Samsung’s Mini-me Galaxy In The Shops

SAMSUNG HAS RELEASED its cost-cutting, stripped-down, baby version of its Galaxy smart phone in NZ.

The Galaxy S III Mini is a compact version of its flagship smart phone, the Galaxy S III. Yes, the difference is just one word – ‘mini’.

And yes, Apple released its own ‘mini’ just a few months back, but that was an iPad.

But we digress.

WDF-Galaxy-S3-mini-newClearly, the Galaxy S III Mini doesn’t have quite the mana of its big daddy. Nevertheless, Samsung reckons it will fill a market niche, and that it’s “ideal for people who want a device that’s practical and compact yet powerful enough to meet their everyday needs.”

But does it distinguish itself in a crowded smart phone market? Well, just the brand and the name Galaxy will distinguish it in some eyes, and the Galaxy S III does have a reputation for being just about the next best thing to, well, anything made by that company it keeps on fighting in the courts.

Samsung says: “The GALAXY SIII has proven hugely popular in New Zealand with its instinctive usability and intelligence. Building on such success we are proud to introduce a new member to the GALAXY family – one that offers the same core benefits of the GALAXY S III, but in a smaller size and at a lower price.”

It will be ‘usability’ that sells it, rather than innovation, one would think. While its features are impressive, they’re no surprise, and won’t shake the earth off its axis: Powered by Android 4.1 (known as Jelly Bean), with “a new Google Search experience featuring Google Now, which gives users fast access to information with just the touch of a button.”

We’re feeling sleepy.

The guff continues: “Stylish and compact, the GALAXY S III Mini shares its big brother’s design and simple elegance. Its thin curved frame delivers a rich, natural feel which is also reflected on its nature-inspired home screen, wallpapers and ringtones. Meanwhile, the GALAXY S III Mini’s 4.0-inch Super AMOLED display provides a generous viewing experience that enables users to view multimedia and web content in brilliant colour and clarity. Its compact size gives users a comfortable grip and enables convenient one-hand operation.”

We’re now comatose. Anything else to report, Mr Samsung?

“The GALAXY S III Mini is designed to make interacting with the phone natural and intuitive. S Voice*, Samsung’s advanced natural language recognition software, enables voice alone to unlock the phone with simple customised commands, play favourite songs, alter volume, organise a schedule, or automatically launch the camera.”

Hmm. That woke us up. If it works like it’s supposed to, that should be cool.

“The GALAXY S III Mini also understands the user’s needs. With Smart Stay, the phone’s camera tracks the user’s eyes and keeps the screen lit as long as it’s being looked at. When reading a text message from a friend, Direct Call enables automatic dialling by simply lifting the phone to the ear; and Smart Alert conveniently alerts if there are missed calls or messages as the phone is picked up.”

I think we need a cup of tea and a lie down.

“Content sharing is easy and fast on the GALAXY S III Mini. S Beam** enables a 10MB file to be shared in seconds by simply tapping on another S Beam-enabled device including GALAXY S III or GALAXY Note II, even without a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. The Buddy Photo Share function also means photos can be easily and simultaneously shared with friends pictured in an image directly from either the camera or the photo gallery.”

Admittedly, that’s pretty neat, and Samsung knows how to play well with the social media play space.

* RRP on the Galaxy S III Mini is $599. It’s available in pebble blue and marble white, and service providers are Vodafone, Telecom and 2Degrees.

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