After the Samsung Galaxy S3 hit the market to much fanfare a few months ago, the smartphone industry went abuzz as millions of consumers burst forth to grab the most feature-packed mobile device to date.
Later, rumors began to build up about the South Korean smartphone maker capitalizing the popularity of its latest innovation with a smaller version of the S3.
Staying true to reports from several media outlets, Samsung then officially introduced the Galaxy S3 Mini, pitching it as a smaller S3 but carrying most of the features that catapulted its bigger sibling atop the smartphone buyer’s wish list of the summer.
Smart Stay uses face recognition technology that allows Galaxy S3 Mini users to stare at the screen and maintain a brighter display automatically until they look away. The slick feat takes advantage of some intelligent software paired with the front-facing camera. It reads a user’s eyes and tracks its movements to figure out if it is in reading mode or not. This smart feature helps save battery life and avoids frustration from displays with short time intervals for dimming.
Popup play exploits the convenient but efficient multitasking abilities of today’s mobile devices. It allows Galaxy S3 Mini users to open a stored video into a popup window. The new window remains on top but is movable so it does not block the background – a cool way for web surfing without missing a favorite TV show. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini has a smaller, 4-inch display than the larger S3, but it still offers lots of space for viewing.
The Galaxy S3 Mini comes with a built-in voice control software that Samsung calls S Voice. Launching mobile apps, creating reminders on the calendar, searching the web, turning on or off features, and more – all these are voice-enabled through S Voice.
The Galaxy S3 Mini not only is a downsized version but also offers a few things the larger phone does not have such as its smaller screen. While smartphone makers compete to bridge the gap with tablet devices in a race of larger displays – a good example is the mammoth Samsung Galaxy Note II with its 5.5-inch display, smaller displays are relatively easier to use with one hand. This means models that launched with large screen sizes are still capable at smaller, portable, more convenient sizes. A smartphone’s display is the main consumer of battery life, so a smaller touchscreen means less power needed to light it up.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Preloaded with a more up-to-date mobile operating system with Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the S3 Mini is faster, smoother, and has nifty, built-in software such as offline voice typing and an improved Google Search application. It also has a blocking mode feature that allows users to limit and specify which notifications will appear such as texts, phone calls or reminders. Users are free to turn on or turn off this feature manually or through a timer and set up exceptions. For example, a close relative or friend can give a ring but sales calls are blocked almost immediately.
UK-based major online retailer Carphone Warehouse offers the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini for as low as £25 a month, with the handset free of charge. Upgrades come with similar rates, and a SIM-free S3 Mini is available for under £300, making it a thriftier option than its full-sized S3 sibling.