Customer Review

171 of 195 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of an iPhone user, January 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini GT-i8190 Unlocked, International Version, Blue (Electronics)
In summary: Good phone if you come with midrange expectations, hopefully Samsung will include better specs next time around.

Recently my iPhone didn't just crack, it shattered the very first time I dropped it. I've never been opposed to trying an android phone, just didn't want to commit 2 years and a large sum of money to something I could potentially hate, in addition I'm not interested in phones that are approaching the size of my face. In short I've been quite impressed and the transition was simple as pie. This is not a competitor of the iPhone 5, the specs are just not there, this is a competitor of the iPhone 4S, so I will articulate the differences. At the time of writing this, the Galaxy S3 mini is a full $200+ cheaper (around 40% cheaper) than the iPhone 4S yet I feel nearly comparable in quality.

Physical Size: The Galaxy S3 mini is nearly the same size as the iPhone 4S, minimally larger, even though it has a 4 inch screen vs. the iPhone 4S 3.5 inch. In fact, it's so similar, the Glaxy S3 mini fits into the phone sleeve I bought for the iPhone. I have medium sized hands (like, literally, I work in a lab and wear size medium latex gloves), and I think this is the perfect size, my thumb barely reaches the top left corner while still holding the phone securely (i.e. with the first knuckle of my other fingers). I hope they keep future models in the 4" (max 4.2") range, a 5" is just not necessary or comfortable to walk around with in your pocket.

Display: Again, 4 inch display vs. 3.5 inch on iPhone 4s, though there are less pixels (480x800 vs 640x960, respectively, 38% less). You can look at this two ways, because you have a 4" screen, you "get" to hold it farther away, or because of the lower pixel density, you "have" to hold it farther away (without noticing the pixels). This just means you just don't get the same clarity if you want to examine something closely. That said, all you have to do is watch the video included in the Gallery of the phone to be wow'ed by the screen, the colors do pop and it looks very nice. Just when you are reading text, the pixels are noticeable, especially if you are accustomed to a "retina" screen.

Responsiveness: iPhone users will know the responsiveness of the screen, when you move your finger it looks like you are pushing a coin across the table. On the Galaxy S3 mini, there is a tiny bit of delay, this is more noticeable when moving the finger fast. In addition, there can be some stuttering of the screen if it is processing/downloading something else. These don't detract much from the phone but hope are improved in the next generation.

Transition: First of all, I would highly suggest SmoothSync (contacts + calendars). I have all my contacts and calendars set up in iCloud and this software brings them to the Galaxy S3 mini in minutes, turned a potential nightmare into a dream. Next, the above said, there are some features, both physical- and software-based, that make up for the limitations. It has NFC capabilities, you just have to buy a NFC SIM card from your provider, which may be the source of some confusion, there also appears to be talk of a version without NFC though the once I received does have it. They have not set up NFC with my local transportation system yet, so I haven't spent the $30 on the SIM card, will update if/when I do. There is a micro SD slot, so you can chose how much extra memory you want up to 32GB (the phone says 8GB but when I first started it had about 4.5GB free), if you need more room, you can easily expand which is not the case for the iPhone. For the software, it's small but the live wallpaper looks really cool and I think makes up for the lack of pixel density. You can turn off/on GPS/Wifi/Bluetooth, etc. very quickly, just swipe down from the top and tap the icon. I like having "widgets" such as the music player right among the app icons, instead of having to open the app to play music, as well as a number of other small things. Software interaction is pretty similar, just have to get used to using the "back" and "menu" keys in addition to the home button.

In case anyone was wondering, yes this does work for me in Singapore on the M1 network.

So, again, overall happy with the phone, I will likely upgrade in about a year when I don't have to pay a recontracting fee. I will keep an eye on this line and hope they make some changes in the next version. I feel like this is a trial balloon...they are testing to see customers are interested in "smaller" (still 4-4.2" screen), which I definitely am. Some things that could be/I hope are improved:

-Screen: Should be at least in the 600x1024 range, at 4 inches, this brings the pixel density close to 300ppi (like that of the 'full size' galaxy s3).
-Processor: Bump up the engine to address the minor lag issues.
-LTE: I mean, by next year it should be a pretty standard thing to include on phones.

These are straightforward improvements that are already included on the 'full size' Galaxy S3, and would make this baby brother highly desirable to a wide range of people.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 15, 2013 7:28:41 PM PST
TM says:
I'd love to know if GPS is satellite or cell tower (A-GPS) based. In other words, if there are no towers nearby, can you still use GPS? I have spoken with several reps and they tell me that no Android phone uses satellite GPS.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2013 10:08:05 PM PDT
-=Rudy=- says:
Those reps obviously know nothing: GPS IS satellite, by definition. Every Android phone I have owned used satellites for GPS, even the ancient Droid 1. The GPS in my Nexus 4 locks in very quickly. There is an app I use (called, I think, "GPS Status") that shows me location and strength of the satellite, and also lets me optimize how well they work.

Having said that, all Android cell phones can make use of cell towers for position location--this is what they call "coarse" location, and this works without needing GPS enabled (which can save battery power). The coarse positioning is good for things like weather or "local" information when you are in a neighborhood (finding stores, restaurants, etc.), but if you need the accuracy down to 10 feet, or to use the navigation feature, etc., only the GPS can provide that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2013 7:05:42 PM PDT
GW says:
ALL GPS is satellite based.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2013 12:58:24 PM PDT
Tom says:
Not only does it support the GPS system, it also is capable of getting GLONASS signals. Both are satellite based systems.

Posted on Feb 28, 2014 8:41:29 PM PST
You use a lot of words

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 5:57:42 PM PDT
Mastercard says:
buenas señores de amazon la precente es para notificarles que compre dos telefonos y me fueron devitados de mi tarjeta de credito y luego la orden fue cancelada y hasta ahora no tengo ni el dinero ni los telefonos por favor solo quiero saber cuando me reintegran mi dinero o me envian los telefonos muchas gracias mi mail es (
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