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.

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.

Source: @evleaks

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

    Surprising that it took Samsung so long to realize that SIII Mini is a good capable phone that is balanced in terms of specs. It's been the best selling unlocked phone on Amazon for more than 6 months now.


    • Jeremiah Rice

      And I'd recommend that anyone who might be tempted by this phone on an AT&T contract pick one up at this unlocked price. Nothing wrong with a budget phone if the price is right.

      • ProductFRED

        That's incredibly cheap for a "Galaxy" branded device. If you were going to pick this up from AT&T in the first place, chances are you weren't the type of person to care about 4G LTE anyways.

      • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

        Exactly. My wife is using the SIII Mini international version with T-Mobile $30 plan. The dual core 1GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM are plenty to run that 800x480 screen. It's butter smooth actually. And the battery easily lasts a full day.

    • ♠adeafmute♠

      And yet the Optimus L9 is still an objectively better phone for $100 less. God Samsung and their margins... Pfft

      • joexyz

        No it's not. It's too big.

  • VoiceofSky

    Even Hobos don't want this phone..