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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini comparison review

Around £250 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

What's the difference between the Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S3? We take a look in our in-depth comparison review.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini

Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S3 Mini, but is it simply a smaller version of the Galaxy S3? We'll compare the two smartphones in-depth to answer this question.

The Galaxy S3 has been easily one of the biggest smartphones of the year so far but many criticised the size of it. In theory, the Galaxy S3 Mini is perfect for those in that camp but there's more to it than just a smaller screen size.

We haven’t got our hands on the Galaxy S3 Mini yet so the aim of this article is to explain the difference between the handsets, focusing mainly on specifications.

See also: Group test: What's the best smartphone?

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Price

The freshly announced Galaxy S3 Mini is a cheaper alternative to the flagship S3 – we're talking SIM-free prices. Online retailer Clove is quoting £298 for the handset with 'official price and availability to be confirmed', a significant amount less than its bigger brother which sells for around £450.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Dimensions

We're not awarding prizes for guessing that the Galaxy S3 Mini is smaller in size compared to the S3. It measures in at 63 x 122mm compared to 71 x 137mm. However, it's not as svelte as the S3's 8.6mm, at 10.2mm.

It's unsurprising that the size difference means the S3 Mini is lighter than the S3. It weighs 113g instead of 133g.Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini side

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Screen

As we've mentioned the Galaxy S3 Mini has a smaller screen than the S3. At 4in it's debatable whether this is small enough to qualify the handset as 'mini' but nevertheless it fits the bill a darn sight more than the S3's 4.8in whopper.

Both displays use Super AMOLED technology which Samsung often opts for. The big difference is the resolutions used. The Galaxy S3 Mini uses 480 x 800 while the S3 has a more impressive 720 x 1280. This means the pixels are packed more tightly on the latter for a higher level of detail – 306ppi compared to 223ppi.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Processor

A highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is its powerful Exynos 4 Quad 1.4GHz, an own-brand quad-core processor. Whereas the Galaxy S3 Mini has a more modest 1GHz dual-core chip.

It's clear the Mini is less powerful than the S3 but we can't say how much less. We'll be running benchmarks as soon as we can so keep an eye out.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Storage

The Galaxy S III comes in three storage options, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, matching the iPhone 5. There are still three storage options when it comes to the Galaxy S3 Mini but capacities are lower at 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. The larger capacity models of each smartphone are seemingly much harder to come by.

Both of Samsung's Galaxy S3s offer expansion via a microSD card slot but the S3 Mini can only accept a card with half as much storage as the S III – 32GB instead of 64GB.

What's coming after the Galaxy S3: Samsung Galaxy S4 release date, specs and rumours

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Cameras

The cameras have been downgraded from S3 to S3 Mini. The flagship device has an 8Mp rear facing camera with the ability to record video in full HD 1080p quality. However, the Galaxy S3 Mini has a 5Mp equivalent with lower quality 720p video recording.

The Galaxy S3 also has a higher resolution front facing camera at 1.9Mp compared to the Mini's VGA quality lens.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Connectivity

Both smartphones have the same list of connectivity features including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, near-field communications (NFC) and digital living network alliance (DLNA) certification. A key thing to note is that the Samsung Galaxy S3 comes in a 4G version but the Galaxy S3 Mini is restricted to 3G.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Software

Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy S3 Mini comes pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S3 runs on 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but an update to Jelly Bean is currently being roll out across Europe so soon enough they will match each other for software. Both use Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S3 Mini: Battery

Samsung hints at good battery life for its flagship phone with a 7.8Wh (2100mAh) battery. In proportion to the drop in other specifications, the Galaxy S3 Mini has a lower capacity 5.6Wh (1500mAh) pack. Stay tuned for our Galaxy S3 Mini review for our battery life test results.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Expert Verdict »

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini reviews verified by Reevoo

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Scores 8.5 out of 10 based on 2335 reviews
4in (480x800, 233ppi) Super AMOLED multitouch touchscreen
Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
1GHz dual-core processor
8GB internal storage
5Mp rear camera
VGA front camera
microSD slot
dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
3.5mm headphone jack
1,500mAh, 5.6Wh removable lithium-ion battery

Our first impressions are that the Galaxy S3 Mini will be a book to those who find the Galaxy S3 too large and too expensive. However, at 4in in screen size, the Mini isn’t particularly small and there is a significant downgrade in specifications to bear in mind. Look out for our full Galaxy S3 Mini review.

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