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Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini isn't much like the Galaxy S3

Samsung's 4-inch version of the Galaxy S3 has a more modest processor, camera and screen resolution than its big brother.

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Samsung's made a 4-inch version of its super-popular Galaxy S3 smart phone, called the Galaxy S3 Mini. Beyond the name though, this mid-range mobile doesn't have much in common with its big brother.

There's some family resemblance, sure -- the S3 Mini has the same glossy oval shape as its 4.8-inch counterpart. Under the bonnet, however, it's powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, rather than the whopping 1.4GHz quad-core chip that lurks within the S3.

The camera has a 5-megapixel resolution compared to the 8-megapixels on the S3's snapper. Screen resolution has taken a hit too -- your eyes will be gazing at a standard 480x800-pixel display, rather than the eye-scorching 720p panel on the Galaxy S3.

A spot of excellent news is that the S3 Mini will arrive running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is the bleeding-edge-oh-my-paws-and-whiskers-very-latest version of Google's mobile operating system. The Galaxy S3 itself is only just starting to be updated to this version.

Downgraded hardware across the board isn't necessarily a disaster -- after all, the specs here are highly reminiscent of this year's Galaxy S Advance, which earned itself a healthy four stars in our in-depth review. Indeed, Samsung makes some cracking mid-range mobiles, so there's good reason to look forward to this diminutive device.

If you were hoping for a slightly smaller but just as powerful version of the Galaxy S3 however, you'll be disappointed with this middle-of-the-road mobile. Samsung will be hoping to lure shoppers with the famous name, but if you decide to buy, make sure you're doing so with your eyes open -- while potentially a great smart phone, you won't get the retina-searing screen or benchmark-destroying performance the S3 is known for.

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