American carriers sometimes get phones later than the rest of the world. Lately the situation has been improving, especially with big-name devices and a few exclusives. But when we see evidence of an upcoming low-end phone that's almost a year old, and one that's been supplanted by a new version, we can't help but sigh. So it is with the Galaxy S III Mini, which was just pegged by Evleaks for an AT&T release. The tweet says the model name will be SM-G730A.
Samsung Galaxy S III mini (SM-G730A "Golden") for AT&T pic.twitter.com/OjQS4iHujF
— @evleaks (@evleaks) August 20, 2013
You read that right: it's the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, not the Galaxy S4 Mini that was officially announced three months ago. The S III Mini is a budget device that shares a name and styling with the larger Galaxy S III, and not much else. It was revealed way back in October of 2012, with a 4" display making it friendly for those who like smaller phones, but lackluster specs leaving a lot to be desired. The 800x480 AMOLED screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor, and 5MP camera put this one squarely in the low end. At least the leak shows a 4G LTE logo.
The decision to bring the Galaxy S III Mini to AT&T in the near future (posts from Evleaks are almost never more than two or three months before a retail release) is baffling, unless Ma Bell really feels like it needs a free contract phone with "Galaxy S" in the name. The S III Mini compares poorly to both its successor the S4 Mini, and the HTC One Mini, which AT&T announced just yesterday for a release later this week. The HTC phone will go for $100 on-contract, and I'd guess that the S III Mini will be free, or possibly a prepaid Go Phone.
T-Mobile has an S III Mini variant called the Galaxy Exhibit, currently going for $0 down and $10 a month on that carrier's contract-free plans.