The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will be coming out later this year, joining the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 on shelves. And while consumers may be weighing it against the Samsung Galaxy S4, that may not really be the battle that’s worth weighing. Instead, consumers should be looking at how the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung’s former flagship, will compete against the Galaxy S4 Mini.
Last year, Samsung introduced the Samsung Galaxy S3, a device that valiantly took on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, HTC One X, and more when it took to shelves. The device went on to sell over 40 million units worldwide, putting it in the same category as the iPhone. In fact, despite the arrival of the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S3 remains a solid option with its solid specifications, its newish software and its plummeting price tag.
Indeed, the Galaxy S3 is not a smartphone from 2013, but it’s still a device that should warrant a look from anyone that is looking to buy a new smartphone in the months ahead.
Of course, it’s not without its opposition. The Galaxy S4 is a tempting competitor. As are the HTC One X, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and so on. Soon, there will be even more competition and one of those devices is going to be the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller version of Samsung’s larger Galaxy S4 and one that should be touching down on shelves in just a few weeks time.
The Galaxy S4 Mini may not have the hardware of the Galaxy S4, but it will have some similarities and without the price, making it a tempting purchase for those in the market for something that is cost efficient and capable.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini still isn’t official, but we have enough on it to make some comparisons to likely competitors like the Galaxy S4. With that, it’s time to look at what to expect from the impending match up between the Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
Galaxy S3 Display Victory
Maybe the biggest thing to expect out of the Samsung Galaxy S3 versus Galaxy S4 Mini battle is that the Galaxy S3 display will likely blow the Galaxy S4 Mini’s out of the water.
Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 Mini display will measure in at 4.3-inches, smaller than the Galaxy S3’s 4.8-inch display, and boast qHD resolution with 256 pixels-per-inch. If true, and there is no reason to doubt that it isn’t, it means that the Galaxy S4 Mini display will not only feature less pixels-per-inch than the 306 ppi touting Galaxy S3 but also feature lesser resolution.
qHD means that it will have 960 x 540 resolution which means it will be on par with devices from 2011. The Galaxy S3 on the other hand features 720p HD resolution which may not be as good as the 1080p resolution on the Galaxy S4 but will be suitable for average users. What this means is that users should expect a stark contrast between the quality of content on both smartphones.
With a higher resolution and ppi count, expect the Galaxy S3 screen to prevail, even though its a year old.
Galaxy S4 Software
One of the most alluring qualities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will likely be its software as we, and consumers, should expect it to arrive with many of the software features found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Last year’s Galaxy S3 Mini arrived with plenty of Galaxy S3 software features so this isn’t too far-fetched.
Rumors have not pinpointed exactly which features will be on board, but safe bet would be the Galaxy S4’s plentiful camera features and quite possibly features like its unique Easy Mode for beginners. It could also come with features like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause though neither of those has been thrown out there as possibilities.
Of course, the Galaxy S4 Mini should only have an edge for a little while as the Galaxy S3 is already confirmed to be receiving some of the Galaxy S4’s software features down the road. When exactly is unknown but those looking to pick up the Galaxy S3 should rest assured that their device will get many of the features, if not all of the features that Samsung launches on the Galaxy S4 Mini.
Similar Smaller Features
Those looking into the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4 Mini will likely run into some similar bells and whistles when it comes to their features.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S4 Mini should come with a removable back which means that owners will be able to replace its battery should the need arise. This may not sound like much but this will shave a ton of time off the process.
It also will allow Galaxy S4 Mini owners to extend the battery, should a capable battery hit the market. Many phones come with a non-removable back which means that owners can’t install their own extended battery to increase battery life. Both phones offer large batteries but those who simply need more juice with the Galaxy S4 should have that option.
As for storage, the Galaxy S4 Mini is thought to be coming in 32GB form. That should mean that it will come with memory that can be expanded to 96GB thanks to a 64GB microSD card slot. It’s also possible that it may be limited to support for 32GB but at the very least, expect the Galaxy S4 Mini to feature expanded memory like the Galaxy S3.
The Galaxy S4 is going to be getting a wireless charging kit, but there is no sign that the Galaxy S4 Mini will get the same type of support. At this point, given that it’s a mid-range phone, it seems unlikely. The Galaxy S3 doesn’t have wireless charging either. We expect neither to get support.
Longevity Will Be About the Same
Despite coming out a year later, the Galaxy S4 Mini is rumored for July, the device will likely get the same kind of longevity as the older Samsung Galaxy S3.
What we mean is that Samsung will likely update the Samsung Galaxy S3 for as long as it updates the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. That means that those looking at the Galaxy S3 should feel comfortable picking up the Galaxy S3, even if it doesn’t have Galaxy S4 in its name.
How did we come to this conclusion? Simple. Companies put their software resources into devices that matter. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was adopted by millions of consumers last year and continues to be bought and sold. Thus, Samsung has motivation to continue updating its former flagship with new software and large Android updates.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a mid-range phone and that means that it will get mid-range support. The Galaxy S4 Mini will come with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board, an update that the Galaxy S3 doesn’t have, but we expect these devices to end their lives on the same software despite the age difference.
Galaxy S3 With More Carriers
Again, the Galaxy S3 is an older device, but it certainly is going to retain some perks. One of those perks is the fact that it will be available on a host of carriers that the Galaxy S4 Mini isn’t.
We expect the Galaxy S4 Mini to only arrive on a select few carriers in the United States. AT&T has been rumored thus far and we expect that it may be joined by a few other carriers, but certainly not all of them.
What this means is that consumers should expect the Galaxy S3 to have a wider range of options as its not only available on all of the largest carriers but also a host of smaller carriers as well.
The options with the Galaxy S4 Mini should be much smaller.
That said, we expect these devices to be sold at competing price points. AT&T for instance continues to sell the Galaxy S3 for $99.99 on-contract. That may drop a little bit when the Galaxy S4 Mini arrives with the Galaxy S4 Mini either replacing it at $99 or perhaps even undercutting it by a little bit.
Certainly we don’t see the Galaxy S4 Mini being any more expensive than $99 on-contract. That’s its sweet spot. Whether the Galaxy S3 price drops is up for debate but expect these competing devices to see competing price points both at launch of the Galaxy S4 Mini and after.