Galaxy S III Mini Debuts
October 12, 2012

Samsung Gets Mini Before Apple Can

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

President of Samsung Mobile JK Shin got more than a little coy on Wednesday when he just so happened to mention the European market and their possible proclivity for a 4-inch device. Then, a day later, his company made it official, proving all the rumors true and unveiling the Galaxy S III Mini.

Samsung is already bitter rivals with Apple on the smartphone front; The iPhone and Samsung´s largest S III are noble contenders. This move, while maybe not a direct offensive, smells an awful lot like encroachment at the very least. So far, it´s rumored that the Galaxy S III Mini will be an entry option for prepaid markets in Europe and developing countries, giving these users a choice of which Samsung they prefer. As there are still many details missing about the phone, it´s far too early to tell where this device will fit in the smartphone Cast of Heroes, or if it even belongs there at all.

First, the details we do have: A Samsung spokesperson told Engadget they had wanted to keep with the larger S III´s design motif of “designed by nature,” which means the pebble shape remains in the Mini. In fact, there are several similarities between the proper S III and the shrunken one. Bluetooth 4.0 is there, as is Android 4.1 and NFC. Along with NFC comes the line of S-Services, such as S-Beam and S-Voice, Samsung´s data transferring and Siri-alike features, respectively. The Mini will also keep its screen lit when it´s being looked at, another borrow from the larger S III, as well as stream content to compatible TVs.

Yet, for all these similarities, it´s the differences which could really set the phone apart from its predecessor.

For instance, the S III Mini is running much of the same software. S III users are finally starting to have Android 4.1 shipped to their devices, after all. Yet all the features brought to the 4.8-inch table of the S III by the software are being asked to run on some significantly down-spec´d hardware.

Instead of the Exynos quad-core processor seen in the Global S III, (Or the 1.5 GHz dual cored for the States) the Mini version will run a 1GHz dual-core processor behind a 4-inch WVGA AMOLED screen. The Mini is still capable of storing a max of 32 GB of storage as well.

What Samsung didn´t mention about the Galaxy S III Mini is when they´d be releasing it, where they´d be releasing it to, and how much one of these little pebbles would cost. The radios built into the Mini (HSPA bands 14.4/5.76 900/1900/2100 and EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 bands) suggest the phone is not yet headed to America, however, according to CNET.

The timing of Thursday´s event seems a little curious. Apple had been expected to send out press invites to a supposed event for their own new “Mini.”

Wednesday came and went without any word, of course, but Samsung was still able to hold their event in Frankfurt the next day. The 4-inch Mini has been floating around rumor sites for quite a while, but the decision to announce the thing without details such as availability and pricing almost makes the Samsung event feel rushed in a way.

Only those present at the Frankfurt event got an opportunity to hold the device and give it a trial, so it´s left to be seen how and where this phone fits between the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5.