Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S III Mini, but is it simply a smaller version of the Galaxy S III?

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini vs Galaxy S III

The Galaxy S III has been one of the biggest smartphones of the year so far but many criticised the size of it. In theory, the Galaxy S III 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 S III Mini yet so the aim of this article is to explain the difference between the handsets, focusing mainly on specifications.

Price

The Galaxy S III Mini is a cheaper alternative to the flagship S III  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.

Dimensions

We're not awarding prizes for guessing that the Galaxy S III Mini is smaller in size compared to the S III. It measures in at 63mm x 122mm compared to 71mm x 137mm. However, it's not as svelte as the S III's 8.6mm, but is a still respectable 9.6mm.

It's not surprising that the size difference means the S III Mini is lighter than the S III. It weighs 112g instead of 133g.

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini thickness

Screen

As we've mentioned the Galaxy S III Mini has a smaller screen than the S III. 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 S III's 4.8in whopper.

Both displays use Super AMOLED technology which Samsung often opts for. The big difference is the resolutions used. The Galaxy S III Mini uses 480 x 800 while the S III 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.

Processor

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

It's clear the Mini is less powerful than the S III 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 S III Mini smartphone

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 S III 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 S IIIs offer expansion via a microSD card slot but the S III Mini can only accept a card with half as much storage as the S III – 32GB instead of 64GB.

Cameras

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

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

Samsung Galaxy S III

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 S III comes in a 4G version but the Mini is restricted to 3G.

Software

Like the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy S III Mini comes pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S III 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.

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 S III Mini has a lower capacity 5.6Wh (1500mAh) pack. Stay tuned for our Galaxy S III Mini review for our battery life test results.

OUR VERDICT

Our first impressions are that the Galaxy S III Mini will be a boon to those who find the Galaxy S III 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.