Samsung’s Galaxy S III mini: Smaller, slower, and without LTE

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Throwing a bone to the small-handed, Samsung today announced the Galaxy S III mini, a mid-range spin on its flagship Galaxy S III Android smartphone.

Not surprisingly, everything about the Galaxy S III mini is toned down from its larger sibling: It features a 4-inch screen, instead of a 4.8-inch behemoth; it’s running a dual-core 1 gigahertz processor, instead of a 1.4 Ghz quad-core (or 1.5 Ghz dual-core in the U.S.); and, perhaps most surprisingly, it doesn’t have LTE 4G connectivity, something that seems standard on every new phone these days.

Samsung announced the Galaxy S III mini at a press event in Germany today — a fitting spot, since Samsung mobile head JK Shin previously said there was a big demand for 4-inch smartphones in Europe. Since it doesn’t have LTE, the S III mini is also well suited for countries in Europe, South America, and elsewhere without decent 4G LTE coverage. The lack of LTE also makes the phone a good option for prepaid carriers in the U.S.

Given that Samsung’s Galaxy S III has been wildly successful (and is still one of the best Android phones on the market), I’m sure someone at Samsung thought it would be wise to capitalize on that excitement for a smaller phone. On paper though, the Galaxy S III mini just seems like a fairly typical mid-range phone from Samsung — something not exactly deserving of the company’s flagship brand.

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