Flashback: Samsung’s Galaxy S minis have been small however hardly deserving of the S-branding



Mini telephones are on our thoughts once more – when are they not? – however the latest reminiscence to floor is simply one other affirmation that the market doesn’t really need such units.

Particularly, we wish to discuss in regards to the Samsung Galaxy S III mini and its ilk. The primary one got here out in October 2012, about half a yr after the large S III. We discover it a bit humorous that this “mini” telephone has the identical show as the unique Galaxy S, which was simply over two years previous at this level. Each had a 4.0” Tremendous AMOLED panel with 480 x 800px decision (15:9). This was 30% smaller (by way of floor space) than the 4.8” 16:9 panel that the large S III had, so it was certainly a “mini”.

Samsung I8190 Galaxy S III mini
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III

Samsung I8190 Galaxy S III mini • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III

The which means of “mini” would proceed to vary and fairly shortly at that. And it was misleading too. Sure, minis have been smaller, however a extra noticeable distinction between them and the flagships that they have been named after have been the {hardware} specs. It might have been extra correct to name this telephone the “Galaxy S III mid-ranger”.

The Galaxy S III mini bore a flagship’s identify, but it surely was itself removed from a flagship – it had a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU (1.0GHz) and a Mali-400 GPU, this NovaThor U8420 chipset was weaker than the Exynos 4210 Twin of the Galaxy S II from the yr earlier than. There was no evaluating it to the quad-core CPU of the full-on flagship. The NovaThor was paired with 1GB of RAM (identical as the large S III, surprisingly) and 8GB of storage, plus a microSD slot.

Additionally, the WVGA show had low pixel density, the primary digital camera was an unimpressive 5MP shooter with 720p video seize (in comparison with 8MP 1080p of the S III), the 0.3MP selfie digital camera was much more fundamental (in comparison with a 1.9MP module for the S III).

Flashback: Samsung's Galaxy S minis were small but hardly deserving of the S-branding

This was no minified Galaxy S III, it was a mid-ranger styled to seem like the costlier telephone. The Galaxy S Advance was mainly the identical telephone, besides noticeably cheaper. If you happen to may get previous its outdated appears (which have been primarily based on the S II), you can save quite a lot of money. The Galaxy S III mini was expensive for what it was, so it couldn’t preserve tempo with the gross sales of the true Galaxy S III.

That didn’t discourage Samsung and it tried once more the next yr with the Galaxy S4 mini. This one had a 4.3” 16:9 show (540 x 960px), which was corresponding to the 4.3” 15:9 show of the Galaxy S II (480 x 800px). Crucially, it was 26% smaller than the precise Galaxy S4. The pixel density was nowhere near the 1080p show of the S4, although (256ppi vs. 441ppi).

Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4

Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini • Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4

The S4 mini was comparatively highly effective – the Snapdragon 400 with its dual-core Krait 300 CPU and Adreno 305 was no match for the Exynos 4310 (octa-core CPU with A15+A7 cores and PowerVR SGX544MP3), but it surely was nonetheless a zippy chipset. It was given 1.5GB of RAM (half a gig down from the S4) and 8GB storage, once more with a microSD growth (these have been the times).

Flashback: Samsung's Galaxy S minis were small but hardly deserving of the S-branding

The digital camera additionally noticed a big improve with an 8MP sensor – not fairly as much as the 13MP normal of the S4, however no less than it matched it with 1080p @ 30fps video recording. And the 1.9MP selfie digital camera was comparable too.

Total, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini was a a lot better telephone than the S III mini was. Nonetheless removed from a real flagship, however one thing that you simply wouldn’t really feel unhealthy shopping for. Nevertheless, it was nonetheless pretty expensive at €380 (a real S4 might be discovered for round €100 extra with some effort).

Flashback: Samsung's Galaxy S minis were small but hardly deserving of the S-branding

One other yr, one other mini – the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, to be exact. This one was larger nonetheless with a 4.5” show, a 720p panel this time that lastly put it in Retina show territory. The true Galaxy S5 grew solely barely from the S4 and had a 5.1” 1080p show, so the S5 mini show was solely 22% smaller.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini • Samsung Galaxy S5

The defining characteristic of the S5 was its IP67 ranking for mud and water resistance, a primary for the flagship line (not counting the Galaxy S4 Energetic, which is one other story) and one thing that might develop into the norm going ahead. To S5 mini’s credit score, it too had an IP67 ranking.

That stated, Samsung actually dropped the ball on efficiency – the Snapdragon 400 wasn’t nice, however no less than these Krait cores supplied stable single-core efficiency. The Galaxy S5 mini had a quad Cortex-A7 CPU and a Mali-400MP4 GPU, which was simply not aggressive. Additionally, the digital camera had mainly no upgrades for the reason that S4 mini whereas the Galaxy S5 had moved on to 4K video.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

The Galaxy S4 mini confirmed promise, however the S5 mini was quite a bit just like the S III mini – A+ on the appears, C- on the options. And the worth was nonetheless larger than it ought to have been.

Sadly, that is the place the story ends. There have been some rumors a couple of Galaxy S6 mini with a 4.6”/4.7” show and a Snapdragon 808 chipset, however no such telephone was ever launched (in reality, Samsung dodged the Snapdragon 808 and 810 altogether, however that too is one other story).

We don’t have particular numbers of what number of Galaxy S minis Samsung managed to promote. One report from 2013 described the S4 mini gross sales as “lackluster” with out moving into extra particulars. On the finish of the day, if the mini experiment was profitable, Samsung would have made extra of them – and can be making minis to at the present time.

However the Galaxy S23 is as small as Samsung is keen to go. In truth, the S23 is the smallest Samsung smartphone, interval – even the A0 and M0 entry stage units are larger. To be honest, few fashionable smartphones are as small because the S23. Not that we’d name it a “mini”.


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