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CNET First Look
Mini Galaxy S3 has maximum valueOne dollar gives you Android 4.2 and a good 5-megapixel camera on this AT&T refresh.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini has been around for a year but it's new to AT&T and there's one very compelling reason why you might wanna buy it. It's a $1 reason. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET and this is your first look. The S3 Mini looks a lot like the S3 that came before it, not the S4. It's got about same rounded corner, high gloss shape, the same sort of brushed color for this pebble blue version. Globally, it also comes in white. There's a 4-inch AMOLED display on here. It's pretty bright, it doesn't have the highest pixel density but it is just fine for day to day use. The operating system gets a bump here to Android 4.2.2 not Android 4.1, that's really great. It's got the TouchWiz interface writing on top of it so you could view extra Samsung tools but you're not going to find everything that you see in the Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship phone, so just be aware of that. There is a very reliable 5-megapixel camera on the back with auto focus and flash, took pretty good pictures in 720p HD video. So, I thought that was great. Low-light shots aren't so hot but there is a night mode so that might help. There's also a front-facing VGA camera that took very basic from facing shots. I wouldn't use it for video chat if you have an alternative. Inside, there's a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm processor. It's gonna be fine for navigating around but you're gonna notice some slow down especially when you're using the camera and trying to take one picture quickly after another. This phone does come equipped with AT&T's 4G LTE. Speeds were pretty good and consistent I found. The phone also comes with NFC and S Beam, so you are gonna be able to transfer our content like photos and videos from one equipped phone to the next. One interesting little tidbit is that this version for AT&T has a slightly higher battery, 2,000 mAh instead of 1500. And that's to accommodate the extra resource train from LTE. Specs aren't the highest on this phone, definitely not as high as something that other mini phones that are out there today but it does cost about $1, so it's a really great deal for what is essentially a free phone. I think it's gonna be best for first time smartphone users or somebody who just wants a very basic and reliable Android smartphone. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, you can catch my full review at CNET.com.