There’s been plenty of excitement in tech circles about the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, officially unveiled yesterday by the Korean tech titan.
The four-inch device has been on the radar of fanboys and phone fanatics for weeks. But now it’s official and the hype has inevitably subsided, what we’re left with is a good-looking, but ultimately midrange device. One certainly not worthy of sharing the same stage as the almighty Samsung Galaxy S3.
Take a look at the spec sheet and it’s hard to escape the thought that Samsung is massively diluting the appeal of the top-end handset and its attendant brand.
By calling it the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, the handset might lead more suggestible punters to assume that this is the same device as its bigger brother, just with a smaller, four-inch screen. Far from it.
The processor is a dual-core 1GHz effort. The screen, a 480x800 pixel effort. The camera, a mere five megapixels.
OK, it comes with Android Jelly Bean under the hood, but that’s about the only thing that puts it on a par with the top-end Galaxy S3. Calling this the S3 Mini is really stretching it somewhat.
Let’s be clear, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini has all the makings of a decent midrange mobile, one which will doubtless help Sammy snag more people into Google’s mobile ecosystem.
But surely it could have come up with a different name? Aligning it with its best phone, one which is widely heralded as the best Android blower ever, is surely asking for trouble.
What happens when average users get this handset home and realise it doesn’t offer the same scorching performance and eyeball-stroking detail as the S3 proper? There’s bound to be a backlash.
The term 'Mini' does imply that some features might be missing. But to more seasoned, more experienced tech fans it also suggests the phone is small and not capable of handling all the grunt of a S3.
At four-inches, this is as big as some of the leading lights in the smartphone world (hello, iPhone 5) and consumers will want to know why it doesn’t pack as much of a punch.
A cheap price point may entice some, but will this device simply fester on Android Jelly Bean while top-end rivals surge ahead onto new versions? It seems highly likely.
Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks good. But Samsung could have easily differentiated it, rather than just using the calling card of its best-selling mobile.
The iPhone Mini was stillborn because of this. It’s hard to envisage Samsung managing to convince many mobile types that this is even close to 2012’s best smartphone.