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Review Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190 Smartphone

Michael Moser (translated by Anke Glover), 03/07/2013

Mini-size, maxi-performance? Samsung introduces a new compact version of its successful flagship model Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini GT-I8190 includes Android 4.1.1 and a super AMOLED touchscreen with a 4-inch diagonal screen measurement and is meant to round off the Galaxy Series in the lower end. Can you be convinced by the performance and the 8 GB internal memory at a low price of around 285 Euros (~$373)?


For the original German review, see here.

Samsung wanted to take a slice of the Christmas trade with a fresh android model and shrunk its flagship model Galaxy S3 to have an adequate model for the smaller purse. The Galaxy S3 mini should combine the advantages of the more powerful big brother with more compact measurements. Samsung is going against the trend of ever increasing displays. However, if you were looking with the name 'mini' for a small smartphone you will be surprised to be confronted with a sizeable 4-inch AMOLED touchscreen. In comparison to the predecessor Galaxy Mini 2 and to the high end model Samsung S3 this corresponds to shrinkage equal to 18% each.

The Galaxy S3 mini could be compared with the "housewife's Porsche" 924/944: A real Porsche with reduced performance, and therefore more compact and available at a better price. Even though the RRP of the Galaxy S3 mini of 439 Euros (~$575) is priced 160 Euros (~$209) below the Galaxy S3, it is still no bargain for a smartphone. However, the better priced High Street price short of 285 Euros (~$373) undercuts the RRP noticeably.

Our test model offers, as well as the 4-inch AMOLED display, a speedy dual-core processor (ST-Ericsson) with a 1 GHz clock speed and 8 GB internal memory, which can be extended up to 32 GB with a Micro SD card. A variant with 16 GB memory should be launched at a later point. There is also a 5-megapixel camera on board. With a display diagonal of 4-inches and an average performance the Galaxy S3 mini competes against opponents such as the Google Nexus 4 or the HTC One S. This positions the Galaxy S3 mini in the upper middle section of the smartphones. Our extensive test report shows the ambitious performance of this smartphone.

Case

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is a shrunken version of the Galaxy S3.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is a shrunken version of the Galaxy S3.
The back panel is susceptible to staining.
The back panel is susceptible to staining.

The two-piece body of the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini GT-I8190, like the Galaxy S3, consists of a strong polycarbonate which was colored in our test model  with a high gloss metallic dark blue, christened by Samsung "Pebble Blue". A white colored model called "Marble White" is also available. The high gloss surface shows fingerprints and grease quite clearly and a polishing cloth  should be a constant companion. This would also be handy for the  glass touchscreen, which analogous to the Galaxy S3, is bent slightly downwards towards the edges and therefore the display frame offers little protection to the glass. We therefore recommend a screen protector, which could also, depending on the quality, improve the viewing contrast outdoors and reduce reflections.

The back panel is removable and is - on its own - quite flexible, however, in conjunction with the underlying plastic-chassis, very hard wearing. The exchangeable battery covers the slots for a SIM card and Micro SD cards. The touchscreen, the connections and the operational elements are connected neatly and are well processed. Even under increased pressure there is no rattling or creaking. However, in a direct comparison the Google Nexus 4 or the Apple iPhone 5 and other competitors with unibody designs are placed on a slightly higher level. With 113 g the Samsung is only 1 gram heavier than the visibly thinner iPhone 5. The Google Nexus 4, for example, weighs considerably more with 139 g, which is mainly due to the more solid chassis. The height, short of 9.9 mm, clearly undercuts any competitor. Altogether the finish and the quality of the materials lie on a high level and do not have to hide from the competition.

Features

With regards to the  operational controls, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mirrors its big brother Galaxy S3 in positions as well as in the numbers. A volume control bar is on the left and on the right hand side, below the menu button display, the power button is flanked by two touch buttons. There are no further operational controls next to the touchscreen.

The connections have also been copied from the S3: the 3.5mm connector at the top end and at the bottom end a microphone and an HDMI compatible Micro USB 2.0 interface, which also serves as a charging port for the 35 g light 3.5 Watt mains adapter. In order to equip the card reader with Micro SD memory cards with up to 32 GB capacity (SDHC), the back cover and the battery have to be removed first. As with the Galaxy S3, access is not possible with the phone in operating mode. Even the normal sized SIM card slot is covered by the 1500 mAh battery.    

The test model is equipped with an 8 GB flash memory (gross capacity; net: approx. 4 GB), according to Samsung a variant with a 16 GB capacity will follow.

Left side: volume bar
Left side: volume bar
Right side: power button
Right side: power button
Top: embedded 3.5 mm connector
Top: embedded 3.5 mm connector
Bottom: Micro USB 2.0, microphone
Bottom: Micro USB 2.0, microphone

Communication & GPS

The GPS module is good indoors and works even more precisely outdoors.
The GPS module is good indoors and works even more precisely outdoors.
Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean: The OS of the Galaxy S3 mini.
Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean: The OS of the Galaxy S3 mini.

Wireless communication is secured through several radio modules. Bluetooth 4.0 and WLAN according to standards 802.11a/b/g/n for 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks is on board as well as GPS. A quad-band support for the most important GSM frequencies 850/900/1800/1900MHz almost guarantees worldwide connectivity. The fast mobile internet connection via HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) enables a maximum data transmission of 14.4 Mbit per second in the UMTS network. The currently fastest transmission speed still belongs to the Galaxy S3. According to Samsung, there is also an NFC (Near Field Communication) option for the Galaxy S3 mini, but this model was not available at the time of testing.


The connection performance of the communication modules is acceptable, even though the WLAN-module struggles occasionally, especially when further distanced from the router. The reception in the GSM and UMTS network could also be better, but the GPS-Modulel can point in enclosed location and improves its performance further outdoors.

Software

Samsung delivers the S3 mini with the current operating system Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean  - the latest version 4.2.1. is still reserved for Google owned models such as the Nexus 4. On top of that, the Samsung technical team has applied the well known and tidied up user interface TouchWiz. Along with that come many useful widgets like the assistive light (torch), which can be created on the home screen. Preinstalled software includes products such as ChatON, Google maps, or the Samsung owned organizer-apps  S planner or S suggest. The voice operating app S Voice is similar to Apples pendant Siri and provides a decent addition with reasonable voice recognition.

Camera and Multimedia

The front camera with VGA resolution (640x480 pixels), motion sensor and surround lighting of the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini are located in the display frame. The white noise pollution, which already occurs with optimal light conditions, qualifies the front camera only for video-chats.The main camera at the back has a 5 megapixel (2560x1920) resolution and is supported besides the autofocus by a flash. Videos can be taken in a 720p  (1280x720 pixels) resolution. A 4x zoom brings in distant motives but the picture, as well as the video quality, suffer considerably. Samsung specific functions, such as the face recognition and the 'share a photo with Buddy' are again on board, like the S3.

In the practical testing, the camera proves to be solid but cannot keep up with the Google Nexus 4 8 MP model. Nevertheless, it succeeds in taking reasonable pictures, especially outside and in well-lit rooms.

Main camera with 5 MP
Main camera with 5 MP
Main camera with 5 MP and flash
Main camera with 5 MP and flash
Front camera with VGA
Front camera with VGA
Reference: Nikon D3100
Reference: Nikon D3100

Accessories

The small white box contains, besides the smartphone itself and the 1500 mAh battery, some accessories. Next to the quick guide and the guarantee card you'll find a compact mains adaptor with 3.5 Watt performance and a  USB cable. In addition, Samsung encloses the stereo headset (in-ear) - known from the S3 - with six further attachments.

Further accessories are available in the Samsung store: as well as covers in several colors, Bluetooth-headsets, docking stations and car accessories are all available.  

Warranty

Samsung guarantees the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini for 12 months. The accessories and the battery are guaranteed only for 6 months. Extended guaranties are currently only offered by online shops and mobile phone shops.

Input & Operation

The operation of the capacitive touchscreen works impeccably, the input is recognized quickly and exactly, and then implemented. Multitouch gestures such as the two finger zoom are also possible and can be used during surfing or camera operation. 

Ttyping with the automatically blended-in four line QWERTY-keyboard comes easy. A continuous word entry via T9-Trace is possible, which takes some time to get used to, but saves time eventually.

The mechanical button below the display is flanked by two touch buttons. These can, like with the S3 or the iPhone 5, wake the display.

The intuitive operation is improved through further gimmicks:  If the smartphone is held to the ear with an open contact, it dials independently. The integrated sight sensor in combination with the smart stay technology keeps the display active until the user averts their eyes from the display.

The speed of reaction sensed on the menu surface comes close to the speed of the iPhone 5 and of current Android-competitors. Sensor pressure and the hub of the physical buttons are appealing and give critics no reason to complain.

Touchscreen
Touchscreen
QWERTZ keyboard
QWERTZ keyboard

Display

The 4-inch 16:9 display of the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini features, with 480x800 pixels, a sufficient resolution and reaches a pixel density of 233 ppi. Competing models, such as the Google Nexus 4 with 1280x768 pixels, 4.7-inch and 320 ppi or the Apple iPhone 5 with 1136x640 pixels, 4-inch and 326 ppi clearly offer more. The big brother, Samsung Galaxy S3, also beats the test model with 1280x720 pixels, 4.8-inch and 306 ppi.

In return, the Galaxy S3 mini overtakes the S3 easily with its luminance average. Instead of only 148.6 cd/m² the testmodel offers 264.6 cd/m². The Google Nexus 4 with 275.3 cd/m² and the iPhone 5 with 468.8 cd/m² are also top of the field.  The luminance of the Galaxy S3 mini achieves a very good 94%. 

272
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 273 cd/m²
Average: 264.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 262 cd/m²
Black: 0.01 cd/m²
Contrast: 26200:1


The true strength of the AMOLED screen lies in its fantastic contrast of 26,200:1 and the amazing black level value of 0.01 cd/m². This value is determined by the testmodel, but the real black level should be at zero, because the black areas of an AMOLED display are not illuminated and are therefore completley black. This way, the display convinces also in the practical task with a high contrast, brilliant picture.

Outdoors
Outdoors

When used outdoors, the luminance of max. 262 cd/m² during battery operation is insufficient to compensate for direct sunlight completely, however, the contents are by far recognizable. This is a problem most models experience due to the glass surface. A display protector foil could prove to be of help and also protects from dirt and fingerprints.

 

 

The AMOLED display's typically high viewing angle is also given to the Galaxy S3 mini. Colors and luminance stay stable from all viewing angles. The strong reflections of the glass display are noticeable a lot sooner.

Viewing angle text Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Viewing angle text Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Viewing angle reference picture Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Viewing angle reference picture Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190

Performance

Peacekeeper Benchmark
Peacekeeper Benchmark
AnTuTu Benchmark v3.0.3
AnTuTu Benchmark v3.0.3

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini  uses the same processor as the Galaxy Beam. On the inside of the middleclass-smartphone an  ST Ericsson NovaThor U8500  dual-core processor with 1 GHz clock frequency potters about. Graphical tasks are taken over by an ARM Mali 400 single core graphics card integrated into the SoC (System-on-a-Chip). In contrast to the Beam configuration, the SoC in the Galaxy S3 mini can fall back onto an ample 1 GB RAM, which also improves the overall performance.

As expected, the benchmarks show that the CPU cannot keep up with the current quad-core SoCs of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the Google Nexus 4. For a middle of the road model the Galaxy S3 mini enjoys a sufficiently high application performance, but will not be future-proof.

In comparison to the Galaxy Beam especially, the Galaxy S3 mini performs significantly better in some of the browser benchmarks, compared to other models it is similar to. Here, the larger working storage of 1 GB RAM is sometimes noticeable.  The performance of the browser-based benchmarks can, with regards to the hardware, be convincing. This is noticeable by a pleasant surf speed for everyday use. 

In the Vellamo mobile benchmark 2.0 HTML 5 test, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini achieved  even more points than the Google Nexus 4. The results of the integrated flash memory turn out to be ambivalent. According to the  AndroBench 3 benchmark, the test model even leaves - with 8.92 MB/s- the Galaxy S3 behind, but only in  reading speed. With the writing speed the picture turns again and the Galaxy S3 zooms off with more than double the speed.

In Smartbench 2012 the Galaxy S3 mini is subordinate to all consulted competitors - even the Galaxy Beam achieves 15% more points here. 

This is even more obvious with the graphic performance. Here, the models with the dual-core CPU, such as the  Google Nexus 4 (27 fps) or the iPhone 5 (22 fps) pull away mercilessly and degrade the Galaxy S3 mini with only 5.1 fps.

Google V8 Ver. 6 - --- (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
818 points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1982 points ∼17% +142%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
607 points ∼5% -26%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1467 points ∼13% +79%
HTC One S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
1429 points ∼12% +75%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
1640 points ∼14% +100%
Sunspider - 0.9.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
2082.8 ms * ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1477.8 ms * ∼14% +29%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
3037 ms * ∼29% -46%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1894.7 ms * ∼18% +9%
HTC One S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
1804.4 ms * ∼17% +13%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
935.4 ms * ∼9% +55%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
150 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
664 Points ∼11% +343%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD (Chrome 27)
236 Points ∼4% +57%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
863 Points ∼14% +475%
AndroBench 3
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
8.92 MB/s ∼43%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.13 MB/s ∼34% -20%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
7.71 MB/s ∼37% -14%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
12.14 MB/s ∼58% +36%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
0.27 MB/s ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
0.58 MB/s ∼18% +115%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
0.14 MB/s ∼4% -48%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1.07 MB/s ∼34% +296%
GLBenchmark 2.5 - 1920x1080 Egypt HD Offscreen Fixed Time (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
5.1 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
11 fps ∼2% +116%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
27 fps ∼5% +429%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
22 fps ∼4% +331%
Linpack Android / IOS - Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
53.494 MFLOPS ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
137 MFLOPS ∼6% +156%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
65.66 MFLOPS ∼3% +23%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
221.638 MFLOPS ∼9% +314%
HTC One S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
186.372 MFLOPS ∼8% +248%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
574.95 MFLOPS ∼24% +975%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
1988 points ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
4116 points ∼40% +107%
Samsung Galaxy beam
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
2277 points ∼22% +15%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
3178 points ∼31% +60%
HTC One S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
2975 points ∼29% +50%
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
330 Points ∼18%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
514 Points ∼29% +56%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
625 Points ∼35% +89%
HTML5 (sort by value)
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
1407 Points ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1834 Points ∼59% +30%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1339 Points ∼43% -5%

* ... smaller is better

Games

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II runs as fast as lightning.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II runs as fast as lightning.

Like the Galaxy Beam, the Galaxy S3 mini has an ARM Mali 400 graphics card integrated into the Nova Thor U8500 SoC (System-on-a-Chip).  It's not a highflyer, but is sufficient for current games. The high speed jump 'n' run Sonic the Hedgehog 4: episode II runs just as smoothly as the 3D racing game Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. More demanding games can easily shake, but the Galaxy S3 mini is not known for gaming. The exact touchscreen and the integrated positioning sensor always guarantee a good game control.

Sound Quality

We tested the vocal quality with several test calls. Here we noticed the low background noise. The callers were clearly understood at all times and confirmed this also for the  Galaxy S3 mini. Even in a noisier environment, the speaker delivers sufficient volume to be clearly understood. This was also confirmed for the speaker at the back, while the model was tested on speaker-phone mode, even though for this the background noise needs to be a little quieter.

Unfortunately the quality of reception varied during our tests. The reception module appears to be a little weak, because in areas of weak network coverage the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini has difficulties establishing a stable reception. In the UMTS as well as the GSM network the smartphone occasionally shows some weaknesses. In direct comparison to the  iPhone 5 the reception indicator shows one to two bars less. The big brother Galaxy S3 also performs better in this category. Altogether, the Galaxy S3 mini shows a satisfactory result in this area.

Emissions

Temperature

The temperature development of the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini stays pleasantly in the background. Even under the pressure simulated by the stability test, the temperatures at the surface do not exceed 34.4 °C. - measured at the back. The 32 °C average lies well below that and is acceptable. During everyday use with surfing, calling and messaging, the smartphone only warms up to 30 °C. Nevertheless, the small battery should not be covered during charging, as it can heat up to 43.5 °C. 

Max. Load
 31.3 °C32.8 °C32.0 °C 
 31.8 °C33.7 °C32.4 °C 
 31.4 °C33.0 °C32.2 °C 
Maximum: 33.7 °C
Average: 32.3 °C
29.3 °C34.0 °C31.4 °C
30.0 °C34.4 °C30.3 °C
30.0 °C33.9 °C30.7 °C
Maximum: 34.4 °C
Average: 31.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  43.5 °C | Room Temperature 21.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Energy Management

Power Consumption

During the tests, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini did not appear to be 'energy thirsty'. The phone used max. 2.4 Watt of the 1500mAh charger - a very good value. During everyday use, which is comparable to idle, only 0.9 Watt is used on average.  The used energy measurements are very similar to those of the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Beam.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idle 0.7 / 0.9 / 1.2 Watt
Load 1.8 / 2.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

With a capacity of 4.7 Wh, the small battery is no long distance runner, but still delivers a good battery life. The minimum battery life is 4 hours and 20 minutes during maximum luminance and with an active reception module compared to a maximum battery life of 13 hours and 30 minutes (minimum luminance, energy saving mode on). This puts the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini behind the Galaxy Beam and the Galaxy S3, but both have a bigger battery built-in. The 3G talk time of the test model lies at around 8 hours. During the WLAN surf test with a 150 cd/m2 adapted luminance, the measurement shows a respectable 9 hours and 45 minutes on the clock. The Google Nexus 4 lasts considerably shorter, despite its 2100 mAh Akkus. Against the iPhone 5, which outperforms in endurance, the Galaxy S3 mini does not stand a chance – only under load does it outperform it.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 30min
WiFi Surfing
9h 45min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 20min

Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S3 mini: a decent mid-range smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S3 mini: a decent mid-range smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is doing many things right. The fantastic finish and solid user performance are just as positive as the long lasting battery life. The brilliant contrast together with the excellent black value and luminance put the precise touchscreen as a frontrunner. With that, the smartphone is very suitable for outdoors. The browser-friendly resolution of 480x800 pixels is a perfect fit for the  4-inch display.

The equipment is respectable; the slightly small memory of 8 GB can easily and quickly be extended up to 32 GB with a micro-SD card. The Google Play Store offers apps for all tastes and the Android operating system Jelly Bean 4.1.1 will be current for the foreseeable future.

The camera module leaves mixed feelings: the front camera with a tiny VGA resolution is only useful for video chats or to occasionally check up on your hair, the main camera with a 5-megapixel resolution, an autofocus important for snapshots and an LED flash takes - under the right conditions - good photos and videos. However, the 4x digital zoom is useless and deteriorates the quality. Less convincing also is the reception of WLAN and provider networks, especially in areas with low signal availability.

Our Conclusion: The Galaxy S3 mini is an appealing middle-of-the-road smartphone but definitely keeps its distance from the top model, Galaxy S3. If you are looking for a good sized mobile phone with reasonable operating speed, intuitive operations and a good touchscreen you might find the Galaxy S3 mini an appropriate choice.

Courtesy of ... GetGoods
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In Review: Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190, by courtesy of:
In Review: Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190

Specifications

Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, LP-DDR2
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
4 inch 16:9, 800x480 pixel, HD Super AMOLED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB internal memory (approx. 4 GB freely available)
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphone socket, Card Reader: microSD (32 GB maximal), Sensors: proximity sensor, viewing direction sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass,
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth, UMTS
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 63 x 122
:: Weight
0.113 kg Power Supply: 0.035 kg
:: Battery
5.70 Wh Lithium-Ion, Samsung GB/T18287-2000, 1.500 mAh, 3,8 V
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 850 h
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 850 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 470 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 27000 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 25800 h
:: Price
439 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
:: Additional features
Webcam: main camera: 5 MP + photo light, front camera: VGA, Speakers: 2x Monospeakers (front & and back), charger, USB-H wire, in-ear headphones with various connectors, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Besides the smartphone and the battery Samsung also...
Besides the smartphone and the battery Samsung also...
The camera has a 5 MP resolution and features a bright photo light.
The camera has a 5 MP resolution and features a bright photo light.
There are proximity and light sensors between the speakers and front camera.
There are proximity and light sensors between the speakers and front camera.
The 4-inch display is bright and...
The 4-inch display is bright and...
...has convincing contrast and black values.
...has convincing contrast and black values.
The cover is removable and is made...
The cover is removable and is made...
...from flexible polycarbonate.
...from flexible polycarbonate.
The speaker on the back side suffices for hands-free calls.
The speaker on the back side suffices for hands-free calls.
The 1500 mAh battery is replaceable and covers...
The 1500 mAh battery is replaceable and covers...
...the Galaxy S3's in detail.
...the Galaxy S3's in detail.
...equals...
...equals...
The connectivity of the S3 mini...
The connectivity of the S3 mini...
...put the usual accessories into the small box.
...put the usual accessories into the small box.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks very much...
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks very much...
...like its bigger brother, the Galaxy S3.
...like its bigger brother, the Galaxy S3.
In comparison with the ...
In comparison with the ...
...iPhone 5 the display performs well.
...iPhone 5 the display performs well.
The Galaxy S3 mini is significantly thicker than the iPhone 5.
The Galaxy S3 mini is significantly thicker than the iPhone 5.
The back side looks like brushed aluminum.
The back side looks like brushed aluminum.
....the Micro SD card reader. This allows up to 32 GB more storage capacity.
....the Micro SD card reader. This allows up to 32 GB more storage capacity.

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Pro

+compact and lightweight
+AMOLED display: bright and contrast rich
+Use of Android 4.1.1
+many apps available
+main camera (720p videos, 5 megapixel, LED-flashlight)
+battery life
 

Cons

-Transmitting and receiving performance only average
-performance not very high
-only 12 month warranty
-front camera

Shortcut

What we like

Decent performance in a compact, elegant chassis and the Micro SD card reader.

What we'd like to see

The processor could have been faster and the cameras should feature higher MPs.

What surprises us

It is noticeably thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the abysmal front camera.

The competition

Current mid-range smartphones with Android 4.x. Among others, the Google Nexus 4 and the HTC One S are strong competitors. 

Rating

Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
08/05/2013 v3
Michael Moser

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
46%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
45%
Weight
100%
Battery
96%
Display
87%
Games Performance
25%
Application Performance
44%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Add Points
75%
Average
74%
87%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190 Smartphone
Author: Michael Moser, 2013-03- 7 (Update: 2013-06- 6)