80

A small Galaxy with few stars

80

Oh, Samsung, what did you do? We know what you thought you were doing. A cheaper phone for those who want a little bit of the Galaxy S III experience, for less money, in a more manageable form. And that's what the Galaxy S III mini actually is. Sure, some people will have taken things a little more literally and expected a flagship device -- in a smaller package -- but that's just not what this is. What you do have, however, is a decent mid-range phone with a high-end look. So, for those in search of such a thing, the Galaxy S III mini will be just the ticket. There was a chance, however, that if done differently, this could have taken the Galaxy S III "brand" in a whole new direction. If this had come with specs similar to its bigger brother, it could have truly been something to behold.

Some will understandably be disappointed that this isn't so. Sad, instead, that what Samsung did was try and stretch the phone's identity to mop up some of the more budget-conscious market along with those eager for a little bit of the top dog. For these people, that decision will have proved a stretch too far, with the phone's "credibility elastic" snapping under the tension. What we're left with, then, is a perfectly good mid-range phone that might never truly get the consideration it deserves -- after all, compared to much of the actual competition (the HTC Desire X and Sony Xperia U, for example.) it holds its own. In the end, Samsung has taken a gamble with arguably the largest of all its brands, the Galaxy S, and it's not clear whether it will pay off.

Buy It:

$172.95

90-Day Price History

now
high
$199
low
$164

Critic reviews

6.9
13 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    6.7
  • Display
    7.0
  • Battery life
    8.0
  • Camera
    6.7
  • Ease of use
    7.5
  • Design and form factor
    7.9
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.6
  • Media support
    8.0
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    7.6

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User reviews

8.0
6 reviews
7.0
Engadget Nov 29, 2012

What we're left with, then, is a perfectly good mid-range phone that might never truly get the consideration it deserves ... Samsung has taken a gamble with arguably the largest of all its brands, the Galaxy S, and it's not entirely clear whether it will pay off.

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7.0
CNET Dec 10, 2012

If you're looking for a midtier Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Axiom's cheap price is hard to beat.

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6.0
CNET Oct 3, 2013

First-time smartphone buyers get a lot for a little with Samsung's year-old Galaxy S3 Mini, but keep in mind that this is no high-end performer.

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6.0
PC Mag Oct 4, 2013

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III Mini is a decent entry-level Android smartphone with an affordable price, but it doesn't come close to matching its full-sized namesake.

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7.0
Pocket-Lint Nov 21, 2012

If you're not expecting your phone to fly around every button press then perhaps: it's well made, it looks nice and it offers plenty out of the box, but we think it could and should be a better performer.

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7.0
CNET UK Nov 21, 2012

It still delivers a pretty slick user experience thanks to Android Jelly Bean, but the screen and camera aren’t on a par with those of the S3. It also seems overpriced, especially as the vastly superior Google Nexus 4 undercuts it by around £60.

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9.0
phoneArena Oct 19, 2012

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.

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8.0
GSM Arena Nov 28, 2012

The price is too ambitious at the moment, but it should come down quite quickly at which point the Galaxy S III mini will be a great mid-ranger to buy. Until then, though, it will remain a niche device for people who love the Galaxy S III design language, but can't pocket the full-size version of...

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8.0
Digital Versus Jan 24, 2013

...the GS3 Mini is an entry-level/mid-range handset that's still worth a look, notably thanks to its good battery life, camera and audio quality. It's just a shame that it's currently priced a little on the high side.

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7.0
Android Authority Dec 28, 2013

This is a phone made for the everyman and everywoman, geared especially for the user in us who remembers a time when what we once wanted from phones (and technology) used to be a little bit smaller… and a little bit simpler.

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6.0
T3 Nov 23, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks like a Galaxy S3 but has been stripped of all the things that made that smartphone the T3 smartphone of the year. It doesn’t look as nice as an iPhone 4, doesn’t have the camera skills of Sony smartphones and has a lesser screen than the Motorola Razr i.

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9.0
IdoTDW IdoTDW

Bought this for my grandmother, and it doesn't disappoint! She really enjoys taking pictures and being able to view them back instantly. The size is absolutely perfect, as high-end offerings like the Galaxy S III are just too big for her, and iPhones are way too overpriced in Israel. The device...

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6.0
Teastrings Teastrings

SAMSUNG S3 MINI REVIEW This is a phone great for entry-level mobile gamers and definitely for those who are teenagers. While the build quality is questionable there is no doubt that Samsung tried to make this a good phone, with a decent processor and one gigabyte of RAM, which in my opinion is...

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