Samsung Galaxy S3 mini now being sold in US

Samsung had previously unveiled a scaled down version of its much popular Android flagship smartphone for 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S III. The new offering was called as Samsung Galaxy S III mini, and a month back, the device gave FCC a visit.

We weren’t sure if this device would come to US as it wasn’t target towards the US market, however, the device is now being sold in US, but not via any carrier, so expect no carrier concessions. Amazon has started selling the device in question without making much noise, but then the device isn’t really worth the noise as it doesn’t live up to the name of the parent device. Samsung Galaxy S III mini can be bought from Amazon for $409.95. Yes, the price is a bit steep given the device, however, it’s an unlocked version and you don’t have to sign up a contract, and the benefit of paying higher upfront cost is that you won’t be locked into a lengthy carrier contract.

The device will work fine on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. The device looks very similar to Samsung Galaxy S3, but Galaxy S3 as we know is a premium option and is considered the best Android device to be ever built, but we cannot say the same about this scaled version. Taking a look at the specs, it’s a pure mid range device, but then it’s priced $409.95 for the unlocked version, so you get what you pay for. Unlike the S III which sports a quad-core processor in the global S3 variety and the 1.5GHz dual-core in the LTE model in the U.S., the S3 Mini makes use of a less powerful 1GHz dual-core processor. Every part is scaled down, and the same holds good in the imaging department as well. The 8 megapixel rear facing camera that the Galaxy S3 is equipped with is replaced with a 5 megapixel camera in the Mini. The device still retains the LED flash, however the front-facing camera has been scaled down from 1.9 megapixel to VGA.

The mini can communicate over HSPA bands 14.4/5.76 900/1900/2100 and EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 band, but there is no 4G LTE support, so if 4G is what you desire, this is a no go. Other hardware features include Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and 8GB or 16GB versions with microSD cart slot with expansion capability up to 32GB. The device is equipped with 1,500mAh battery as opposed to the 2,100mAh battery on the S3.

Samsung is always into launching scaled down version of its flagship devices, and in this business model, they are able to cash in on the success of the higher priced flagship models, and it definitely makes sense because not all require the high end internals that the parent device has to offer. Samsung Galaxy S III mini is priced at a little over $400, and if I was out to buy a smartphone with that much money in hand, I would go for Nexus 4 eyes closed. What are your thoughts on this?

Source: Amazon