Samsung Galaxy S III Mini: misnamed or misunderstood?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: October 13, 2012


This past Wednesday, Samsung announced that they were to release a device called the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. Presumably this meant that the phones would be exactly the same except, of course, for the size. My first thoughts on the device were yes, yes, and yes! I love just about everything about the Galaxy S III, save for the large size, and a mini version is just the solution I was looking for. However, on Thursday, Samsung introduced a completely different device that had me thinking no, no, a thousand times, no.

The Samsung Galaxy S III Mini may carry the same design as its predecessor, but it’s far from having the same internal specs. The Mini will have a 4-inch display, possibly to have a product that will compare in size to Apple’s iPhone 5. The screen resolution of the device will be 800 x 480 pixels, which is quite a dip from the original Galaxy S III’s 1280 x 720 pixel display. The screen display is just a first in many disappointments to follow about Samsung’s new flagship device.

Cameras are a very important function to many when it comes to smartphones, myself included. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini’s camera will not be one of its finer selling points as it only has a 5 megapixel camera on the back, and a VGA camera on the front. Comparing that to the Samsung Galaxy S III’s 8 megapixel camera on the back and 1.9 on the front, the message is already becoming clear that these two devices share nothing more than the same name.

If things weren’t already abysmal enough, let’s take a look at the processors. The Samsung Galaxy S III (U.S. version) runs fast and smooth with a  1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Coming up in the rear is the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, running so-so with a 1GHz dual-core chipset from an unannounced manufacturer. I feel like I’m comparing apples and bananas (or Samsungs) at this point.

Despite the lack of support from within the phone, the device will still run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and also have Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, just like the Samsung Galaxy S III.

All that being said, my reaction about the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini went from “Wow!” to “How could they do this to us?” The device is slower, has less battery life, a lesser display, and did I forget to mention it has absolutely, positively no 4G capabilities? That’s right. If you’re looking for a good solid 4G device you’re going to have to look elsewhere, because you’re not going to find it with this device.

My verdict on this device is that it was both misunderstood and misnamed. Consumers such as myself misunderstood that the device is nothing more than a shell of the Galaxy S III. I feel like Samsung took a good idea and threw it on the ground. Basically they designed a completely different device, made for a completely different crowd of smartphone users, and threw the Galaxy S III name on it so it could reel in some sales. They know that the Samsung Galaxy S III is one of the most talked about names in the phone industry right now, and they release this sucker into the wild just before the holidays. Uninformed smartphone shoppers everywhere will want the smaller, more convenient version of such a wonderful device.

All I can say is I really hope Samsung is fair about one thing, and the price of the device will reflect the less-than-desired specs of the phone.