building an argument around consumer ignorance. Not sure that's a good position personally. If people spend their money carelessly without understanding their purchase, it's hard for me to sympathize with them.

It's not about sympathizing with the ignorant customer, it's the customer experience that dictates future mobile os preference and unjustly hurts, in this case, the Android brand. this device may not fall in to that group. Time will tell but my first Android was a Motorola Backflip that launched with 1.5 Doughnut and had a clock speed of 500Mhz. It was a very sad experience. The stock motoblur experience was notoriously plagued with the inability to slide to answer at least 90% of the time. I am not entirely sure if this was hardware or software related, but if memory serves me right Moto had to patch this with an Answer and Decline button. An experience like this could quickly change an Apple customers mind if they made the jump. The problem is they were ignorant and they blame Android so Google has lost a customer for life.


RE: Aimed
By SlyNine on 10/12/2012 6:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
So what's your point?


RE: Aimed
By robinthakur on 10/16/2012 8:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
As a fairly clued-up consumer who was curious about Android, actually the biggest thing which led to me dumping the Galaxy 3 and going to get an iPhone 5 is that it seemed like a trade off whereby you could either get a stock Android device, a Nexus, where you got regular updates, or you went with a phone where Samsung/HTC add extra features to the stock OS, some of which are worth having, most of which are not. The ability to use the phone as a mass storage device was good, until it came to putting music on it whereby drag and dropping loads of music files onto it into separate folders quickly became annoying after the ease of use of iTunes over many years.

Samsung would have a better consumer experience if their devices were better built, eschewing the use of cheap materials and if the screens were better. I'm all in favour of a big screen, but not one which is fuzzy and greeny/blue tinted. Camera is similarly hobbled:Able to take pictures really fast (almost instantly) but with quality which does not stand upto scrutiny.

I don't blame Android here, I really like the OS itself, I just think that there are parts which really do need to be polished up a bit if they really want to tempt more people away from iPhone, which does still excel at user friendliness. I use the Nexus 7 and like it for certain use cases (e.g. cached maps for travelling) though Apps choice are still very lacking compared to iOS.

The G3 in this article is simply a continuation of the Galaxy Ace et al. which are the cost proposition line, and it has to be thicker because it doesn't have such a large surface area to put the battery in. I'm sure there will be plenty of Android devices which will be worse than this, and the worst that could really happen is Samsung's brand is hurt, not Android's


RE: Aimed
By jiffylube1024 on 10/12/2012 1:39:45 AM , Rating: 2
I wholeheartedly agree that the GS3 mini blasphemes the entire Galaxy S series. It's a joke to release this cut down phone as a cousin to the big Galaxy S3. It even looks like it uses a pentile display (notice no plus in the name), meaning its 800x480 4" screen is basically the same thing that was in the Galaxy S1. Remember: pentile is not a massive issue at 720p, but it's pretty noticeable at 480p on a ~4" display.


RE: Aimed
By Rukkian on 10/12/2012 11:02:33 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but feel it is not much different than the providers still advertising Galaxy S1 Aviators (us cellular around here). It really hurts people that may not know better, as they get a crippled phone that is not that usable.

At least this is Jelly Bean and should be a much better experience, and will hopefully get the providers to quick selling the 2 year old phones.


RE: Aimed
By xsilver on 10/14/2012 2:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=3725...

not sure what all the fuss is - there is 2 previous generations of this phone. Its not meant to be a flagship phone.


RE: Aimed
By Tony Swash on 10/11/2012 3:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And yet you're ok with Apple coming out with a mini-ipad to compete with all the smaller existing tablets.


I think it won't so much compete with all the smaller existing tablets as crush them. Between the Nexus 7 (sold at cost by Google), the Kindle Fire (sold at cost by Amazon and really a fork of Android) and whatever Apple comes up with in terms of a smaller iPad (which will outsell the Nexus ten fold) the Android tablet market is pretty much dead. Why on earth would an Android OEM enter the tablet market and if they did how could they make any profit?


RE: Aimed
By degobah77 on 10/12/2012 8:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
Again, wrong site. Try WSJ.com. They might care about profit over there.

This is about the tech, and which device is better, not which makes more money.


RE: Aimed
By Newspapercrane on 10/11/2012 1:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think the idea was more "You know all of those things you're waiting for? We've had those... for years." It wasn't an "Our phone has a bigger screen than yours" it was we already have that. You could make the argument about Samsung making other phones that have a smaller screen too. I think that if this is meant to compete with the iPhone it's through variety and not through a "Screen Size Battle". A lot of people have complained about the size of the phone. I love my S3, but this screen size isn't for everyone.


RE: Aimed
By xti on 10/12/2012 1:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
the s3 screen size is too big for my wife and her friends, who are not tech savvy. I freaking love it tho.


RE: Aimed
By dark matter on 10/11/2012 1:43:55 PM , Rating: 1
It only fails miserably in your world.

I reserve judgement until I actually have hands-on on the device.

But given you claim it's not even half as good, you MUST already have a unit. Care to do some benchmarks for us.

I won't be holding my breath.


RE: Aimed
By mcnabney on 10/11/2012 4:48:11 PM , Rating: 2
The device is going nowhere. The carriers want to get smartphones customers onto 4G as quickly as possible so that the spectrum used for EVDO/HSPA can be re-purposed sooner. LTE holds a lot more data per mhz than other techs.


RE: Aimed
By ritualm on 10/11/2012 6:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
In a few years we'll be doing the same things again, only this time around it's LTE that's getting the ax.


RE: Aimed
By bupkus on 10/11/2012 1:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's for small people or kids with little pockets and little hands.

Maybe it's cheaper than the iPhone 5 and better fills the bill for people on a budget.

Maybe it's for people who don't want to piss away hundreds of dollars just to impress their lobotomized friends?


RE: Aimed
By xti on 10/12/2012 1:38:20 AM , Rating: 2
its a smart phone. if $200, whether iphone or S3 is too much where you consider it pissing away money, then i think you are in the wrong hobby / luxury item.


RE: Aimed
By retrospooty on 10/11/2012 1:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
"If it is, it fails miserably."

It isnt, and I dont know why it says that above... It's not designed to compete with the iPhone. The iPhone is a high end phone, as the normal GS3 is. This is a cheap low end phone designed to try and sell off the good name of the existing GS3. Not a bad idea, its just not competing with iPhone, its competing with cheap phones.


RE: Aimed
By luhar49 on 10/11/2012 3:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
It can't be aimed to compete with IP5. Samsung have got GS3 for that. This is to take market share at the lower end of smartphones and should be priced at a much cheaper range compared to iPhone and GS3.

I am sure it will find it's takers and help Samsung's topline.


RE: Aimed
By nafhan on 10/11/2012 4:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. This thing does generally beat or meet the "value" iPhones: the 4/4S, and should hit a similar price point.

It still gets out-specced by already released 4" Android phones, though.


RE: Aimed
By nafhan on 10/11/2012 4:20:02 PM , Rating: 2
You're kind of wrong. Even though it's clearly an inferior device to anyone who regularly reads tech blogs (because it is inferior). It's nice looking, and has a similar size and will have a lower price than the iPhone 5. Even the specs are similar: look a squirrel er 1Ghz CPU*! Basically, it looks like a high end device, and pushes enough of the specs that people don't understand, that it's going to be competing with the iPhone 5 whether or not it should be.

Personally, I think Samsung is doing a huge disservice to the consumer by marketing this as a Galaxy S III. This is clearly last year's phone in this year's phone's clothes and name.

*Fine print: clock speed and number of cores may not be an accurate indication of performance - especially when you ignore other crucial system components in your analysis.


RE: Aimed
By TakinYourPoints on 10/11/2012 6:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
As long as it is priced appropriately then its actually fine, a low budget alternative to the iPhone 5. Plenty of those devices exist.

If it is priced anywhere near the iPhone then it won't be a good value at all. The regular Galaxy S3 is already a bit overpriced in comparison given its slower hardware and cheap physical construction, so this S3 mini really needs to be cheap.

Regarding the lack of LTE, perhaps it is because Samsung hasn't transitioned into the more efficient LTE chips that Apple recently started using. In that case the battery life of the Mini would be abysmal given how small it is. Other Android phones have gotten away with LTE because they can fit massive batteries due to their larger chassis.


Not Intended for US
By KPOM1 on 10/11/2012 3:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
According to CNET, HSPA support is limited to 14.4, and only for 900MHz, 1900MHz, and 2100MHz bands. So I don't think we will ever see this stateside. It barely has 3G support for the US (only 1 of 2 bands used by AT&T and barely used by T-Mobile).




RE: Not Intended for US
By Penti on 10/11/2012 5:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's 900, 1900 and 2100 bands according to the linked Samsung press release. It has a WVGA screen and probably pretty bad 5MP camera. It's a fairly low end device for Europe, so it will have a hard time to compete. Prices floating around would even indicate that it's more expensive then an or priced similarly to a Galaxy Nexus. Let's hope not but time will tell.


RE: Not Intended for US
By Penti on 10/12/2012 7:28:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yep the Swedish price is essentially within tens of dollars of what Galaxy Nexus costs. A Galaxy Nexus in the UK is cheaper then the retail price for Galaxy S Mini I suppose. It will actually even be about the same price as HTC One S here. Way over priced. By at least 70 EUR.


I am SHOCKED... SHOCKED...
By Newspapercrane on 10/11/2012 2:00:31 PM , Rating: 3
Well, not that shocked. The lack of LTE isn't really that interesting. The international S3 didn't have LTE either, and as the article yesterday stated this is aimed at Europe... which doesn't really have widepread LTE. Why put LTE in a phone aimed for a market that doesn't use it? Apple did that with the iPhone five... and no doubt because of that there will probably be pressure in Europe to expand the current LTE ventures, but that'll take time.

With pricing unavailable I'd like to think that this is also a move to have a cheaper phone that's modern. People who don't want to shell out $200 for a phone may be able to get this phone for $100, instead of the defacto "Mid range" line of smart phones which is typically just last years model. I don't know how well this could compete with the Galaxy nexus though... which is fairly cheap now (current VZW price is $50)




By TakinYourPoints on 10/11/2012 6:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, why put LTE in a device where it won't be used?


FM capability? Excellent addition.
By GotThumbs on 10/11/2012 1:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
I love the fact that they are including an FM tuner. My old LG phone has one and I still use it to listen to the radio at work through my computer speakers (w.subwoofer). My current Droid phone does not have an FM tuner and I do miss the convenience of having it. Yes, I can play music stored on my phone or streamed from my WHS, but I have a very good local station and choose not to use an "APP" to stream local music when an FM tuner does the job.

Personal choice, but I'm very interested in this new model, which will still have Google Maps full functionality. :->

Best wishes,




RE: FM capability? Excellent addition.
By xti on 10/12/2012 1:43:19 AM , Rating: 2
i dont get why more phones omit this from the line up. i guess all the streaming apps could be an argument. I loved the lil fm tuner add on for the old school ipads.


Thank goodness!!!!
By BillyBatson on 10/11/2012 3:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
I would never buy one even if it were cheaper based on the ho-hum specs but hopefully this is a precursor to 3.5-4.3 inch high end android phones.




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