Samsung has announced its latest handset at a press event in Frankfurt, Germany. The four-inch Galaxy S III Mini is an Android-powered smartphone designed to provide a premium alternative to the company's larger Galaxy S III device.
The handset is aesthetically identical to the original Galaxy S III, albeit with a significantly reduced footprint (four inches compared to the original device's 4.8-inch effort). The internals, on the other hand, aren't quite on par with the flagship handset, featuring a dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, up to 16 GB storage and a WVGA AMOLED (800 x 480) display. The Mini is also slightly thicker than its namesake, coming in at 9.85 mm.
Despite the slightly disappointing specs, the Mini does boast some compelling features. The device will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, complete with the company's TouchWiz UI overlay which provides access to premium features such as the Siri-like S Voice. The handset also features NFC connectivity and a 5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p video. The Galaxy S III Mini will not have 4G LTE connectivity.
Although the reduced screen size of the device may be appealing to many users, the performance premium here may make it difficult for it to compete with the iPhone 5, which features a similar (though much higher resolution) four-inch display. We're also not convinced that the device is deserving of the premium Galaxy S name, and there is potential that it may lead to a dilution of the premium perception of the brand.
There is currently no word on a release date or pricing for the device, but it's likely that it will hit a significantly lower price point than both the original Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5.