After the global success of Samsung Galaxy line, it’s no wonder that Samsung started using this brand for other phones, which are not counted among the best of the Android devices. Still, this is the first time that Samsung explicitly linked its strongest model (Galaxy SIII) with an average one (Galaxy SIII Mini), so the question remains whether it’s justified, or if SIII Mini is really that good.
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Judging by their looks, these two devices are practically the same, although SIII is noticeably smaller. The same design with curved edges paired with smaller dimensions of the device led to SIII mini looking really nice and has a nice fit while being held. The only surprise was the fact that it was noticeably thicker than its big brother. On the left side it has a power button, and on the right side a volume control button. Home key is located below the screen and is surrounded by sensor keys for Settings and Back. Their backlight isn’t the traditional white color, rather it’s blue, as is the base color of the device, and whether that will appeal to somebody or not, is a matter of taste. Located on the lower edge are Micro USB slot and the only microphone, and located on the upper edge is an audio jack. On the back lid is a smaller camera than that of the Galaxy SIII. Flash shutter’s look has been changed and it also switched places with the speaker. Under the back lid is a battery and slots for Micro SD and SIM cards, which is a great thing considering how there’s an abundance of cell phones that don’t have the  option for extra memory storage. Quality of production is on an excellent level, which was to be expected, and it can even be said that it’s better in some regards than in Galaxy SIII. It has the standard associated equipment that Galaxy SIII has – USB cable, charger, excellent headphones with differently-sized rubber adapters.

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Below the surface

Mini’s screen is far smaller than Galaxy SIII’s and has a much lower resolution. Considering that resolution is limited by the phone’s physical size, you can’t do much about it, although it would be a great addition because letter sharpness isn’t as good as is on the more expensive models. While most other characteristics have an explanation why it wasn’t implemented, we can’t really grasp why there isn’t an auto-brightness feature. Because of the lower resolution, processor of choice was a dual-core, since with lower performance it has lower power expenditure. It’s a similar case with video card, so in terms of performance, it’s not a “powerhouse”, but it will perform most of the tasks well. In keeping with recognizable tendencies, resolution of the camera is lower than SIII’s, but it’s good enough for basic photographing and filming.

Samsung I8190 Galaxy SIII mini
Processor Dual core 1 GHz NovaThor U8420
GPU Mali-400 MP
Memory 1GB RAM, 1GB ROM, internal 8GB
Battery Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Display 4", 800x480 pix, capacitive Super AMOLED
Interfaces microUSB, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, HSDPA , GPS, GLONASS
Camera Back 5MP with autofocus and LED flash, front 0.3 MP
OS Android OS 4.1
Dimensions 121.6 x 63 x 9.9 mm
Weight 111 g
Price US$ 330


Operating system of choice is Android 4.1 and Samsung programmers should be praised for their effort to optimize the TouchWizz user interface for this device. Occasionally, there will be some slight delay in response time, but compared to what we’re accustomed to in this area, this was handled perfectly. Animation and scrolling are fluid, as are all the functions of the user interface. It’s also a great thing that many advanced functions of Note II and Galaxy SIII devices have been successfully ported to this device, so new users will have many new toys at their disposal. Samsung’s well known software is also present, so video and media players don’t have any issues with multimedia files that you have. It should also be noted that it possesses a browser which is superbly optimized and a weather information widget. Of course, it has a large amount of the usual Google software and if you find it lacking, you can get more with Google Play Store and Samsung Apps. The only thing that’s lacking is S Voice control, but Google Now works well for voice search.

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“Full-blooded” Galaxy SIII is definitely a faster, better and a more expensive phone than the Mini model. On the other hand, Galaxy SIII Mini is a versatile device with solid hardware and an excellent software support. The only real issue is the lack of auto-brightness, which we consider a mandatory feature in new generation smartphones. SIII is made for users who don’t want a large device and who don’t have high demands, but also want a nice-looking, reliable phone with good hardware and excellent software support. We wouldn’t mind if the price was lower, because it’s price is really high, even when bought with a contract with the service company. In case you need something between Galaxy SIII and SIII Mini, Galaxy SII is still on the market.