When word first started trickling out that Samsung planned to make a mini version of the Galaxy S III, it had the air of plausibility -- we've heard from many a person about the too-large size of that phone for their hands. Then, a press invitation confirmed that "something small" was in the works, and finally mobile chief JK Shin confirmed that a smartphone of that name would be announced today in Frankfurt, Germany.
Now Samsung's spilled all the beans, and revealed the new Galaxy S III mini, a slightly paler version of its bigger brother in specs as well as screen size. Our own short time with the phone certainly revealed that its pushing all the same "inspired by nature" buttons of the original Galaxy S III (and the Galaxy Note II), with the same exact rounded pebble shape and layout. The German marketing rep we spoke to said his company's research found that users wanted the same phone design as the 4.8-inch Galaxy S III, but in a smaller form factor -- to more easily fit smaller hands and pockets. Samsung said those folks don't necessarily need or want the most powerful phone they can get their hands on and are content to have mid-level specs -- so the mini carries a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a 4-inch, WVGA AMOLED screen and 32GB max of memory.
The button placement is identical to the larger handset, and the phone will come out of the box with nearly identical Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean functionality -- with the added Samsung TouchWiz twist, of course. That includes new niceties like the multi-screen option, and a brief play with the phone shows the same butter factor, even with the lesser dual-core processor.