Rumours suggest that Samsung is plotting to produce a new smart phone called the Galaxy S4 Mini (check out the leaked snap below). But will this mobile be a cracking device in its own right? Or a lazy cash-in like last year's Galaxy S3 Mini?
Everyone went nuts for the Galaxy S3 when it was released, and rightly so, because it was (and still is) a stellar smart phone, packed full of powerful components and excellent apps.
We were all excited, then, for the S3 Mini, expecting -- as the name implies -- a smaller version of the S3, perfect for those who are averse to the bigger screens that have become standard in the last few years, but still want a taste of Samsung's high-flying mobile.
There was nothing high-flying about the S3 Mini though. While the S3 packed a growling quad-core processor, the S3 Mini ops for a weedier 1GHz dual-core chip.
The S3's 8-megapixel camera was downsized to 5-megapixels for the Mini, resulting in a snapper that we noted in our review "isn't a patch" on its namesake. The 720p screen resolution meanwhile was chopped down to a boring 480x800 on the S3 Mini, which was also lumbered with a £300 price tag -- rather steep compared to similarly-specced phones like the £100 Huawei Ascend G300, the £200 Orange San Diego, or the vastly superior Nexus 4 -- yours for £239.
With decidedly middling hardware and a high price, it's hard not to see the Mini as a cynical cash-in, with Samsung playing on a famous name to flog some less spectacular phones to unsuspecting shoppers. This is reinforced by marketing language -- Carphone Warehouse's description of the Mini claims it, "brings the high performance and ease-of-use of the Galaxy S3 to a compact smart phone."
Our readers weren't fooled. One commenter wrote, "The name will mean this phone will sell well, but it's effectively a fake. There's nothing S3 about it other than the shape and styling."
"I think it's too different or should I say lower specced," another opined. "If they had used the same high-quality components as the S3 then they could have had a direct rival for the iPhone," one disappointed commenter wrote. "Instead of which they have aimed at the middle market and hope that the S3 brand will sell the phone."
Let's not do that again
If Samsung does make a Galaxy S4 Mini, it would be great to see some high-powered hardware in a smaller casing, giving shoppers a truer taste of the S4's strength and features.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with a slight dip in specifications, especially if it means a chunk of change can be taken off the price. My request then, Samsung -- if you happen to be reading -- is that any possible S4 Mini smart phone be good value. It doesn't have to be monstrously hardware-heavy, but let's not have another phone that's under-powered and over-priced. It's unhelpful to customers, and misleading.
Rumoured details so far point to a 4.3-inch display with a much lower pixel-per-inch count than the S4, and a 1.66GHz dual-core processor. That doesn't sound too exciting, but it's best to hold off on judgement until we get final confirmation.
What do you think about the S3 Mini? Is it a scam, or a perfectly reasonable offering? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.