Updated 24 May, 2013, 7:53 pm IST
First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy S III Mini
| by Shayne Rana
Banking on the success of the Galaxy S III and all that came before in the series, Samsung seems to be in the mood to make sure that their loyal customers are well provided for in all price segments. With the Galaxy Grand being somewhat of a lower end Note II, we now have the Galaxy S III Mini, due to hit the market soon in an official capacity, making its way into the lives of today’s hungry-for-more consumers. We managed to get our hands on the S III Mini and here are my first impressions of the new mid range Samsung Smartphone.
Here's a quick unboxing and run through some of the features of the handset -
Love the design in this small form factor. Samsung’s not-so-unique-anymore-because-we’ve-seen-it-too-often design works for the smaller devices. The Mini is a slick looking handset and looks especially classy dressed in its Blue shade. The White option is getting a little passé now. We still wish Samsung would actually bother to tweak their now, rather generic design.
Sporting a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, you should have no issues with viewing from all angles. Although the S III Mini comes equipped with 8GB of onboard storage, it can be expanded via microSD cards up to 32GB. However, the card slot is under the battery, which was not a good idea. A 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash also features on the rear of this device with a front facing VGA counterpart for video calls.
5 megapixel camera and LED flash
On the whole, the handset felt quite comfortable to use for the short time we had it and weighing in at just 111g (approx) the S III Mini is sure to appeal to those looking for something small and chic against the Grand’s large form.
The S III Mini ships with Android 4.1.1 aka Jelly Bean bringing with it a host of Samsung’s new features that you’d find even in their higher-end options. This was a great idea on the company’s part, to give users an experience of a high-end device within a reasonable budget. Samsung’s thrown in their host of motion and Sensor-based features along with their TouchWiz UI.
The Mini comes with enough power to ensure that all your basic smartphone needs are met and then some. With 1GB of RAM and Cortex A9 1GHz Dual Core processor you should have all operations running smoothly irrespective of how loaded the device is.
What?! No Hot Swap for memory?
From the media perspective, the handset come preloaded with plenty of video codecs to support instant non-converted playback of files. There’s also an FM radio added to the list and hopefully the audio via the native music player will hold up to Samsung’s prior quality. The music player also supports FLAC.
The S III Mini is teeming with connectivity options. You’ve got it all from a wide range of Wi-Fi related offerings – DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Hot-Spot – to full 3G capabilities, Bluetooth with A2DP GPS with GLONASS. The MINI is also touted to be shipping with NFC but whether or not Samsung will launch that edition here is unconfirmed.
We also noticed quite a few menu pages loaded with a bunch of apps for all occasions. What you can’t find, you can always get from Samsung’s own App store or the Google Play Store that are always on hand.
A miniature Galaxy S III
The Mini is loaded up with a 1500mAh battery. It seems a tad short on power, but we’ll able to tell you more after the full review when we’re done putting it through its paces.
With a price tag of Rs 17,500 in the grey market, it seems like the S III Mini’s only major competition will be its bigger brother the Galaxy Grand. For a couple of thousands more you’ll get a 5.0-inch screen with an 8MP camera and Dual SIM support if that’s what you need. It’s also just a little more powerful. But, if further comfort of portability is your concern, then the Samsung S III Mini seems like a great option for the price, if you're looking at Android as your OS. There's a good chance that Nokia's Lumia 620 might just be a tough act to beat as well. More on that after we've actually tested both handsets.
Stay tuned to tech2 for the full review of the handset post the official launch that’s due anytime now.
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