I was wrong. If you've been following along with the strategy Samsung has been working with over the past year, you've noticed that they've been doing rather well the Samsung Galaxy S III as a single hero smartphone across the globe with no design compromises. They've just thrown that all away with the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. In a move that very well could have expanded the power of the Galaxy S III with a little cousin in the Mini, Samsung instead opted to tear off the skin and the nametag from the larger device and place it on a disappointingly low-level afterthought in this newer handset.
The only redeeming factor present in the Galaxy S III Mini is its inclusion of the newest Android system 4.1 Jelly Bean - and the Google Now system that comes with it. But we all know that the excitement one feels with a new Android system is fleeting - they'll likely have another newer one in just a few weeks. Also included in this iPhone 4-sized pea-shooter is a 4S-inch Super AMOLED display running at WVGA 800 x 480 resolution, less than the original iPhone 4, and only equal to the original Galaxy S.
Above: the original Galaxy Note sits near the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note 10.1 - the Galaxy Note II alleviates the ugly duckling syndrome going on here, then the Galaxy S III Mini takes it another step by adding another size - but without the specs to back up its relation to the rest of this top-class family.
In fact, given the specifications this device is working with - other than its dual-core processor - we've essentially been shown the original Galaxy S all over again - this is a device that was originally shown off several years ago, long outdated by now. You do get Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, S-Beam, and is extremely portable, on the other hand. You've got just 111.5g of weight here at 121.55 x 63 x 9.85 mm - perfect for everything except playing games, watching movies, and snapping photos.
I say snapping photos because the back-facing camera here is a 5 megapixel shooter while the front-facing camera is VGA. This phone is clearly aimed at those who haven't used a smartphone in the past - or if they have, haven't had the pleasure of working with one of the 8 megapixel cameras that have been in devices mid-tier and upward for nearly two years. The device is able to do this:
That being working with S-Beam (as mentioned above) with the Galaxy S III. It's not quite clear yet if this device will be working with AllShare Play as the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Note II do, but we're going to go ahead and guess that yes, it will. That's where the good news starts and ends.
Because even if you take the Galaxy S III Mini and say "this is part of the extended hero series," you've got another device to answer for. It's called the Samsung Galaxy Premier (without the "e"), and it's basically kicking the Galaxy S III in the gut. The Samsung Galaxy Premier, a device with a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, a 720p display, and an 8 megapixel camera on its back, is exactly what the Galaxy S III Mini should have been.
Instead Samsung is taking the awesome power it gained with a launch of the same Galaxy S III model across carriers, borders, and seas, and is tossing it in the ocean by taking what was built up and spreading it very, very thin. The hero brand power thins each time a new device comes out with a nature-themed casing by Samsung, I assure you.