Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini - 8/16GB with microSD slot
Samsung Galaxy S3 - 16/32/64GB with microSD slot
As a lower-cost device, we're not too surprised to see that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini doesn't offer particularly high-capacity options. You're stuck with either 8GB or 16GB of internal memory, while the full fat Samsung Galaxy S3 goes all the way up to 64GB (although good luck finding the 64GB model in the UK…).
Initial storage isn't a huge concern, though, as both phones come with a microSD memory card slot that lives under the battery cover.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini - 5MP, LED flash, VGA secondary camera
Samsung Galaxy S3 - 8MP, LED flash, 1.9MP secondary camera
Once again, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini feels the cuts involved in stepping down from the level of a flagship phone to a mid-range one. It offers a 5-megapixel camera sensor while the Galaxy S3 has an 8MP camera. The secondary cameras show a similar gap, with a VGA user-facing sensor against the superior 1.9MP sensor of the previous S3 model.
Samsung tends to produce rather good phone cameras, but we do not doubt that the S3 Mini will be thoroughly outpaced by its big brother. As if to demonstrate this, the Mini edition is only capable of capturing video up to 720p in resolution, while the earlier S3 can snag 1080p video.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini - 1500mAh
Samsung Galaxy S3 - 2100mAh
Once again, the Samsung Galaxy S3 reminds of the original Samsung Galaxy S, this time in its battery capacity. Like the great grandfather of the series, the new Mini features a 1500mAh unit. That's a good deal smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3's 2100mAh battery.
Of course, one of the biggest drains on a phone's battery is the screen, and the smaller, lower resolution of the Mini's 4-incher should ensure somewhat-comparable battery stamina. You're looking at around a day and a half's moderate use from a charge.
Samsung seemed to claim that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini was like a Galaxy S3 crammed into a smaller body. But that's not really true. It's much more like a revisited Samsung Galaxy S, a phone that's more than two years old.
This isn't a terrible thing, but means that the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is a perfunctory mid-range phone rather than something particularly exciting and new.