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SAMSUNG Galaxy S3 Mini
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4 inch touchscreen
5 megapixel camera with flash
GPS for sat nav and geo-tagging
Useful Memory card slot
Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader
Welcome to our Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review
As the name suggests this is a smaller version of the hugely popular Galaxy S3 albeit a little more curvy. It looks pretty much the same, but at 10mm it has gained a bit of padding.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing because we think the 9.5-10.5mm depth range is just about right if you want a phone that feels comfortable in the hand, and the Galaxy S3 Mini does feel just right. It's a nice weight too at just under 120 grams.
The casing shares the same full length Gorilla Glass front as it's bigger brother and the attractive brushed metal effect surround is here too.
Samsung insist on keeping with the wafer thin plastic battery cover too unfortunately which is so thin that it makes us nervous every time we need to remove it to swap the MicroSD memory card.
The Koreans have stuck with it across virtually all their Galaxy range of Android smartphones so we assume that in practice the wafer thin cover causes few problems. Generally this is a well made phone and build quality will not disappoint.
Super AMOLED screen
The 4 inch screen matches the size of the iPhone 5 and specifications are generally up there too but this is a much cheaper handset confirming that you still pay quite a premium for an Apple device.
However it is a WVGA screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 which is a discernible step down from the 'proper' Galaxy S3. It's not a bad screen by any means and maybe we are being spoiled by the fabulous HD screens that come as standard on all top end smartphones these days, but we expected a little more from a mid-range handset.
Samsung do stick with the Super AMOLED format so it is very bright and colours are rich even if a little HD sharpness is absent. In real-world use though it's not a deal breaker.
Dual core processor
A NovaThor 1GHz dual core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM is a little less than you might have expected and the phone runs smoothly in operation if not blazingly fast, and there is no discernible lag.
However the camera and some apps seem a little slow to load and we would have liked to have seen a faster processor here.
5 megapixel camera
It's the same 5 megapixel camera found on all Samsung's mid range units with LED flash and auto focus together with plenty of functional controls if you want to use them.
There is also an almost endless list of camera apps for android on Google Play market too, many of which are free.
Photos are first class, colours look very true to life and detail is extremely sharp. Samsung Galaxy mobiles probably offer the best cameras of all the manufacturers in the 5 megapixel range.
Connectivity is comprehensive enough with stereo Bluetooth, GPS for use with satellite navigation applications and geotagging, and of course Wi-Fi is present and correct.
Also included is a MicroSD card slot, USB socket and 3.5mm headphone socket so you can use your favourite headphones.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is a decent attractive smartphone and is reasonably priced especially when considered alongside the iPhone, but the screen does let it down a little as does the processor which makes the phone feel slightly underpowered.
Perhaps that is a little unfair, it is a mid range smartphone and overall does represent good value for money in this sector. Most people will be perfectly happy with it but if you want top performance and a better screen from your smartphone then you will have to dig a little deeper