Like Apple, Samsung thought it wise to have its own Mini but not a smaller tablet. Instead, the South Korean decided to serve a downsized version of its bestselling handset so far, the Galaxy S3, which recently outpaced the iPhone as the most sought-after smartphone brand in the world.
Enter the Galaxy S3 Mini, which obviously is an attempt to extend the reach of the high-end Galaxy class, this time though Samsung is bending a bit over for more consumers the world over to have a taste of what the Galaxy flavour is all about.
"The Galaxy S3 Mini has been designed by Samsung to have the style, the experience and the performance of the (regular) Galaxy S3 in a much smaller package ... The speed and the performance of the S3 Mini is on par with its big brother," UK-based tech blog site 3G said on its initial impression of the handset.
The specs that came with the phone is generous enough, 3G added, with its 4-inch screen matched with Samsung's WVGA Super AMOLED display technology that delivers picture and video rendering in decent 800 x 480 screen resolution.
Powering the S3 Mini is a dual-core 1GHz processor that works with a 1GB RAM and everything that the phone is able to accomplish is controlled by Android 4.1 JellyBean.
Samsung is clear enough that the S3 Mini is a mid-level Galaxy but its 5MP camera sensor exceeds what normally is expected from the class, 3G observed, thus giving users the ability to produce quality still and moving images, which can be stored on phone's internal memory of either 8GB or 16GB.
This latest Galaxy member also connects in almost every possible way - via Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, NFC and even 4G-LTE - leaving the impression that would-be buyers wouldn't be missing the bigger S3 that much as Samsung did not peel away too many of the power features that convinced consumers to give up their cash for the unit.
Admittedly though, the sex-appeal has been tamed a bit "for the idea of cutting down the smartphone experience to make the cost a little bit more palatable," which for TechRadar is not really a big issue.
But when pricing consideration comes into play, the downgrades represented in the S3 Mini "is still too expensive to be considered an ideal choice," the tech blog site added.
TechRadar is convinced that the S3 Mini is not necessarily a compromise gadget just so Samsung can deliver the Galaxy lines to more consumers.
"While other mini versions of handsets have come in and promised to cut down the experience for the benefit of the pocket, this is one of the first times we've seen a shell actually minimised almost to scale," said the TechRadar review.
In fact, Samsung has successfully produced "a decent-size phone that sits happily in the hand and is much easier to operate than the Galaxy S3 proper," the review added.
What consumers will have in the S3 Mini is certifiably a full-range smartphone that only lacks the glam attributed to the more expensive regular-sized S3, added a separate review from UK tech blog Hardware.
"The (S3 Mini's) hardware may not be the latest and the greatest, but it's powerful enough to ensure a smooth user experience," Hardware wrote.
However, one thing is bothersome, the same review said, which is the premium price that came with the Mini - an observation seemingly shared by all the reviews about the smaller S3.
If for this reason alone, Samsung would find it hard to sell the S3 Mini considering that more attractive alternatives are out there. Stuff.tv pointed to Google's Nexus 4 and Apple's iPhone 4S as likely rivals.
Both handsets offer almost the same price levels with the Samsung phone and even if they go a bit higher, consumers will naturally gravitate to the heft, power and the same prestige found on the Apple and Google (LG actually) devices, Stuff.tv said.
Yet setting that aside, "the S3 Mini ... that runs fast enough to keep up with all but the most taxing tasks ... is a worthy smaller sibling to its elder S3 brother," said the review.
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