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Samsung Galaxy S3 mini expert review

What is the new Samsung Galaxy S3 mini like? Find out, as Agent Denis Hall puts this pint size, yet powerful, smartphone through its paces in our Galaxy S3 mini expert review.

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini expert review

The S3 Mini is Samsung’s budget version of their flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, and it features a smaller screen and reduced specification. Samsung have managed to bring the price down without sacrificing performance too much, thanks to the powerful Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software.

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini pros

  • Latest & greatest version of Android
  • Smaller screen is easier to use with one hand
  • Phone is quick and responsive in use

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini cons

  • Screen resolution is low compared to rivals
  • Some parts feel a little cheap
  • Processor may start to struggle with very graphically-intensive programs.

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini design

The S3 Mini looks just like a smaller version of its bigger brother, the S3. The screen size has been reduced from 4.8” to 4” making the handset much easier to handle if you like to use your phone with one hand. The resolution of the screen is just 480x800 pixels, so it is not the crispest display around, but the colours are bright and vibrant and it is good enough for watching YouTube videos or web browsing.

The mini is significantly lighter than the full size S3 (111.5g compared to 133g) but slightly thicker when compared to the super thin flagship phone. The front of the phone is glass with a plastic aluminium effect band round the outside. The back of the handset is white plastic and feels flimsy when you pull the back off to put the SIM and SD card in. However, when the back is clicked into place, the phone does feel quite sturdy and the rounded edges make it very comfortable to hold.

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini hardware

The processor in the S3 mini is a 1GHz dual core chip, nowhere near as powerful as the chip powering the S3. However, the lower resolution screen does not take as much processing power to run so the phone should still run smoothly. The lower processing power will also be less of a drain on the battery, which should help extend the S3 Mini’s battery life.

The camera is a 5 Megapixel unit capable of 720p video and the pictures it produces are reasonably good. The camera is a little slow to respond though and it takes about half a second to save an image. This doesn’t sound like long but when you want to take a few pictures in a row, it is sluggish. Compared to the lightning fast S3 (with its 8 Megapixel camera) this is a little bit of a disappointment.

The phone comes in 8GB or 16 GB versions

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