Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review
Not a bad budget phone, but performance is mediocre and the screen isn't brilliant either
UPDATE: We’ve re-run our benchmarks after the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini received an over-the-air update. Scroll to the end of the review to read more.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is the Korean manufacturer's attempt to cash in on the popularity of its flagship handset. It inherits the looks and features of the Galaxy S3, but shrinks down the screen size to 4in.
Samsung is about to launch its latest flagship phone - click the link to read about the likely Samsung Galaxy S4 specs.
The Galaxy S3 Mini shares the off-white colour, chrome border and gently curved shape of its big brother, and there are familiar touches elsewhere: the home button below the screen, the Samsung logo above the panel, and the power button on the right-hand edge all look the same. The removable rear cover is still a flimsy piece of plastic, but there’s little give in the Mini’s 9.9mm-thick chassis.
The screen’s 480 x 800 resolution can’t match the glorious 720 x 1,280 of the full-fat Galaxy S3, however. Indeed, it shares its resolution with the mid-range Nokia Lumia 620, and we didn’t have to look too closely to see individual pixels, with text and images lacking the sharpness of high-end handsets.
The technology behind the S3 Mini’s display is AMOLED, the same as the Galaxy S3, but it can’t match its sibling for quality. When we measured its brightness, it returned a result of 182cd/m2 – the Galaxy S3’s display hits 240cd/m2 – and we didn’t like the blue cast it gives to light colours, either. Neither can it match the Lumia 620, which has a superb top brightness of 543cd/m2 and more natural-looking colours.
Inside, the Mini is powered by a NovaThor U8420 processor, which we haven’t seen in a smartphone before. It’s a dual-core, 1GHz part, just like the Lumia’s Snapdragon S4, but the S3 Mini’s SunSpider score of 1,888ms lags behind the Lumia 620’s 1,449ms result, and its Quadrant score of 3,245 isn’t anything to write home about, either.
|Price ex VAT||Free on a £15/mth, 24mth contract|
|Price inc VAT||£258|
|Cheapest price on contract||Free|
|Contract monthly charge||£15.00|
|Contract period||24 months|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||4|
|Dimensions||121 x 63 x 9.9mm (WDH)|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Resolution||480 x 800|
Other wireless standards