Review: Samsung Galaxy S III mini (GT-I8190)

At the opening of her big store in Germany Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S III mini.
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is as the name says, the smaller version of the Galaxy S III. Samsung Galaxy S III aims with the mini at the consumer that thinks that the Galaxy S III is just too big.
Sadly ,the specifications from the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini had to be downgraded but despite that the device is still quite good.
The Galaxy S III Mini will be available in 2 colors namely Marble White and Blue Pebble. We of SamMobile currently have the white version (Marble White) and will review this device as you can read below.

In May this year Samsung announced, the Galaxy S III to many consumers complained that the phone was too big. However, after most consumers held the device in their hands it that problem seemed relatively small. However, Samsung has decided to make a smaller version of the Galaxy S III. At the opening of its largest retail store Samsung announced the Galaxy S III mini. Some specs were already leaked, as we announced this phone for 2 months in advance. Yet the most will probably be very happy with a smaller version of the Galaxy S III mini(Mostly women). This device has the same size as the new iPhone5.
Design wise Samsung uses the same look and feel as the Galaxy S III. The lines of the Galaxy S III are more or less the same only smaller.
The front view of the Galaxy S III Mini consists of a 4.0” screen sAMOLED and a speaker in the middle. At the left side of the speaker we see the level sensors and a front facing camera. At the bottom of the screen you will find the home button and resembles the home button of the Galaxy S III.
Also there are two touch buttons on the left and right of the home button. These buttons are only revealed when the device is in use. At the back of the phone we see the 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and of course another speaker next to the camera.
The right side of the phone is the LOCK button. And on the left side of the phone you see the volume rocker. At the bottom of the device we see the Micro USB connector and microphone. And at the upper side of the device the 3.5mm headjack is located.

Both at the front and rear of the unit we see the traditional logo from Samsung.
The Galaxy S III Mini uses the same curves as the Galaxy S III and even this device lays better in your hand. We notice this extra because we are more or less accustomed to the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note. After we held the Galaxy S which is about the same size in our hand and compare this with the Mini, we simply conclude that the Galaxy S 3 Mini is much nicer to hold.

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As we earlier mentioned Samsung announced its Galaxy S III mini with lesser specifications. We find this personally a pity but understandable for the price you’re paying for it.
The Galaxy S III Mini runs on Android 4.1.1 Jellybean, Google announced Android 4.2 at the end of October because the Galaxy S III mini will at least get Android 4.2 unfortunately still no date for that brought out. The Galaxy S III Mini also uses a sAMOLED screen with 480 x 800 resolution. Unfortunately this is not the resolution we hoped for HD seemed at ts place here. The processor of the Galaxy S III is a 1 GHz dual core processor. Thanks to the dual core processor it runs Samsung’s own TouchWiz skin pretty well. Some other nice specifications are of course the 5 megapixel camera, GPS, WIFI and of course NFC. Below is an overview of the entire specification of the Galaxy S III mini.
Also we compared the specification directly with those of the Galaxy S III. Please take it into account that the Galaxy S III mini 150 euros cheaper than the Galaxy S III itself.

As described in our hardware part Samsung uses their own Touchwiz UI interface called Nature UX. This is the same interface like that of the Galaxy S III. However, Samsung left a number of features out of this device. Samsung has done this because of the processor, RAM and size of the screen. Samsung emphasized feeling of the device with its Nature UX . The unlocking of the device looks like your sweeping through water with your fingertip. We know this since The galaxy S II and it is a part of the Nature UX. The menus and phonebook are still more or less standard Touchwiz although everything looks better. With their TouchWiz UX Samsung makes clever use of many software applications.
Below we will discuss a few of them:

Pop up Play
Pop up play allows you to send text messages while watching a video. It is compact but it still lets you do things simultaneously. Please do not miss any of the action.

Smart Stay
With the innovative Smart Stay feature, GALAXY S III automatically recognises when you are looking at the phone, whether it is to read an e-book or browse the web. The front camera looks deep into your eyes and maintains a bright display for continued viewing pleasure. What a bright idea.

Smart Alert
When you pick up your phone, wouldn’t it be nice if it let you know what has been happening since you’ve been gone? Samsung GALAXY SIII mini knows you came back and gives you a brief vibrating nudge to inform you about missed calls and new messages. How thoughtful is that?

S voice
Samsung’s advanced natural language recognition software, lets you use your voice to unlock the phone with simple customised commands, or to play your favourite songs, turn the volume up or down, organise your schedule, or automatically launch the camera and start taking photos.
S voice is available in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish and Korean

Direct call
Samsung GALAXY SIII mini even knows when you want to talk. When you are messaging someone and decide to call instead, simply lift your phone to your ear and Direct call will dial their number for you. No more fumbling through call logs or contacts. Let Samsung GALAXY SIII mini do the work.

S Beam
Sharing your content with friends nearby should be easy, quick and even fun. S-Beam lets you bond instantly so you can transfer documents, contacts, pictures, music, videos, you name it. Just put the backs of two Galaxy S III Minies phones together, connect, share and enjoy.
You can use S Beam by using NFC in the Galaxy S III mini.

So as you can see there are no lack of software tweaks, particularly we find Smart Stay and Pop Up Play is one of the finest software tweaks Touchwiz Nature UX has to offer.
Below is a video of the Galaxy S III mini going through the interface.

The camera of the Galaxy S III Mini is a 5 megapixel camera. The photos are good. Unfortunately, Samsung also here left out some software tweaks.
This has to do with the camera module. The camera module of the Galaxy S III is bigger and better.
However, the Galaxy S III mini own picture mode as single, smile and panorama
The Galaxy S III mini makes as we have mentioned good pictures, below are some photos taken by the Galaxy S III mini.
* SamMobile has deliberately chosen not to compare both devices in camera area.
Of course, the Galaxy S III Mini also has a front camera of 0.3 megapixel camera that can be used for front facing calls or just to make a picture of yourself.

Like any other phone the camera in a mobile phone can do two things take photos or filming. This device can film too, the Galaxy S III Mini can not shoot movies larger than 720P (HD). The quality is quite good but unfortunately not “Top of the Bill” . But here too, the Galaxy S III mini still a downgraded brother of the Galaxy S III.
Below is a video taken with the Galaxy S III Mini.
* SamMobile has deliberately chosen not to compare both devices in camera area.


Battery and Speed
At the beginning of our review we are told you about the dual core processor from the Galaxy S III mini. This device its speed is not that bad , but a comparison with the Galaxy S III totally out-of-place. This device costs a lot less and that’s why the hardware specifications are a lot lesser too.
Thanks to the dual core processor and relatively small screen the can last through the with moderate to heavy use.
Nevertheless, we regret that Samsung has not opted for something smaller screen with the same hardware performance as the Galaxy S III.
For our readers who still like to know the performance of both devices in a benchmark test see the end of our review, we have posted information there. Again we of SamMobile find such comparisons are inappropriate since both devices are at the hardware area way too different.

So what can we conclude?
Samsung knows to wake up the consumers with the Galaxy S III Mini with a smaller screen but still has the same feeling as his big brother.
This device uses a lot Touchwiz Nature UX software tweaks that we know from the Galaxy S III, which is obviously very positive. The battery and processor are reasonable good of the Galaxy S III mini. However, we regret that the unit as a whole is still in plastic. We hope that Samsung will secretly moving away from this in the future.
Will this device become a success? Maybe, depends how many people currently still value smaller screens so we know that only one target name we prefer not to speak of here.
Womens device? Yes, the Galaxy S III Mini is focused more on women than men. Men just have larger hands than women. Although we have noticed that women opt for the Galaxy S III as well.
We recommend this device if you have too many doubts about a big screen. We should add that we have the following intermediate model, the Galaxy Premier more or less is around the corner. Unfortunately, this device will not be available through whole Europe. The Galaxy Premier uses a 4.65” screen while the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini uses a 4.0” screen and the Galaxy S III is a 4.8” screen. In price ratio the Galaxy Premier is 100 euros more expensive than the Mini, but the device is larger and hardware specs are also much better than the Galaxy S III mini.
So if you too decide between a 4.0” or 4.8” display screen you should choose the Galaxy Premier with a 4.65”.
The review of the Galaxy Premier will be done later this month and placed on SamMobile.
SamMobile gives the Galaxy S III mini one 7.0

+ Pro’s / – Cons
+ Design
+ Battery
+ Price/quality
+ Screen

- Plastic
- Processor
- Brightness sensor

Quadrant benchmark test
Galaxy S III mini 2711
Galaxy S III 5421

AnTuTu benchmark test
Galaxy S III mini 5845
Galaxy S III 12239

Galaxy S III mini vs Galaxy S III

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Reviews 27
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  1. if it had the s2 specs with better ((any thing tbh )) i would jump on it but for now i would say no ty ….

  2. thanks for your review, very useful.. but still have one queries, does it has screen protection? corning gorilla glass protection ?

  3. see specs no gorilla glass :(

  4. There is no S-Beam funtionality or even regular NFC in the GT-I8160

  5. how can I make root the device?

  6. Would’ve been far more interesting to see a comparison with the Galaxy S2 (both are Dual-Core)

  7. I really don’t understand the purpose of this phone.

    What’s the point on this phone having S2?? It’s 4,3 instead of 4″ ok but no one complained about 4,3, the complains where about 4,8 or bigger (S4).

    If they wanted to do the same than S3 but in 4″ it would be great, but specs of this phone suck. It’s worse than S2… Doesn’t deserve to be call S3 mini.

  8. pls guys clarify one more thing, does it supports usb on the go… i mean usb connector to read & write usb data’s…..

  9. in my previous comment I meant the GT-I8190…your review says so, but no NFC whatsoever

  10. Nope only some countries :(

  11. NFC (S beam data transfer via wifi direct)should be available on this device as I am aware. The specs say no wifi hotspot, what do you mean by that? If you mean no tethering, well that’s just wrong…

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  21. ineed GT_I9300 PIT and all setep file

  22. hola ke pasa ke la ron de samsung galaxi s3 mini de orange españa no esta dipronibre alguno la descargasteis ami me sale no disponibre gracia.

  23. hello, anyone know if the mini s3 anger have android 4.2.2 or stay at 4.1.2

  24. muy buenos dias forista mis saludo , desde venezuela maracaibo , escribo por lo siguiente tengo un SAMSUNG mini S3 traido de EEUU resulta q el celular se queda congelado y se reinicia mucho ok bien ya le eh colocado software el original lo que hay por ahi en fin y me sigue dando el problema ayuda porfa no quiero salir del celular porque es muy bueno con todo y ese problema que trajo me gusta a veces paso rabia pero en fin espero su ayuda porfa gracias

    • disculpe el modelo es GT-18190

  25. disculpen alguien me podria ayudar con el codigo recuperacion firmware samsung s3 mini GT-I8190L urge

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