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Samsung have been notorious for their “carpet bombing” approach to devices, with a plethora of tablets for every size as well as a bunch of similar mobiles for every budget, Samsung are out to leave no stone unturned. Banking on the success of the Galaxy S3, Samsung have come up with its younger sibling, opting to shrink down pretty much everything into a more compact, pocket friendly (in more ways than one) form factor. Unimaginatively named the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, it sets out to give fans of the S3 who are on a budget the chance to own one.

So does the S3 Mini deliver a punch like its older sibling or does it go out with a whimper? Hit the jump to find out!

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At first glance, the S3 Mini is pretty much what the name implies; A shrunken 4inch screen, similar design aesthetics as the S3 but with a much stockier build and of course the trademark plasticky back cover that Samsung are quite (In)famous for. Since the outside is so similar to the SGS3, let’s talk specs. The Galaxy S3 Mini isn’t the most supercharged of phones, but at that price, you can’t argue with what it DOES give. The 4inch screen is a decent 400 x 800 pixel Super AMOLED screen with a 233 PPI pixel density. Powering the S3 Mini is a 1GHz dual-core processor as well as 1GB RAM all sitting pretty on Android 4.1 Jellybean. With a modest 5MP rear camera and a VGA front facer, you can see very quickly where the target market for this phone lies.

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Performance wise, the S3 Mini is a pretty decent performer. In the course of my usage I only encountered minor stuttering in otherwise fluid navigation. While it wasn’t the fastest phone on the block, it did its job well. One of the stumbling blocks however was when it was playing games like my mortal enemy, Candy Crush or my recent obsession Game Dev Story. Opening apps took a tad bit longer than the other phones I’ve tested, but that of course is to be expected.

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Camera wise, the 5MP shooter is definitely not as advanced as the 8MP mainstream but it’s quite decent. The Samsung Touchwiz camera interface is admittedly one of my favourites despite the rest of the OS not really tickling my fancy. The images shot with the SGS3 Mini are a little on the warm side and the camera flash is just like most cameras on a phone, quite ineffective for the most part. As for the picture quality, it really is decent in retaining colour detail and as for resolving finer detail, it does as well as a 5MP shooter can.

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So in conclusion, does the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini live up to its bigger brothers name and pedigree? While the phone definitely lives up to the name of a “Mini S3″, the performance does leave a lot to be desired if it is to be called that. The camera isn’t great, but at 5MP, It does its job well. The design and interface will be familiar to all Samsung owners and to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. All that being said, the phone has a lot more going for it than just mediocre specs and stunted good looks; After the recent price revisions, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is going for a very cool RM999. Granted there is but a RM200 difference, that is enough to make you consider this phone as a second or even a first phone for a kid. At the end of the day, it’s not really just a mini S3 as its name implies, but rather an S3 for the mid-entry level market.