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Samsung Galaxy S III Mini

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    15 Reviews
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      06.07.2014 00:12
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Camera
      • "Pretty :)"
      • Thin
      • Bright
      • "Google keyboard"

      Disadvantages

      • Price
      • "Battery life"
      • "Touch screen"

      Good phone, but focused on having all the modern features rather than practicality.

      I adore my phone- but I would never pay the retail price for it. I got mine for free handed down, and I really dislike the touch screen. When compared to a keyboard phone such as a blackberry, I personally prefer the blackberry. It is easier to touch type, and there are always far less mistakes. The Samsung s3 mini is good for the option to be able to use the google keyboard, where you draw a line and (usually) the word you are trying to type is predicted and typed for you. It is a quick and easy method of typing and is surprisingly far more accurate than typing the conventional way. The outside camera is fantastic and takes detailed, well-colored shots. The inner camera is pretty standard, but unless unlike me you like to take "selfies" this really isn''t a problem. The phone is sleek and just slides into your pocket. I like to keep mine in a bulky case so it doesn''t slip out again. The OS is great and the screen is bright and vivid. The worst part about this phone is the poor battery life. Mine will last about 12 hours max on it''s lowest brightness setting, and I rarely use my phone except to check the time. If touchscreens and android OS are your things, and you don''t mind charging the phone every day (or twice depending on your usage) this is a great phone. If like me you are more practical and don''t mind missing out on the "newer updates" then I recommend sticking with a Blackberry or something alone those lines.

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      26.02.2014 15:59

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      ive had this phone for 2 weeks now as an upgrade from the huawi y300 and i think it is amazing, so far it has caused me no problems apart from text input when i delete the m by mistake but i suppose this will just take getting used to! it is really fast and has a great internal memory!

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      24.01.2014 15:18
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      An excellent mobile phone from Samsung which doesn't need a bag to carry it around in

      A few months before I was due to upgrade my mobile, I started thinking about what kind of phone I would like to get. I really liked my Samsung Galaxy Ace, but it had limitations - it ran an older version of the Android operating system, which seemed to mean I couldn't watch videos on BBC iPlayer or the BBC mobile site, or on Google Play. So I wanted something which would allow me to do this, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini seemed to fit the bill - plus it was on Skys listed of supported Android devices for using the Sky Go app.

      In October, when the battery on my Galaxy Ace suddenly became rubbish (receiving a text and replying drained it), I decided to upgrade one month early. I did this through Carphone Warehouse instead of directly with o2, as they were offering a free TV with certain handsets, which was convenient as our TV had also recently died. Having endured the very long add-on sales pitch for cases, car chargers and insurance, I walked out of the shop the proud owner of a shiny blue Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.

      Aside from the fact that it runs Android 4.1., aka Jelly Bean, which allows me to play videos, I chose the S3 Mini mainly on its size and appearance. I was really pleased with the Galaxy Ace, so I was fairly sure I wanted another Samsung - especially as phones from other Android brands seem to be quite angular, and I like a phone with curved edges. Size was key however, and this ruled out Samsungs headline offerings of the S3 and S4 - I don't want a phone that's half the size of my (small) tablet, I want a phone sized phone which will fit in my pocket. The S3 itself has more memory and perhaps is a more powerful phone, but I don't need that and would rather have a sensible sized phone, which is where the S3 Mini comes in.

      The S3 Mini is comparable in size to iPhones and the Galaxy Ace. It has a 4 inch screen and is roughly 1cm deep. According to the specs it weighs 120g, and this is a nice weight, it doesn't feel too fragile. My one has a blue back and sides, but it comes in other colours too. The back is quite shiny, and for the first couple of weeks I worried I might drop it easily if it slid out of my hand; I didn't actually drop it until last week, and it now has a lovely dent on one corner. It seems reasonably durable, as long as you take a bit of care - dropping it regularly is going to result in a battered phone, and the screen is glass so could potentially break easily if the phone landed on it.

      As far as the basic phone functions go, the S3 Mini does have improvements on my old Galaxy Ace. One issue I had with that was that pressing the one physical button on the front of the phone while in a call didn't hang up the phone, but it did keep the call open and it was a bit tricky to then get back into the call to hang up. The S3 Mini has some clever technology in it which wakes the screen back up when you move the phone - when you're making a call, the screen goes to sleep, which is very handy as it means you don't push buttons on the touchscreen while it's against your ear, but then when you take the phone away from your ear, the screen wakes up showing you the end call button on screen.

      Call quality is very good. I've had the odd problem when in areas with low signal, but that's to be expected and not the fault of the handset. I can always hear people clearly, volume is good and easy to control with buttons on the side of the phone. You can dial from your previous calls list, from a contact stored in the phone, or by entering the number on a keypad on the touchscreen.

      The touchscreen itself is sensitive but not overly so, and in general is very easy to use. The phone is unlocked by swiping anywhere on the lock screen which appears when you push the button on the front of the screen or the power button on the side. This is actually not ideal, and has led to me unlocking the phone in my pocket by accident several times. On the Galaxy Ace you had to swipe across the screen in a particular spot, which meant that if you woke the screen up in your pocket by accident, it was unlikely you'd then happen to swipe the screen in the right place. With the S3 though, if you wake the screen up while it's in your pocket, all it then takes to unlock it is pressure and a bit of movement anywhere on the screen, which is easily done. I've not yet "pocket-called" anyone, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

      Another slight issue with the touchscreen comes when texting. The keys in the onscreen QWERTY keyboard seem to be a bit smaller than those on the Galaxy Ace, and I frequently hit the wrong ones. This is compensated for by a feature of the keyboard, which brings up suggestions above it of what you might be trying to type - so if I make a mistake I generally don't have to delete to fix it, I just tap the word and it is corrected. This also saves time as it brings up words before you finish typing. It even remembers regular sentences - so if I type "anything", as soon as I hit space after that, it brings up "from" and so on, remembering that I sometimes text my partner asking if we need anything from the shop when I'm on the way home.

      The display quality is excellent. The screen is Super AMOLED, and while I don't know what that is, it sounds good and it certainly seems to be pretty damn good. Everything is crystal clear, and the TV shows and movies which I've watched on the phone have been fantastic quality. The only issue with those is that the phone seems to take a couple of minutes to display them properly - at first they tend to be a bit fuzzy and jerky, but once it settles down the quality is very good. The screen is obviously a bit small for watching things on, but when you don't have any other option it's fine - I was able to keep up with a couple of shows before our new TV arrived, watch films on long train journeys, and watch a show live on Sky while visiting my parents who don't have Sky.

      Internet use on a mobile is obviously dependent on your signal strength or wifi, however I've found using the internet to be even easier and faster on the S3 Mini than it was on the Galaxy Ace. There are occasionally delays if the signal isn't great, but aside from this it is quick and easy, and even non-mobile optimised websites work just fine. One improvement I have noticed is that the location finder on the S3 Mini works much better than on the Galaxy Ace - the TFL bus arrivals site knows where I am immediately without having to reload a couple of times, and the location on my weather widget is always very accurate. The Galaxy Ace once thought I was in Liverpool for three days after I'd returned to London, and when I was in North Berwick it thought I was in Fife.

      The battery on the S3 Mini is excellent. Watching videos or heavy call usage will run it down quicker, but I find I need to charge it less than every two days when using it normally - for me that's a few texts a day, messing about checking buses and reading the news before and after work, a couple of short calls, and about a total of 1 hour of listening to music every day. I looked at the battery usage a few days ago, it was on 15% and asking to be charged after two days and six hours of use.

      I listen to music on my phone every work day. I use the Amazon mp3 app, which so far is the best one I've found for Android. Sound quality is good, certainly comparable to any standalone mp3 player. My music is stored on a 16GB memory card, although the phone itself has a generous 4.55GB (at least that's what it says in the Storage section on my phone).

      I've been very pleased with the camera on the S3 Mini so far. Like the Galaxy Ace, it has 5MP, but the photos I've taken on the S3 Mini seem to be clearer and more crisp. The camera is easy to use, and has a variety of special features like sepia or black and white.

      I may have a few minor issues with the touchscreen, but overall I couldn't be happier with my choice of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. It is a big step up from the Galaxy Ace, it's an attractive phone and I can watch videos including TV and movies on it. It also seems to have put an end to my slight hankering for an iPhone, and I now feel more committed to Android than I previously did. The S3 Mini is a great phone, ideal if you want a good smartphone but don't want something the size of a towel. As long as Samsung continue making mini sized versions of their top phones, I see no reason why I'd switch to another brand come my next upgrade.

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      • More +
        04.11.2013 11:52
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        Get it!

        I have had this smartphone for about half a year now and I wouldn't be without it. I had a Galaxy Ace before and the main thing I noticed was that the battery life was so poor. The SIII must last me about twice as long, I don't seem to need to charge it up so much. The speed at which you can access apps is very good, swiping and getting into menus is really responsive. The amount of apps which can be stored in the phone is very high too. I used to get problems with the memory being full in my last phone, but now I have downloaded twice as many in the new phone and nowhere near filling it up.

        It is also a great phone to handle. It has a slim and sleek design which is light and fits very neatly inside a pocket. Even though this is the mini version it has everything I could possibly need. I am more than happy with it and would definitely recommend it as an alternative to more costly phones.

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          30.10.2013 19:46
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          A handy little smartphone from Samsung

          As I've had my phone for 10 months, I thought that was sufficient time to get used to it well enough for a thorough review (hopefully I won't do my usual thing and make it too long but we'll see how we go!). I wasn't due to get a new phone for another six months (a limit set by myself), but my BlackBerry decided to turn itself off one day.

          As I had a SIM only contract with O2, and because I had had it for more than 6 months, it was possible for me to upgrade to a contract with a phone. This was quite handy considering that I still wanted smartphone abilities (and you can't really get a cheap smartphone) and I didn't really have a lot of money. I ended up carrying out the whole process online - and I'll review the ease of this next review!

          The phone I chose was a Samsung S3 mini, which is a relatively small, touchscreen smartphone. The screen is about 4 inches wide, which, considering the size Samsung smartphones are becoming, is absolutely tiny! I didn't want to go for a bigger phone because I would find it awkward to use with one hand. I had been into the store to have a look at the S3 and S3 mini, and just found the larger phone awkward to use easily with having to hold with one hand and use the other (I tend to like to multitask). I also have a tablet so didn't really feel that I would need a large screen as I didn't intend to watch any videos on my phone (unlike my other half, who uses his S3 big to watch a lot of videos!). As I ordered it online, I couldn't quite remember the size, so I was a little worried it may be smaller than I remembered, but fortunately it was the opposite; it was slightly larger than I remembered. But it is easy to hold, and lovely and light.

          I really wanted the blue version of the phone, but it wasn't available at the time, and I'm not very patient. I went for the white version, and was slightly dreading it as me and white things tend to magnetise dirt to them! The phone is white on the front and back, with silver around the edge. There is a thin silver speaker (for phone calls) at the top of the phone (a thin tablet shape), above the word Samsung (also in silver). To the left of this are two small circles (which don't seem to do anything, so I imagine these are sensors), and a slightly larger circle, which contains the forward camera. There is another raised button beneath the screen - this is the home button. When the phone is unlocked, there is a menu button to the left of the home button (this is a light on the phone, and not an actual button that you click), and there is a back button to the left. These are only accessible when the phone is unlocked, and only light up when you touch them - they work a little like the touch screen! The lock button is on the right edge of the phone towards the top, and the volume button is on the opposite side. Both are silver and part of the edging. Overall, there are three actual 'clicky' buttons, and 5 buttons altogether including the touch ones - so quite a simple system. There is a rounded square on the back of the phone containing the second camera, with a smaller square beneath containing the very bright flash (very!), and two slits in the cover next to these where the speaker is found.

          I think the layout is very simple - there isn't anything there that you won't need, and nothing added to make the phone look 'fancy'. The white and silver make the phone look very classy, and so far I haven't got it dirty - it's got a slight shine to it which seems to stop dirt sticking to the white. The simplicity of the design is carried through to the phone and how it works. As I've said before, it is touchscreen and is actually quite sensitive - it responds to your touch without you having to continuously jab the screen, but not to the point that all you need to do is look at it and it works! You swipe across the phone to change the screen (I have about 5 screens with different options and apps on it) and the movement is very fluid - to the point that I did just sit there 'swishing' the pages for a while when I first got the phone! There is also an option to swipe downwards and see all your notifications and select the ones you wish to view, the battery power, turn on wi-fi, Bluetooth, data, and change the backlight on the phone (although this is done automatically as well).

          So. So far we now know that the phone looks good, and is fun to swish the pages. The important thing: does it work as a phone? The clarity on a phone call is very clear, and you can just swipe across a name to call them (this is sometimes a lot of effort, as the phone does not track your full swipe all the time, and it'd be quicker just to select the name and phone it). You can pull the phone away from your ear and there are on-screen options, such as mute, and a keypad can be brought up if you need to input any numbers - which is especially useful as you have no actual keypad! It's simple to use (especially when you avoid swiping to call!). There is an option for the phone to hang up when you turn it over (either end or reject a call) but I turned this off as I found that that was a bit of a pointless option for me, and I was worried about whether it would always do as it promised! There is a nice option to reject a call and send a quick message at the same time; you swipe upwards and pick a text to send (the top text is I'm driving) - it's swipe and click, so quick and easy to do when you're busy. It only really works if someone is calling off a mobile, but you can reject any call with that one swipe. You can even programme in your own rejection text to send, but I find the options that are there are quite sufficient.

          Texting is simple. It is a Qwerty keypad (so laid out like a computer keyboard) and you can hold the phone portrait or landscape. Landscape allows the keys to be slightly more spread out, and slightly larger, but does reduce how much of your text you can see - you can see what you are currently writing but the rest disappears, as does the text you are responding to. This is the only time my phone irritates me, because scrolling up to see the text is fiddly: the phone really doesn't like to do this if you are composing a text. It's much easier when you are just going through a series of messages however. The landscape option for texting is useful - I don't really use it, but I have noticed the older members of my family revert to this whenever they use my phone (my dad does have larger fingers than me!).

          So in terms of what you would expect from a mobile - it calls, it texts, and without too much frustration. Yay! In terms of a smartphone - I absolutely love it. For the internet, there is already a shortcut for Google Chrome, which is my preferred internet browser. You can sync the phone to your Gmail account (just press the Gmail shortcut, a little red and white envelope) and follow the instructions. This can sync to your calendar, if you use a Gmail calendar, and ensure everything is connected together. At the moment, my calendar is linked to Facebook, but it only notifies me about the events I want to know (usually the events I've put in there myself).

          I tend not to use the Samsung App store as it seems to have a limited amount of apps available (more games, less Facebook and BBC News), so I just the Google Play store, which is indicated by a shopping bag shortcut! You put your card details into here, but don't fear, you can't accidentally make a purchase - I have to put a password in every time I want to make a purchase, so when I have once or twice accidentally pressed the wrong thing, it's easy to escape! I must admit I do have Angry Birds of the Star Wars variety on my phone (I was so pleased to see it isn't just Apple!), as well as Facebook, Twitter, BBC News and Weather (which both come in larger 'widgets' so you can actually see the weather and news headlines on your phone screen, without having to open anything or press anything), and Amazon Kindle (just in case my Kindle does run out of battery! Considering the amount of things I have on my phone, each runs smoothly, and my phone is just as quick as it was in January when it was empty!

          You can access a full menu of all the apps and 'widgets' (never quite sure what these are, but my BBC News updates on my screen are one) that are on your phone - both ones that you have downloaded and ones that were already on your phone. A really handy widget I have found is the torch widget - with the touch of a button, I can turn on the incredibly bright light on the back of the phone - it's very, very bright! To put an app or anything on your main screen, hold it down until you feel a little buzz, and drag it to the page you want (I currently have about 4 or 5 home pages at last count, with a variety of things). You can shift apps around and delete them as and when you need - just when in doubt, press and hold them down and you usually get some options! I think the same can be said for a lot of features; just press and hold buttons down and you seem to access some new shortcuts and features.

          The battery does hold out quite well on the phone. I let the phone die completely before I charge it fully again - which I do every two days. Considering how much I use it (phoning family, playing games, texting), I think that the battery life is quite reasonable. If I am on the phone for more than an hour and use my phone like normal the battery doesn't last as well as it could (usually about a day rather than two days). The charger that came with my phone has quite a long cable, and will go in other phones, not just Samsungs. This appears to be a common thing with smartphones now - they all seem to have the same type of charger, which is such an advantage when I go and see my big sister, who has a Nokia, as I don't need to remember to pack my charger anymore!

          I did pay £50 for the phone, but I went for the cheapest contract (which was about £17.50 but that was raised with a VAT rise, or something like that). If I had been willing to pay over £25 a month, I would have got the phone for free. I think now, even my contract would result in a free S3 mini, as there are several newer phones out now!

          Overall, I love my phone. I have invested in a cover for it to protect the screen - this replaces the back of the phone, and has a flap that can be opened to reveal the phone screen. It didn't stop me making the edges look nibbled when I dropped it three times in one day, but considering that was the only damage, I'm quite chuffed. The S3 mini is a simple, robust little phone which does the job I want; it allows me to access my emails, text my friends, and fiddle on lots of apps when I should be working (or writing 'short' reviews). I will keep you posted with how it lasts, but with 10 months in, the only issue is that the edges look a little chewed - not bad considering my usual track record with technology!

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          • More +
            26.10.2013 18:02

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            Excellent value

            When I was a kid, I used to dream of having a phone that could do all these magical things. And now I've got one. The screen is crystal clear in all weathers and the camera is excellent. The touch screen is very responsive too. With all the apps that can be downloaded, it is a total information and entertainment package. The battery life is a bit short and has to be charged every day. The only thing that seems to happen to mine is that it cuts off mid conversation sometimes. Maybe my ears are too big when touching the screen and they set things off. It also had a habit of ringing people when in my pocket. That may have been my fault too although I always try to make sure the phone is locked. All in all a very good product and one that I am quite happy to have for my two year contract.

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            06.10.2013 14:01
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            A great mid price smartphone

            I bought this phone in February, as an upgrade from my iPhone 3G. I went for the mini, as I thought the screen on the larger S3 was a bit too big for me. I loved the shape of the S3 and heard great things about this phone, so I went for it. Having had the iPhone for a few years, the Samsung was very different, and at first I wasn't sure, but now I wouldn't go back to the iPhone. It has a 4 inch screen and 480 x 800 pixels, so the screen is very clear. I am not the most technical of people, and I am sure that I am not getting the most out of my phone, but for what I use it for, it is a fantastic phone.  I have owned this phone since February and while it took a bit of getting used to, I would definitely recommend Samsung mobiles to anyone. I also liked the slightly curved, pebble shape of this phone, it reminded me of my old Motorola Pebl, which I loved.

            When my phone arrived, there wasn't much in the way of instructions, but since I tend to be the type who plays with things until they do what I want them to, this wasn't a problem. The phone was easy to set up, and while I'm not the most technologically minded person, I did okay with the setting up of this phone.

            I have the blue phone, although you can also get the phone in white. It it is a very similar phone to the S3, the main cosmetic difference is the slightly smaller screen. One of my friends has the S3, and side by side, the difference isn't that noticeable. This phone measures 121.55 x 63 x 9.9mm and the weight of this phone is 113g. I had thought that the larger S3 was a bit too big for me, and this phone is comfortable and easy to use. The slightly curved back, and the smaller screen means that I can use one hand to use the phone. The touchscreen is very sensitive to touch (sometimes too sensitive when I'm playing Songpop).

            Inside, the phone is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, and runs on the Jelly Bean 4.1 Android operating system. I'm not the most technical of people, but I think this phone is very fast compared to the iPhone and I haven't found any problems with anything I've ran with this phone. Most apps that I had on the iPhone are also available on the Android market, through Google play. This phone comes with some apps pre-installed, mainly Google apps, most of which I never use (or have even looked at admittedly), so it's slightly annoying that you can't delete the ones you don't use, as it cam leave the home screen looking very cluttered.

            This phone is available in a 8GB version and a 16GB version, although I have the 8GB one, and almost 4GB is taken up with the storage of the many apps on the phone. However, there is a micro SD card slot, so you can increase memory up to 32GB. However, as my phone is only used for taking occasional pictures and for various apps, the lack of storage isn't an issue for me.

            The camera isn't the best, the rear facing camera is 5mp and the front facing camera isn't fantastic, but since I don't tend to take a lot of pictures of myself it doesn't really matter! I do find the fact this has a flash handy, as my iPhone didn't have this feature. I have also used this phone for taking videos when I was at an Ellie Goulding concert, and the picture was fantastic and playback was crisp and clear. I was worried I wouldn't have the ability to take longer pictures, but I managed to get the songs that I wanted in full onto my phone.

            The battery life is good for a smartphone, but I do need to charge it almost every day, although when it is on standby and power saving mode, it doesn't eat a lot of battery. Samsung's official figures say that the battery life for talk time is Up to 14 h 10 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 10 min (3G) and standby as Up to 450 h (2G) / Up to 430 h (3G). While the battery life isn't fantastic, it's about average for a smart phone.  It does take slightly longer to change than some other phones and Samsung recommend that you not use the phone while it's charging, which I'll admit is a struggle sometimes! This phone also comes with a power saving mode, where the screen is slightly darker, which is handy.

            My only criticism of this phone is that the sound quality isn't fantastic for music playback.  The speaker is located on the back of the phone, which means that sound is somewhat blocked if you have the phone down flat, and even if you hold the phone, the sound isn't that great.  The ringtones are also lower than what I was used to with my iPhone, but it's something I can live with.  I don't often listen to music on my phone so I don't need a fantastic sound system built in.  I also found that this phone can be data intensive , but I have been able to switch off the automatic updates.

            I have mine in a case as I have heard horror stories of the phones not being that well built, but thankfully, so far there have been no accidents, unlike my old iPhone, where there is a crack on the edge of the phone, and I have no idea how it happened.

            I really like this phone as it's quick, and I can do everything that I want. The battery life could be better, but it is impossible to find a smartphone with a good battery life. The phone looks good, and fits perfectly in my hand, and while it took a few days to get the hand of it, now I do like it, and the Android operating system. I would definitely recommend this phone to someone who wants a not too expensive smart phone and who is (like myself) not that technically minded. It's easy to use, responsive and looks great as well. While this review has glossed over the more technical stuff, as I'm not technically minded, so long as my phone does what I want it to, I'm happy enough.

            I pay £18 a month for this phone on contract with 02. This is a lot cheaper than the tariffs for the S3, but it's a personal choice whether you want to pay the extra for the extra features of the S3, but I do think the S3 mini is a great phone for the money.

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            05.10.2013 14:43
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            A lovely phone!

            After my Blackberry started playing up, I was after a new phone. I wasn't ure exactly what phone to get but new I wanted a smart phone. I then bought this Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini after recommendation from a friend.

            ~ * Looking Good * ~

            The phone is very attractive to look at; it looks good and is very modern looking. Mine is the navy blue colour, however it is also available in white. I didn't fancy having a white phone so went with the navy blue option. The phone is quite slim but yet it is quite heavy for a phone. I do find it to be quite slippery to hold - on more than one occasion I've almost dropped it as it likes to slip out of my hands. It's not very easy to grip hold of. I should imagine that it it would break quite easily if it was dropped, even though it feels quite sturdy.

            ~ * Touch Screen * ~

            I haven't had touch screen phone before and I found that this touch screen feature certainly takes a while to get used. I found it to be really annoying at first - it's still annoying me now to be honest.
            It's annoying because I have to be careful where I touch - for example I can be in the middle of typing a message and then I'll accidentally place my finger on the screen and it'll go off the message and onto something else.

            Texting is also a bit of a nightmare. I am slowly getting used to it, but for a few weeks it was much easier for me to go on the computer and type a face book message than it was to type out a text message on this phone. I think that biggest problem is that the on screen 'keys' are far too small and so it is a nightmare to press the right ones as my fingers keep hitting the other buttos too. Phones with buttons were so much easier!!

            I do find the Predictive text feature to be helpful on this phone - It takes me ages to type a message and as the keyboard is so small, I am forever hitting the wrong keys, so for me, I find that the predictive text (it's the first time I've ever said this as I usually hate predictive text!) is very helpful as it brings up a choice of three words which means I just have to tap the right word and it brings it up for me.

            ~ * Camera * ~

            I am amazed by the great clear pictures this camera takes. I have got the Instagram app which makes pictures look amazing as I can airbrush them - it certainly turns plain old photos into great photos. The camera takes good quality pictures. When taking a self-photo you can also turn the camera round , so that it acts like a mirror. This is good as it means that you can get a good self potrait as you can see exactly what the photo looks like before you take it

            Watch you tube videos - fast - don't jump - like watching on a tv - smaller obviously - really good - clear

            ~ * Battery * ~

            I find that this phone charges quickly - it's pretty much charged full from empty within around half an hour, which is great as it means that you can be ready to go soon. There is nothing worse than a phone which takes ages to charge and so you have to end up taking it out with a flat-ish batter. As long as I don't have the internet running on this phone constantly, I find that the battery is pretty good as it can last me a good couple of days.

            ~ * Likes * ~

            The screen is light and clear and a good size. It's easy to see and is vivid and sharp.

            The phone has a good internet connection which is fast (allowing me to browse websites and watch you tube videos).

            There's also lots of other features which I like: the alarm clock, calculator, calendar etc - they are all handy for when you need to do everyday things such as planning appointments and using the calculator for when you want to split the bill when having lunch etc. So it's a very good 'lifestyle' phone in that respect.

            ~ * Dislikes * ~

            The keyboard is far too small - I have fat little fingers, but I think even the person with the most skinny-est fingers in the world would also have difficulty using the keyboard

            When typing a message or doing anything - if someone messages you then their picture will pop up in a bubble with a notification symbol to let you know that you have a message - it's good, although say I'm typing a message to sarah and then a zoe will message and their image will appear on the screen...and then I think who is the message I am originally started typing going to

            I Use it mainly for face book, texting, internet, camera, listening to music - you can watch videos for free on you tube, rather than buying and downloading music.

            I had expected this phone to come with a special pen for touch screen to make it a bit easier although it didn't. I do love this phone, its just the touch screen facility which frustrates me.

            My Blackberry used to have a light which used to flash red when I had a message or face book notification on face book etc. and so that was a feature which I really liked. So with this being a smartphone too and a being a bit better than my Blackberry, I thought that there would be a similar feature on this phone, but there isn't which is annoying. With my Blackberry I could have my phone on my desk at work and know that there was a message whenever it flashed red - and if it wasn't flashing red then I didn't have a message. But with this phone I have to keep checking, which is annoying.

            All in all, I do love this phone. The only feature which annoys me is the touch screen - although after a couple of months I do feel that I am getting more used to it slowly.

            Thanks for reading!
            October 2013
            Xd-o-n-z-x

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            15.09.2013 19:37

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            Overall a great buy.

            I got this phone as for a smart phone it is quite cheap and I have always bought samsung phones and never had a problem before. I must say I really like this phone. I have had it for a year and I have not had any issues. It has also been dropped on the floor many times and still works fine.

            The main things I use the phone for are making calls, sending texts, wifi and taking pictures. This phone comes with a really good camera, although would be better with a flash. The internet works well and although small the screen is still fine to watch youtube videos ect.

            Now the not so good. In my opinion the phone has a low battery life. If you are on the internet ect it just drains the power needing to charge a least every day. Although it does charge very quickly-normally after two hours. Also as this is a touch screen it is often easy to hit a wrong key when sending texts making calls.

            That being said I think for the price this is an excellent phone.

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            15.09.2013 14:34
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            Good phone, does what I need it to do

            Well as you can see from the title I was a bit late jumping on the smartphone wagon. I got this phone at the beginning of the year with 02. It took me some time to get used to as I was used to a phone with buttons but I soon got to grips with it. The only specification I really wanted with my phone was to be able to make and receive calls, and a fairly decent camera as I use it sometimes to take pictures of my daughter when I don't have my digital camera to hand. This fullfilled my requirements but I have struggled sometimes with the touchscreen and my fat fingers especially when trying to text or look anything up on the internet. Also sometimes I struggle with the touchscreen part when I am trying to select something my 'touch' doesn't always register and I have to poke the same point on the screen over and over again in hope of getting a response. The other disadvantage is that the battery life doesn't last for very long I charge it at night and take it off in the morning and by the evening it is bleeping at me to tell me battery is low and to connect to my charger. I think this is probably because of the many extras this phone offers with downloadable apps, and internet possibilities though? All in all it is much better than the phone I had before which was a Nokia version of a blackberry, I do lose my temper at some of the 'cons' though at times.

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            22.08.2013 10:27

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            Perfect size screen, great functionality and ease of use for novice smart phone users

            I have had this phone for around 6 months, my boyfriend has a Google Nexus, but I decided the screen was too big for me, after searching and procrastinating decided this was best for me without having to delve into the world of Apple.
            As my first smart phone I may be more impressed with features than those who have had them for years, but everything has run smoothly.

            The feature I was most keen on was the video player, the inbuilt one is ok, but I had to download VLC in order to play some of my more awkward video files, also as some of them are quite quiet, I wish the volume could go a little higher, as sometimes you can strain to hear things on a busy train or at the gym.

            The camera is not the best in low or night time, but otherwise I have had a few nice shots (the camera on the Nexus is far better, but you do pay more for this feature) and again compared to my old Nokia, this is a dream!

            The tethering function is great, and means you have your own WiFi hotspot ( I travel a fair bit, so means you can get a local sim card with data, and still have the internet on your laptop, or share it with another phone)

            Skype, Facebook, Gmail apps are all great and I would suggest downloading one of the torch/flashlight apps, ( a friend with an SII was amazed to see such a feature)

            My only niggle is the battery, if you are using it all the time it obviously uses a fair bit and sometimes you do have to shut it off it to make it behave ( but I guess as the phones get smarter, they get more like computers and just need to be restarted every now and then)

            I am sure as a novice user, I do not fully utilise this phone, but it seems to suit me perfectly

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            15.08.2013 16:00

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            I have always been a massive cheerleader for the iPhone. I believed that they were the best phone you could get. Oh how naive was I? After playing with one of my friends, I was hooked and once my contract ran out I ordered one straight away. First of all the screen is so clear and bright and just seems more alert than the iPhone. Everything about it is faster and more helpful than any phone I've ever had before. As I have a small daughter, I am obsessed with taking pictures and videos and this phone reacts quickly so that you don't miss those special moments. For someone who doesn't know loads about technology but wants a good reliable phone, this is perfect. Enjoy!!

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            09.07.2013 15:32
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            a pretty decent phone that doesn't scrimp on quality

            I was recently due an upgrade for my phone and couldn't wait to get rid of my old HTC Wildfire S so after much searching and review reading I decided to go for the Samsung Galaxy SIII mini (mainly because the actual Galaxy looks far too big for my needs and of an evening will take up most of my handbag). I've now had this phone for just over 2 months and so far I have to say I am really impressed with it.

            ***What it looks like***
            Well according to the Samsung website: "Galaxy SIII mini resembles Galaxy SIII's minimal and organic design inspired by nature. Its human-centric nature provides an ergonomic and comfortable experience with enhanced usability. Its comfortable grip and gentle curves deliver a natural feel and design."
            But what does that mean? At a similar size to the iPhone (I very technically held it up against my friend's iPhones!) it is a good size for me and it looks quite high end with rounded off corners and although made of plastic it doesn't feel like it is. I got mine in titanium as I worry that white would look marked over time and the colour and design looks sleek and sophisticated. It also sits nicely in my hand and can be used one handed without difficulty something that worried me about the bigger Galaxy models.
            **Using the phone***

            In the month or so since I have had this phone I have never had any trouble using it although it seems to stump my friends who are not used to the phone. In order to take the phone off lock you need to push a small button at the side and then you just need to swipe your finger across to get into the phone and from there it works in a pretty standard way (if you are used to using smartphones you will have no trouble with this phone). Making phone calls is really simple and most of your favourite apps are accessible from the home screen. I also really like the blocking mode which means I can stop my phone making annoying noises at any time of day (I have set it between 11pm and 6am) which helps me get a good night's sleep.
            It also comes with an MP3 player (well about 2 infact so you can pick your favourite) which for me is a must as I use it when I walk to work and go to the gym - however as a note of caution if you are going to use the MP3 player you will need a micro SD to store the music on.
            **Camera**
            According to the specs the phone has a 5mp rear camera and a VGA front facing camera.
            I must admit I really like the camera on this phone on a recent trip to Paris I took this and my standard digital camera and landed up using just my phone. There are also effects you can play with including sepia tones, black and white a fun cartoon effect which made it a really versatile option and I also found that it worked just as well with apps such as retro camera and coped well with night time shots which are always a test of a good camera. However, I would say that the quality of the front camera isn't very good at all but that doesn't bother me too much as it's not something I would use all the time. That said I think from now on I will mainly be using my phone's camera rather than a separate digital camera and while there are better camera resolutions out there the ones I took on holiday look pretty good to me and the flash provided is great too. However, there are better camera options out there with the iPhone, for example, sporting an 8mp camera so there are better options available.
            ***Memory***

            This is where the Samsung beats my old HTC Wildfire S hands down. My old phone used to be able to store about 2 apps at a time whereas this phone has several installed on it and it hasn't got any slower which is brilliant. I also currently have loads of photos stored on my phone so it really does have a good amount of storage at least for my needs. However, you will need a micro SD in order to get the most out of your phone (I use mine as a music player so need this to store music on).

            ***Battery Life***
            Like most smartphones I find I have to charge my Samsung once a day but then I do use it to surf the web, listen to music and take pictures as well as using it as a phone. But the official stats state that it has up to 7hrs 10 mins with a standby time of 430 hours.

            ***Price***

            I got mine on contract but at £219 from Amazon it's not the cheapest phone on the market but compared with my old HTC wildfire S for me it's a vast improvement and as such a great phone for me. However, I am knocking a star off for the fact that the camera is only 5mp.



            ***The technical bit***

            Here are the specs taken of the Samsung website if you need to compare the details:

            Network/Bearer and Wireless Connectivity
            * GSM 3G , HSUPA
            * EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHZ)
            * HSPA 14.4 / 5.76
            * 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 + 5GHz
            * Wi-Fi Direct available
            * HSP, HFP1.5, A2DP, SPP, OPP, PBAP, MAP, AVRCP 1.3, HID
            * USB 2.0 support
            * KIES, KIES Air support
            Display
            * sAMOLED
            * 16M
            * 4.0"
            * 480 x 800 (WVGA)
            Memory
            * 8GB / 16GB Memory*
            Sensors
            * Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyro-sensor, Proximity Sensor
            OS
            * Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean
            Chipset
            * Dual Core
            * 1GHz
            Camera
            * VGA Camera Resolution (Front)
            * 5 Megapixels Camera Resolution (Rear)
            * LED Flash
            * Auto Focus available
            Physical Specification
            * 121.55 x 63 x 9.9mm Dimension
            * 120g


            Please note this review also appears on Ciao under the username SamanthaL82

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              26.04.2013 00:43

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              i had this phone as a free upgrade, didnt want anything too bulky but did want something up to date. this phone does the job brilliantly there are so many apps to download that you can do virtually anything on it, the only down fall with the phone in my opinion is the battery life, i tend to have to charge mine up everyday and i dont really use it that much, if your someone thats on the phone quite alot you would probably need to charge it up half way through the day too

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              12.01.2013 23:12
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              Overall, a great option.

              At the beginning of December, my contract came up for renewal. I wanted to get rid of my Blackberry as I didn't find it to be particularly user-friendly. I did some shopping around online to work out what I wanted, I knew I didn't want to jump on the iPhone bandwagon and one of my friends was raving about her Samsung Galaxy S2. I quite liked the look of the S3 but the price was rather high and I didn't particularly want to pay much, on top of a monthly bill. The S3 mini also caught my eye, as being much more reasonably priced. I looked at the spec for both of them, but not being particularly technically minded, it didn't mean much to me! I went into the o2 shop to ask, what the difference between the S3 and the S3 mini were, apart from the blindingly obvious. The answer I got? The blindingly obvious :) i.e. the size and the processing speed. I had a look at both, and the S3 mini was actually regular sized and the S3 was huge! I decided I didn't want a phone which was almost half the size of a tablet, so I went for the S3 mini.

              I ordered the S3 mini as my upgrade, which had a set up price of £19.99 along with my contract price. I was rather excited about it, so was thrilled that it only took 2 days to arrive.

              I took it out of the box and immediately noticed a complete lack of instructions. Hmmm. So, after putting it on charge and some initial difficulties with getting the sim card in (see what I mean about technical difficulties!?!), I had a play with it. The first thing I did was go through the on screen tutorial which popped up straight away when I turned it on. I got used to using a swipe phone with the tutorial, as my Blackberry wasn't touch screen or anything fancy like that! I started by looking over the menu but accidentally figured out how to move the icons, by holding my thumb on the icon for slightly too long! When I figured that out, I started to arrange the home screen with some widgets. On the first page, I put a time and date widget, which also has the weather on it. Swiping over a screen, I put a post-it note widget on it. Swiping over another screen, I put some alarm clock widgets on it. I say "some"... more like 4. I'm not particularly a morning person! Swiping the other direction from the home screen, it was rather useful to find that I could put a planner widget on it, giving me quick access to my diary.

              Already on my home screen were the default icons that I would have put on there anyway, phone keypad, contacts and messaging and email. Pressing the "apps" button, takes you to the menu screen, with all the other functions of a smartphone! Camera, google chrome, downloads, ebay shortcut (??!), along with "flipboard", radio, gamehub, play books, navigation and plenty more!

              There was plenty I had not come across before, like flipboard. I had a look at it, but it didn't really appeal. It would be useful for anyone who uses social media. I don't have twitter, google plus, bebo or any of that. I have facebook but don't ever use it, so flipboard has had very little use for me. I've already tested out the sat nav on it, which is pretty good, although slightly quiet! At the top of the screen is a pull down menu, which has all the settings you can turn on and off, like wifi, GPS, sound, screen rotation, bluetooth, mobile data, power saving etc. It's useful having these things on a quick access menu, as I don't like keeping GPS turned on all the time. Going into the settings icon on the app screen, lists: wi-fi where you can select to connect to a network, bluetooth, data usage etc. The data usage is very useful. It splits it into wifi and mobile. Both have a graph to show data use and you can set a data limitation which switches off mobile data when the limit is reached. My data on my contract is 1GB, so I've set it to 985MB limit, just in case, as I don't want to incur charges in case I don't notice! You are also able to set a warning limit, which is set slightly lower than my limit. Scrolling down, you can see the applications that are using the most data. Also, you can choose to restrict background data. I did this over the first month, so that I could keep an eye on the data usage.

              It's pretty much a given, that as phones get smarter and smarter, they drain the battery faster. This phone has a power saving option, which I haven't particularly made much use of yet, although I can see it being useful when going away for the weekend. Also, in the "lock screen" function, you can choose different security features. I'm a big fan of the pattern feature, which when you come to unlock it, shows a 3x3 square, where you can draw a pattern in order to unlock the screen. I really like this function because when I only had "swipe" as an unlock, I managed to randomly dial, as my pocket kept swiping the screen! Plus it's more fun that a password ;-)

              Another cool feature about this phone, is the choice of keyboard or voice typing. I only use keyboard as an input, as the voice typing doesn't really work with a lisp but it's still a cool feature, I think! ;)

              I've found one annoying thing about this phone. The battery life doesn't bother me (I don't have a problem charging it every night). The one thing that does bother me is the email syncing! I have my hotmail account synced to the email function on this phone. Previously, on my blackberry, if I deleted a message, I could find it gone from my inbox if I log on to my email from a computer. Whereas, with this phone, if I either read or delete an email, to find it still there in my inbox, still unread! The syncing is terrible! It's quite annoying to look at your phone and find 15 unread emails, and they are emails you have read and even deleted! But they're back again!!

              You can download apps from either the Samsung store, or the play store. I've generally found the play store to be much more useful and to have more useful apps in it. They download pretty quickly, and the pull down menu at the top tells you when something is downloaded. I'm a fan of "words with friends", which is basically scrabble! I've just beaten my brother in law in a game of scrabble and have been challenged to a rematch...

              The camera on this phone is really good, it makes my niece look extra cute! When you go into the gallery, the pictures tile nicely and you can swipe through them.

              I find this phone to be very user friendly. It's the size of other phones (as opposed to the huuuge S3), which means that you can use one hand to use and to text! On the right size, is the lock button where a tap locks the screen, but holding it in makes the "device options" appear, giving you the option to turn off, put it in flight mode and to change the ringer to vibrate or mute. On my last phone, the internet was not user friendly at all. The mobile pages worked ok, but if you have to use a desktop version, it doesn't work particularly well. With the S3 mini, using chrome is much more user friendly. You can reorient the page by using the screen rotation; you can zoom in to use the page.

              I'm glad I chose this phone, the functionality is really good. Although the battery doesn't last very long, it doesn't bother me. The one downside to this phone is the email syncing. I would use my phone almost exclusively to accessing my inbox from a computer, but with the bad syncing, I can't. I would give this phone 5 stars, however the email thing means it has to lose a star I'm afraid. Maybe to others it would seem like a small gripe, but I use email a lot, particularly for my planning for my brownie unit etc, so the lack of syncing is definitely a drawback.

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