With bells on
When it comes to hardware, Samsung opted for modest components in the S III Mini compared to those in the S III proper. Obviously, Samsung targets a different group of consumers with the Mini, so this is not all that surprising, even if the S III moniker creates expectations about hardware that the Mini can't meet. When it comes to software, the Mini definitely is an S III. All the nifty features that are included in TouchWiz 5 are present on this device. For an extensive discussion of these features, we gladly refer you to our review of the Galaxy S III.
All motion activation features are present as well:
- Direct call
By moving the handset to your ear while typing an email or text message, or while looking at contact details, the person you were writing or looking at will be called. This works well in practice and does offer a small speed benefit, even though in every SMS app a menu button has been available for years to immediately call the person you are chatting with.
- Smart alert
When you have a missed call or text message, the phone vibrates the moment you pick it up. This is a useful function for those of us who do not have our handset within reach at all times and sometimes only discover after a while they have missed a message or conversation.
- Tap to top
By tapping the top of the handset twice, you automatically scroll to the top of web pages, your mail listing and contact lists.
- Tilt to zoom
By pressing with two thumbs on the screen and tilting the handset forwards or backwards, you can zoom in and out. This by way of an (in our opinion less user-friendly) alternative to pinch zoom.
- Pan to move icon
When you hold an icon or gadget on one of the home screens, you can move this off-screen by moving the phone left or right.
- Shake to update
By shaking the phone, it tries again to establish a Bluetooth connection.
- Turn over to mute
If you turn the handset facedown while being called, the call is rejected.
Another innovation Samsung first introduced on the S III was Smart Stay, which ensures that the display won't be dimmed as long as you're watching it. This feature is also present on the S III Mini, as well as S Voice and Pop-up Play, which enables you to playback video in a small pop-up window.
Samsung definitely has things covered when it comes to the software on the Mini, that much is clear. Whether you'll be tempted by it to go out and buy a Mini is a matter of personal preference. The fact is that everything works smoothly on this device, even though the Mini has to make do with hardware that's much less powerful than that in the S III.