Nokia Lumia 720 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini: Android Budget Phone Meets its Match in a Solid-Built Windows Device

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By Erik Pineda | February 26, 2013 12:42 PM EST

Samsung marketed the Galaxy S3 Mini as the scaled-down but not necessarily the cheaper version of the bigger Galaxy S3 though experts thought otherwise. The Mini was generally devoid of quality and not exactly affordable.

The same cannot be said of the new Nokia Lumia 720, which BGR News described as having "high-quality builds and ... designed stylishly," plus the prospect of getting it cheap.

Pitting the two handsets, we should be able to appreciate which delivers the best value for every dollar.

Hardware battle

The 720 weighs in at 128 grams, a bit heavier than the S3 Mini's 112 grams but the added heft assured users of a solid built that for a budget phone is a complete surprise.

Nokia made sure that the Lumia signature remains imprinted with the less pricey 720. For not paying that much, buyers will get to hold the 720's "smooth contours and the same compact unibody design that made the flagship Lumia 920 such a solid device," BGR said.

Like its better version, the S3, the Mini body is mostly made of plastic, a Samsung mainstay even on high-end handsets and an approach that has been routinely pummelled by experts.

The S3 Mini looks fragile while the Lumia 720 is almost a brick but sleek at the same time. Should a fall occurs, we know better which handset enjoys a higher survival rate.

Inside the guts, the two device pretty much level up. Both flex dual-core processors that hum away to top speed of 1GHz with sufficient 1GB of RAM provisions.

The screen sizes are also nearly identical with the 720 enjoying bit of an edge at 4.3-inch to the S3 Mini's 4.0-inch. Resolution is shared at 480 x 800 pixels.

On the cam department, Nokia ported a 6.7MP rear shooter on the Lumia 720, which again is a bit superior when compared to the S3 Mini's 5MP snapper. If the former flashes some specks of Nokia's PureView technology, hands down it will smother the Samsung cam rendition.

Platform contest

Windows, which is the backbone for Nokia's apps muscle, remains a laggard against the vaunted Google Play of Android.

Owners of the 720 will have to maximise whatever they can get from the still stabilising collection of Windows-based apps while so much is available for S3 Mini users - amusement, productivity, tools, you name it and Android developers are able to fully comply.

This is one concern that is a sore point for Nokia and only time (or Microsoft) can tell how soon it will be addressed.

Pricing

Nokia is selling the Lumia 720 in five colour variants - red, white, cyan, black and yellow - for $US329 flat, meaning no taxes or subsidies are yet factored in. The likelihood is telcos would pick up the mid-range handset for distribution, creating the prospect of consumers getting it for as low as $100 or even free.

The Galaxy S3 Mini debuted in late 2013 but its last published price remains hovering between $300 and $400, at least in select countries in Asia-Pacific region.

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