When the phone was first announced , there was loud chatter about this feature being included, with the caveat that it might be region-specific. Alas, that is indeed the case. We've asked Samsung for clarification on which territories will get the advertised NFC, but for now it's worth checking your local Samsung site just in case.
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Overall, the takeaway here is that while you might be getting a slightly rougher deal in terms of specs, what Samsung let you do with the phone hasn't really changed. NFC notwithstanding, of course. Not bad, really, especially if you look at this from the increasingly obvious angle of it being more of a budget device, one that's inspired by the Galaxy S III, more than anything. Okay, we know some of you still wanted an exact scale replica of the GS III, but your cause was, regrettably, lost some paragraphs ago.
If you skipped straight to the "What's Different" section above, perhaps you came here next? Specs are one thing, but does it perform well?
The answer, is yes. And also, no. When you use the original Galaxy S III alongside this one, you can spot the difference straight away. The Exynos processor in our comparison model won't bat an eyelid at anything you throw at it. The dual-core 1GHz NovaThor, however, lets you know it's there from time to time with its slightly slower response.
While not terrible, exactly, we'd frequently press the home button and there'd be a noticeable pause before we were returned to the home screen. Occasionally, too, when you press the standby button to wake the phone up, it'd present the home screen for a second, before the lock screen would suddenly appear on top of it, like it was only just kicking into action after the fact. In general use it's actually fairly smooth, though still more sluggish than its big brother. Comparisons aside, and fully on its own merit, the Galaxy S III mini performs well enough that using it as our daily driver for a week presented no problems at all.
This included the usual round of casual gaming, plenty of laps on the slightly more graphically intensive Asphalt 7 , video viewing, photo snapping and app usage we sure do love to check our email. If you are coming over from a lower-specification phone to this, then it's a pleasure to use, and will serve you well as a daily driver.
If you just want to compare it to the clearly higher-specced sibling, then sure, it's never going to fare as well. On the other hand, compare it with other mid-range phones -- for this is what it really is -- and it starts to stand out from the crowd a little bit more.
Similar specification, and Samsung's mini feels much more responsive side by side. Likewise, Sony's Xperia U , which also runs on the same NovaThor chip, also feels like a more direct competitor when you get down to the reality of it. Against these phones, the Galaxy S III mini starts to make a bit more sense again in terms of where it fits in the market. For those that want the pure numerical performance breakdown, however, your benchmarks are below. There is one area where the Galaxy S III mini does stand shoulder to shoulder with big bro, and that's battery life.
When we reviewed the flagship back in May, we were surprised to find it lasted between 8. We performed the same rundown test video looping, brightness fixed at 50 percent, WiFi on but not connected , and we got almost exactly the same results, a smidgen over nine hours , to be precise. This is rather good, we have to admit, especially as the cell is some mAh lighter than the OG's 2,mAh battery. Perhaps Samsung was so precise in its calculations when scaling down the screen that it was able to keep this excellent running time.
Or maybe it's just good old-fashioned coincidence. Either way, we like it. We like it a lot. In general, the battery performs well, and that's even when we're not intentionally trying to drain the life out of the cell. We got through two days of steady use occasional calls, messages, gaming, photos, etc. If you've hung in there with this phone so far, then you'll be pleased to know that it handles those old-school telephone calls pretty well too, with clear audio that remained constant regardless of where we happened to find ourselves extremely poor signal areas notwithstanding.
Oh, Samsung, what did you do? We think we know what you thought you were doing.
A cheaper phone for those who want a little bit of the Galaxy S III experience, for less money, in a more manageable form. We get that, and what's not to like about that idea? Sure, some people will have taken things a little more literally and expected a flagship device -- in a smaller package -- but that's just not what this is.
What you do have, however, is a decent mid-range phone with top end looks.
So, for those in search of such a thing, the Galaxy S III mini will be just the ticket, and we're in no doubt that's potentially a lot of people. There was a chance, however, that if done differently, this could have taken the Galaxy S III "brand," in a whole new direction.
If this had come with specs similar to its bigger brother, it could have truly been something to behold. Some, will understandably be disappointed that this isn't so. Sad, instead, that what Samsung did was try and stretch the phone's identity to mop up some of the more budget-conscious market along with those eager for a little bit of the top dog.
For these people, that decision will have proved a stretch too far, with the phone's "credibility elastic" snapping under the tension. What we're left with, then, is a perfectly good mid-range phone that might never truly get the consideration it deserves -- after all, compared to much of the actual competition thesimilarly specced and priced Desire X, Sony Xperia U, etc.
In the end, Samsung has taken a gamble with arguably the largest of all its brands, the Galaxy S, and it's not entirely clear whether it will pay off. Buyer's Guide. Log in. Sign up. Show More Results. Latest Reviews. See all articles. Galaxy S3 mini. Share Share Tweet Pin It.
Availability at branches. Zoom in Up key Down Left Right. Galaxy S3 mini is rated 4. Take hold of minimal, organic and comfortable design Experience great viewing on a 4. Add-on product. Where to Buy.
Get stock alerts. Please double check your email address. Its human-centric nature provides an ergonomic and comfortable experience with enhanced usability. Its comfortable grip and gentle curves deliver a natural feel and design. S Beam Sharing your content with friends nearby should be easy,quick, and even fun.
S Beam lets you bond instantly so you can transfer documents, contacts, pictures, music, videos, Just put the backs of your phones together, connect, share and enjoy. Its beautiful 4. Pop up play Pop up play allows you to send text messages while watching a video. It is compact but it still lets you do things simultaneously. Please do not miss any of the action. When you are messaging someone and decide to call instead, simply lift your phone to your ear and Direct call will dial their number for you.
No more fumbling through call logs or contacts.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Shirley from New phone is just what I wanted This phone is an updated version of my previous phone. Customers also shopped for. The dual-core 1GHz NovaThor, however, lets you know it's there from time to time with its slightly slower response. There are so many things I have not learned to do yet I suspect but I find it fun and am proud to carry it wherever I go. It recognises when you're looking at the screen and stays bright, so you can continue without interruption. So for it's class you'll give it a 8.
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Talk time: up to 7. Weighs Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Check for stock in your nearest store? See when you can collect this device from your nearest store. Please enter your postcode instead.
Town or postcode Find. At the end of the checkout process, you can book an O2 Guru to help you set up your phone. Stores nearest to. Refresh plan. Already with O2? Choose an iPhone. O2 Recycle Top picks Rep example. Small compact design, with powerful features Clear and colourful viewing on the 4 inch display Smooth graphics and a long lasting battery Clever features that respond to your actions and commands See features Get power in your pocket Stylish and compact, the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini has got all the best bits of the S III, but in a smaller body - the same design and features of the S III but with a 4 inch screen.
Tech spec. Overall Specification Talk Time Up to 7. Why O2? Best network for coverage Stay connected with our award winning network. Priority Get invite-only tickets, perks and experiences. O2 Recycle.