Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini NFC edition out in the UK this month

The new model is just like the old S3 Mini, but features an NFC chip for wireless transfer with other mobiles.

A fresh version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is out in the UK this month, adding NFC technology for those who enjoy slapping their phones together to transfer files.

If you're poised to purchase Samsung's current S3 Mini, you might want to hold off for a few weeks, as the new edition promises to be almost exactly the same but with the added wireless transfer tech, which will work with Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S3 or Note 2 using the company's S Beam software.

You can transfer up to 10MB using S Beam alone, but for larger files you'll need to have a Wi-Fi connection to zap data from one photo to another.

NFC isn't exactly the most popular or widely used technology, and it's a shame that Samsung hasn't taken the opportunity to address some of our more pointed complaints concerning the S3 Mini -- namely that it's a mid-range mobile that, name aside, bears very little resemblance to the high-end Galaxy S3.

On the other hand, those who bought the S3 Mini when it came out just two months ago may be peeved that Samsung has already released an updated version. You have to wonder why, if it was just around the corner, Samsung didn't stuff an NFC chip into the first edition.

At £270 on pay as you go, the S3 Mini is already on the pricier end of the mid-range mobile spectrum, and the new version is unlikely to be any cheaper. I've asked Samsung for specifics on whether the S3 Mini with NFC will be more expensive, and I'll update this story if I hear back.

NFC has long been touted as the future for paying for stuff using your smart phone, though at the CES trade show this year I saw several TVs that let you tap your phone against a remote to beam a video onto the large screen.

Do you make use of NFC regularly? Would you use it for mobile payments, or does its future lie elsewhere? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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