At $230, the S III Mini is already a pretty great value-for-money handset, so we were baffled to learn that a new “Value Edition” of it may be introduced soon.
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S III Mini Value Edition has the model number GT-I8200 - that’s a slight upgrade from the model number of the original S III Mini (GT-I8190). Unfortunately, there are no images to show the S III Mini Value Edition, and neither details on its features. We checked the FCC and the Bluetooth SIG, finding that the GT-I8200 was approved by both certification bodies last month (December 2013), so it appears to be a brand new device.
There are two variations of the handset listed at the Bluetooth SIG: a GT-I8200N, which is seemingly made for Europe, and a GT-I8200L for South America. The FCC tested only the GT-I8200N, revealing that it comes with dual-band Wi-Fi and 3G (1900 MHz). The sketch of the GT-I8200N seen at the FCC suggests that this new S III Mini looks a lot like the old one, possibly exactly the same. Its specs (display, processor, etc.) could also be similar.
We can only guess that the Galaxy S III Mini Value Edition will be cheaper than the model that’s currently available. But why exactly would Samsung bother to launch it? We don’t know, but perhaps the company will shed some light on this soon.
It's said that Samsung plans to introduce a Galaxy Grand Lite and a Galaxy Note 3 Lite next month, so maybe the S III Mini VE will be unveiled then as well.
sources: SamMobile, FCC, Bluetooth SIG (1), (2)