You Can Now Pre-order the Galaxy S3 Mini from AT&T

September 24, 2013 - Written By Lucian Armasu

No, you’re not reading it wrong. It’s Galaxy S3 Mini, not Galaxy S4 Mini, that’s coming to AT&T soon, and is already available for pre-order. Why, would you ask? Because Samsung wants to target it at the “entry level” (on contract) with a $0.99 price on a 2 year contract.

You’re not just getting last year’s model, though, as a few improvements have been made to it, such as adding the faster Snapdragon 400 processor (dual core 1 Ghz Cortex A9 before) and a 2,000mAh battery (1500mAh before). It will also come with the, albeit a year old, Android 4.2 OS out of the box.

Other specs remain unchanged, including a WVGA (800 x 480) 4.0-inch Super AMOLED display, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, LTE, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and 8GB of on-board storage expandable via a microSD slot.

I think it’s unfortunate they didn’t at least increase the resolution to 960×540, considering customers could also get an iPhone 4S with a higher resolution for the same price now, and this phone should be very profitable for Samsung, even at that price on contract. The “mini” versions of Samsung’s flagships have been quite low-specced phones that looked the same as the flagship, but with a smaller screen.

Plus, Samsung is usually selling them for pretty high prices unlocked – more than you would think it’s worth normally. Because of their expensive Super AMOLED displays, they also tend to use lower resolutions for these phones, which again is not something very desirable, especially for Super AMOLED displays that aren’t using the regular RGB pixel arrangement and may not have all the sub-pixels.

If Samsung can’t use high resolutions on their Super AMOLED displays on these lower-end phones, then I’d like them to at least use their own LCD displays instead with higher resolutions. That would be a better compromise that would lead to sharper and generally higher quality displays, even for these mid-end devices. Maybe they could even start experimenting with quantum dots displays themselves, as they offer more sane compromises between color contrast and cost, but I doubt Samsung is willing to give up on the Super AMOLED display technology just yet.