Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

The Good The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini delivers Android 4.2, 4G LTE, NFC, and a solid 5-megapixel camera for just $1 on contract.

The Bad Mediocre call quality and internal speed hiccups are two trade-offs for the price; you'll especially notice shutter lag.

The Bottom Line First-time smartphone buyers get a lot for a little with Samsung's year-old Galaxy S3 Mini, but keep in mind that this is no high-end performer.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 6.0
6.3 Overall

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Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
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Price $150 Amazon.com $300 Best Buy $185 Amazon.com $249 MSRP $580 Amazon.com
Design
7
8
8
8
9
Features
6
8
8
8
9
Performance
6
9
7
7
9

Review

Best entry-level Android $1 can buy

One dollar on contract. That's pretty much all you need to know about why AT&T is selling an Android phone that's a year old, and why anyone would choose the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini over many other "minis" -- the HTC One Mini, Motorola Droid Mini, and iPhone 5C included.

It doesn't hurt that this baby S3 has a pleasing design, a modern Android 4.2.2 OS, and a reliable camera. On the other hand, the smartphone is slower than most, and although the Mini debuted as a midrange Galaxy S3 alternative, its hardware specs are entry-level by today's standards. Although its credentials trail behind, the S3 Mini is pretty great for what is essentially a free phone, and an ideal 99-cent investment for smartphone first-timers.

A word about Minis
Although new to AT&T, the S3 Mini in fact kicked off the trend of manufacturers issuing a slightly smaller, more scaled-back alternative to the premier smartphone that nevertheless kept the phone's basic look, feel, and design elements.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $249
  • Brand Samsung
  • Service Provider AT&T
  • Diagonal Size 4 in
  • Weight 3.93 oz
  • Sensors Accelerometer, proximity sensor, digital compass, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Additional Features Easy Mode, Group Play function, Text-to-Speech (text recognition), intelligent typing (SWYPE), multitasking, software updates FOTA (Firmware Over The Air), Noise Cancellation Technology, Radio Data Service (RDS), S Beam, Samsung Approved for Enterprise (SAFE), Smart Gestures, Smart stay, Speech-to-Text (speech recognition), TTY compatible
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