The rumors are true: Samsung is launching a 4″ screen version of the Galaxy S3. It’s got a few other hardware cutbacks, but the company hasn’t yet confirmed a lower price.
The 4″ screen, cut down from the 4.8″ of the S3 itself, matches the iPhone 5. Other changes from the original S3 include:
- 5 megapixel main camera rather than 8 megapixels.
- VGA rather than 1.9 megapizels for the front-facing camera.
- A display with 480 vertical lines rather than 720.
- The new model is a millimeter thicker.
- The processor is 1GHz rather than 1.5GHZ.
- It’s dual-core, which is a reduction from quad-core on the international market. There’s no LTE support on the new version (the original had LTE in the US)
- The battery is smaller and may need charging more often.
The software is the same (4.2 Jelly Bean) and it has several common hardware features, most notably an NFC chip for functions such as mobile payments.
The main mystery now is pricing and availability, though it seems likely it will be
rather than among major US networks, to start with at least.
It appears one of the main goals of the new handset is to appeal to people who want a good quality handset but don’t have the budget for top-of-the-range. For example, it may do well in developing markets.
There seem to be two main tactics for Samsung to bring the phone to the US and Europe. One would be to pitch it as among the best phone available on contract but without any up-front payment. Another would be to go after people who want to buy a smartphone outright with no service deal, but can’t go as far as the $500 plus for a top-end model.
Whatever the precise tactics, it does appear Samsung’s overall strategy with the device is to try to have the best of both worlds: making the most of a strong brand, iPhone style, while offering significantly different levels of hardware to target audiences on differing budgets.