Don’t patronize me because I like small phones, Samsung!Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Alright, so you guys probably know by now how much I really don't want to succumb to the ways of large phones. If this is your first time reading one of my articles, let me fill you in: I don't like big phones. Alright! Awesome, we're all caught up now. So far I've been able to successfully stay away from the phablet market, but I've done this at a cost. By doing so I'm giving up a lot of modern features because let's face it: nobody really cares about the small phones right now. It's not 2004 and small phones just aren’t what the hip kids use these days.
However, some companies like our friends at Samsung have tried to recreate powerhouses such as the Galaxy S III in miniature form. As good of an idea as it is, I don't think it was executed correctly. I was initially excited upon hearing the company's plans to release a Galaxy S III Mini, but the specs were less impressive than I would have liked to see from a phone carrying the name Galaxy S III. As expected, the device saw very little limelight after its initial release because most people would just rather suck it up and use a larger device for the better specs. I can't blame them, either.
The overall specs of the Galaxy S III Mini resembled more of a smaller Galaxy S II rather than an S III. The only real similarities between the S III and its Mini was the design of the body. The Galaxy S III had an impressive 720x1280 4.8 in HD display, while the Mini had much less pixel density at 480x800 4 in. display (not HD). For comparative purposes, the Galaxy S III had 306 ppi while the Mini only had 223. The processor was much less powerful with a 1GHz dual-core chip on the Mini when the S III had the Exynos 4 Quad 1.4GHz processor; it's a big jump and probably where Samsung dropped the ball the most with the Mini. I also thought they should have included 4G capabilities in the Mini instead of limiting users to 3G. Naturally the battery life wasn't going to be as good and I can understand the camera quality not being as great either.
I'm not completely irrational, I do realize that some things have to be sacrificed for the sake of downsizing, but if the only thing comparable to a shrunken version of a big name powerhouse is the housing design of the device then don't sell yourself short with the power of the S III name by using specs that could have easily been improved upon.
In our news section today I read Alex's report regarding rumors that suggest there might be a Galaxy S 4 'mini' in the works set to launch shortly after the release of the Galaxy S 4. The reported leaks suggest that the mini version of the Galaxy S 4 would have a 4.3-inch qHD display (960x540) and running on a 1.6GHz dual-core processor. While it is a step up from the Galaxy S III Mini (which would be silly if it wasn't) I still think they're using the 'Galaxy S 4' brand name entirely too loosely here, just like they did with the S III. Since I don't know the full specs or even if the rumors are true I can't delve too much into what I think about the rumored device, but if it turns out to be just another mid-range watered down phone catered to people like me I just have one thing to say to Samsung:
We, the members of the Small Phone Appreciation Society, enjoy nice specs just as much as the next guy. Don't mock us with your watered down specs and covering it up with fancy names like the Galaxy S 4 Mini and the Galaxy S III Mini! If you intend on making a line of decent mid-range smaller handsets then make it separate from your main focus. You're confusing us with your good intentions. This is why we can't have nice things!
In all actuality the specs aren't that bad if they were just offered in other standalone Samsung devices, but I still think they shouldn't be abusing the brand name for what should be a mid-range line of its own. Samsung Galaxy S III Mini or Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini just sounds like a small version of the same device, when it's most certainly not. Who knows, maybe the Galaxy S 4 will have better specs than expected and it will actually deserve the name 'Galaxy S 4 Mini' instead of being a disappointment for us small phone folks.
Readers, what do you think about the rumored Galaxy S 4 Mini? Do you think Samsung should keep it mid-range or should they make it closer in comparison to its big brother? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!
Image via The Inquirer