Gadgetslab: Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini Smarthone




  • Form Factor:Candybar
  • 2G Band:GSM 850I 900I 1800I 1900
  • 3G Band:HSDPA 9001190012100
  • Dimensions {4.79 x 2.48 x 0.39
  • Screen:480 x 800 pixels,4.0 inches super amoled
  • Camera:5 MP {primary),VGA Secondary
  • OS:Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • processor:1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9


  • Great feature set
  • Handy size
  • Decent battery life


  • Still comes with a lot of Samsung bloatware


  • I personally need a new phone, and I think my search is over



Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S Ill is a marvel of modern technology. It is the culmination all of the tech Samsung had developed from the very beginning. If there was anything that was a little off about the device though, it might have been the size. It was a large hunkin’ phone bordering on phablet territory. I am all for screen real-estate, but there is a limit to it, and the S Ill was dangerously close to being too large to be practical.

Fast-forward a few months, and I have, for review, the Galaxy S Ill Mini. It has all the power of its larger elder brother with a much more reasonable four-inch screen. This led me to wonder, though: Was the magic of the Sill due to the convenience of that huge AMOLED screen, and would a smaller, though similarly­ capable device fizzle out with all the other smartphones out there?

The Mini, a name which I will henceforth use to refer to the phone, is basically a scaled-down version of the SIII  all aspects. It is just a little smaller, at 4.79 x 2.48 x .39 inches, but looks exactly like the Samsung flagship. The layout is pretty much the same, the only difference being a different location for the front camera. Without anything by which to compare scale, you would not  likely be able to tell the difference between the two.

As I mentioned earlier, the screen of the Mini is a smaller four-incher, with a slightly looser 223 ppi pixel density, though it is still the same beautiful Super AMOLED capacitive affair as the larger phone. The difference in sharpness is barely noticeable, and unless you read your text messages with a microscope, will probably be forgotten once you have used it for a little while.

Internal memory options are also scaled down, with the Inbeing made available with either 8 or 16GB on-board, but don’t fret. If you need more storage, the Mini comes with a micro SD slot under the battery. It also accepts the older Simms there is no need to cut up your regular-sized SIM card to make it fit in the tray.

Using the device is dead easy. It comes with Android 4.1Jelly Bean out of the box, and thanks to a snappy dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz,the OS loads, runs and transitions smoothly despite my best efforts at straining the hardware.

There really is more power available on tap than the OS requires plus the same 1GB RAM as the S Ill, so even if the processor isn’t the same quad­ core deal as its big brother, you really wouldn’t be able to tell with daily use. The S Ill Mini comes with the same usable software suite as the S Ill,  all the calendar, office and recreational apps are present. It even comes with the same, handy S Voice assistant, which came in very handy for everything from Google searches to setting my daily alarms. I’m glad to see they didn’t cut this feature out, as it really is more useful than many people might think. It will require a data connection though, so be prepared to have one handy.

The phone, on the whole, really shines with data. Integration of your Google account is just as smooth as any other Android smartphone out there, and other apps such as maps, searches and the aforementioned S Voice assistant really come together to give a slick user experience.

The camera, while an older S-megapixel deal is still pretty great. It’s capable of taking sharp, balanced photos that represent colors well, and works great for capturing the odd moment or two. I did wish it would boot up and capture a little faster, but that is by no means a deal-breaker. The camera makes up for this by offering the same super-fast burst mode so you don’t miss a shot even when there’s a lot of action going on. It is still capable of recording some pretty high-quality video at 720pand 30fps, so it’ll gladly double up as a handy video camera when called to do so. Because the Mini is meant to be more of a budget offering than the S Ill, a few other features were left out, such as the free Dropbox space (though Dropbox will still work just fine once you install it),and the massive 2100mAh battery. The 1500mAh deal on the Mini is just fine though, and, even with some moderate to heavy use, should last through the better part of two days thanks to the power­ saving processor.

On the whole, the Galaxy SIll Mini is a great phone. It does everything well and doesn’t leave anything really important out. Sure, its light may dim a little when compared to the SIll,

but almost any other phone out there would do the same. If a single thought could sum up this device, it would be to call it  an S Ill lite. It  leaves out just enough to keep the price down but still leaves you with enough to get the whole experience. Would recommend it to anyone who wants a flagship phone without the flagship price tag, all in a very reasonable size.



First Published in Gadgets Magazine February 2013

Words by Ren Alcantara