Samsung Galaxy S III mini Review

Call quality and Battery:

The Galaxy S III has a very good earpiece that delivers loud and clear sounds with ease. Well, the microphone of the handset on the other end of the line should also be of decent quality, but when it comes to the earpiece itself – it can do a great job. The mic of the S III mini is not as brilliant, as our voice didn't sound as well to our callers, but it's still more than decent.

The battery that supplies power to the Galaxy S III mini is a 1500 mAh one, but unfortunately, official talk-time and stand-by times have not been disclosed. Nonetheless, after we used the handset for a while, we came to the conclusion that it can easily go through two normal days of use, as long as you don't push it too hard. If you happen to be a heavy type of user, you can expect up to one day of battery life out of it.

Conclusion:

The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a lovely mainstream smartphone. All of a sudden, the Galaxy S III's “nature-inspired” design looks and feels right in your hand. The device is easy to hold and operate, while its 4-inch screen is big enough to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for smartphone users.

We won't really recommend this one if you're a diehard geek who wants the biggest and baddest device possible, but we can certainly recommend it to pretty much everybody else. It's a well-balanced performer with absolutely no major drawbacks.

With Samsung being dangerously close to conquering the high-end of the Android landscape, it looks like the South Koreans are now willing to take over the mid-range as well. With strong performers like the Galaxy S III mini, it looks like they will.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 4.1.1, Build JRO03H

Samsung Galaxy S III mini Video Review:


Pros

  • Elegant and compact design
  • Comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Cons

  • Video recording is so-so
  • The physical buttons could be better

PhoneArena Rating:

8.9

User Rating:

8.4
16 Reviews

FEATURED VIDEO

80 Comments

80. Reese22

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

"Thanks to some minor changes like moving the Home button a bit higher on the S III mini, Samsung has managed to achieve a more pleasing look. Overall, the handset is pretty good-looking, with its white version being perfect for women." Just posing a question, why is the white version better for women?

78. Charlie_boy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

The phones with specs that come close to this would be HTC's One VX and One SV.. The mid-range Samsung S III gets an 8.9 while the (supposedly) entry-level HTC One VX gets only 7.5 Why is that?

79. Charlie_boy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

Edit: The mid-range Samsung S III "Mini" gets an 8.9

75. heliorodrigues

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

well i need to say the xperia T and P are better then this phone... and believe me i am not sony fan. I found quiet strange how the only disadvantage's from this phone are the Video recording is so-so and the physical buttons could be better, because i found more... this phone is away worst them the original SIII

72. Varyar

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 22, 2012

Usually PA points at top of the screen and says what are the sensors available, what not... Whather it has scratch resistant/gorilla glass or not... etc etc... Why was it ignored? Why did PA not mention that it does not have ambient light sensor? PA, this is not good. You are skipping many bad things and just boosting the positives.

69. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III mini should of keep the high end specs of the bigger model instead of dumbing it down to crap! Just reminds me of the Apple debacle of the iPad mini! Shame on you Samsung!

68. tha.fox

Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

Please tell me how this phone got a 8.9 out of 10 and the RAZR HD got a 8.5? Ive played with every one of these phones and I garuntee the HD is the best out ATM

63. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

The rating burned my eyes and gave me cancer. *sigh*

59. shac78

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

cmon! better than xperia p!? i dont think so! why are you seem to hate sony so much!?

55. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

all people ranting here about how this phone got an 8.9 seem to be pissed off by d fact dat xperia T got a lower score d thing is dat dis is a better mid range device offering more value fr money compare dis a INR 20k device wid jellybean on launch vs a 30K+device with ics

56. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Also it wud be nice if sum1 helped me in choosing b/w this n d s adv. S3M ovr SGSA: -jelly bean out of box -btr design(especially d audio jack) -more s/w features like smart stay n all -nfc in all models(I9070P is hard to come by where i live) SGSA ovr S3M: -ambient light sensor -adobe flash -cheaper(n most probably price will drop aftr this is launched here) Anyone?

57. No_Nonsense unregistered

Adobe flash is being slowly phased out. JB is coming to SGSA this year. NFC is optional in SGSA, smart stay and few others are just gimmicks, not much of practical usage. Better design is subjective. SGS3M is nothing but SGSA, the name makes it a lion but in reality it's nothing but a lamb. On the other hand, SGSA is terrible. Too many problems, one of my friends has it and every week he comes with a new problem.

70. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

why do i get a thumbs down(actually 2) on a simple ques.?

71. nyuvo

Posts: 72; Member since: May 10, 2012

Because of your bad/unreadable spelling I'm guessing. English is my first language and I can barely comprehend what "b/w this n d s adv" means. On another note - I would suggest you get this phone because it has the Galaxy s3 branding on it you are likely to get updates in the future. Also have you considered Motorola RAZR M? It has much better hardware and has been promised Jelly bean by the end of the year. Also it should get good support in the future as Google now owns Motorola.

73. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

okay-thats a single instance only, forced by lack of time-even my other comments on this post are in a better english and razr m is out of contention due to the high price btw(hope you understand this atleast) i am most probably getting an s advance as soon as i get hold of the nfc version P.S.- an american thing called facebook is the sole source of my 'bad/unreadable english' :p

62. jellmoo

Posts: 2714; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Dear lord... I'm sorry but this is driving me crazy. If anyone else is having trouble reading this, I put together a rough translation. I am assuming the following: d = the dat = that dis = this fr = for wid = with Most of that time I don't stress about spelling and grammar mistakes on the internet, but to actually put forth an effort to intentionally misspell words? Why???

66. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

i found d and dat, which were used to save time. where exactly did u find 'dis',' fr', and 'wid'? btw other translations specially for u wud-would sum1-someone ovr-over btr-better s/w-software all these were also put for the same reason And thank u for provided help, No_Nonsense i also had the same opinion about "S-features" specially as v4.1 brings better Google Voice Flash i prefer-even if it's being phased out and what about nfc, if i buy s adv here i dont get that but since its present in all sg3m's shouldn't that be better?

52. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I think this was a very fair review. 4 inches is a nice sweet spot and it doesn't come with a crappy low quality display like so many have before. Its performance is excellent thanks to its out of the box JB project butter experience. Decent phone quality, decent battery life, decent ppi, overall its a great phone you wouldn't expect from a mid ranged device.

51. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I reached the conclusion that Phonearena should descontinue the use of grades on their reviews. People don't comment about the review itself anymore but decimals in the grade.

49. Marcus_h

Posts: 44; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

I don't get it - this has a lower grade screen and camera than the HTC One S and the Xperia P, and apart from Jelly Bean, why does it get a better score than those other two? As the other two are a little older, they are cheap - Xperia P can be had for £10 p/m in the UK

39. Izzy_V

Posts: 216; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

I bet as soon as PA found out it had "Samsung Galaxy S3" in the name it was an automatic +8 for this phone. After all they ruined a lot of reviews during the time the S3 was being released. Anything non-Samsung couldn't even get close to an 8, aside from the N7.

30. loli5

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

4" screen?! apple will not stand for it, that is EXACTLY like the iphone! ......... ...... ....DERP!

25. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

I think I will not read any article by Ray S again. He is so biased. Sammy reigns supreme!!!

20. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

8.9 is kind of high but its reasonable since this has jellybean and a removable battery over the new Xperia lineup

24. vignesh_viggs

Posts: 34; Member since: Jun 15, 2012

Ho..i Heard iphone has new feature of non-removable battery...& get 9 star in P.A

19. Dro

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

If this gets an 8.9 then the Razr m & i should both get 10. Seriously!

54. nyuvo

Posts: 72; Member since: May 10, 2012

My thoughts exactly. Razr m has so many important things going for it: -its smaller in every dimension and has a larger screen with many more pixels -Has an s4 processor which is only beaten by a few devices -Crazy battery life (see gsmarena battery tests) -Higher quality build with aluminium, glass and kevlar. Only negative to this phone is that: -Android 4.0 (update will come to the phone before the end of 2013) -No s-voice/google now feature until 4.1 update -non removable battery So how does razr m get a 8.5 and get beaten by this poor performing gs3 mini. I really think that the razr m should have beaten this - perhaps when its gets the 4.1 update phonearena will do another review

18. PhansMuneeb

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Woo woo woo...see what i got on gsmarena. SGS Advance has STE U8500 Chipset While SGSIII Mini has NovaThor U8420 Chipset.

16. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

This is totally biased. Xperia T is a great phone overall & it got 8 out of 10. This is almost the same as S advance and it got 8.9 Htc one S was launched at the beginning of the year & yet for a mid end phone it is still a much better phone than s3 mini

15. slaggyb

Posts: 218; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I have read the whole review and still wondering why 8.9 is awarded to this phone? Mediocre processor. The galaxy s ii is still 10times better with or without jelly bean. who's still making phones with wvga resolution when 1280x720 is becoming standard. Just cos is branded as galaxy s iii mini doesn't make it special in anyway.. This site is gradually transforming from iphonearena to samsungarena smh!.
Galaxy S III mini
  • Display 4.0 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware STE U8420, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

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