Those of you looking for a cheap, small phone running Android will have one more option on AT&T starting later this month. The company issued a press release this morning finally announcing the release date for the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. That's Samsung's cheaper, smaller version of the GSIII which actually has very little in common with the GSIII in terms of hardware. It will launch on AT&T on September 27th for $.99 on a two-year contract.

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If you've forgotten about the S III Mini, we couldn't blame you: the original international phone was announced almost a year ago, and has been superseded by the Galaxy S4 Mini. (We were kind of shocked when a n early press shot of the AT&T phone leaked a few weeks ago.) It's got a 4" 800x480 AMOLED screen, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a MicroSD card slot. AT&T isn't saying how much storage this version has, but I'll put money on 8GB. The phone will launch with Android 4.2 and Samsung's usual TouchWiz accoutrements. Those specs are pretty reasonable for a budget phone, but anyone hoping for the Galaxy S III's commendable power in a smaller package will be disappointed.

So, to recap: AT&T is launching a "Mini" variant of a phone that's over a year old, several months after the upgraded mini version of the newest Samsung phone has already hit international markets. A non-contract price hasn't been posted. If you want to pre-order a GSIII Mini, you can hit up this AT&T page starting on September 19th. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

Dallas, Texas, September 18, 2013 Beginning Sept. 27, AT&T* will offer the Samsung Galaxy S® III mini for $0.99 with a two-year agreement. The Galaxy S III mini brings the high performance and intuitive ease-of-use of the Galaxy S III to an elegant, compact smartphone at a budget friendly price.   

On Sept. 19, you’ll be able to pre-order the Galaxy S III mini at www.att.com/galaxysiiimini.

“Our Galaxy family continues to grow and we’re excited to offer the Galaxy S III mini as an option for customers seeking a premium smartphone experience at an outstanding value, all on the nation’s fastest, most reliable 4G LTE network,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president – Devices, AT&T. 

The Galaxy S III mini is a 4G LTE smartphone that features a 4.0-inch Super AMOLED™ display and runs Android 4.2, (Jelly Bean).  Its compact size gives users a comfortable grip and is ideal for one-handed use.  The Galaxy S III mini also comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of internal RAM and includes a 5-megapixel camera.

The Galaxy S III mini has all your favorite Galaxy features, including:

  • S Beam™ quickly and easily share files simply by tapping two S Beam enabled smartphones together.  Or use Buddy photo share™ to send a photo simultaneously to your friends pictured in an image directly from the camera or the photo gallery.
  • S Voice™ natural language recognition software lets you use your voice to unlock the phone with simple customized commands.  Play your favorite songs, turn the volume up or down, organize your schedule, or automatically launch the camera and start taking photos.
  • Group Play™ lets you share music in “surround sound” so you can keep the party going.  Group play also lets you collaborate and share photos as well as share files such sense PowerPoint presentations and PDF documents with other Galaxy devices.
  • Easy Mode is a great option for new smartphone users or simplicity seekers.  Start out with a basic version of your home screen that keeps your favorite apps and features within reach. 
  • Smart Stay™ uses eye-tracking technology and keeps the screen lit as long as you are looking at it.
  • Motions and Gestures provide helpful shortcuts, making everyday actions easier – and faster – than ever before.
  • Super AMOLED display offers a stunning 4.0-inch screen for a sharp, rich viewing experience.

AT&T has the fastest and now  the most reliable 4G LTE network. According to independent third-party data, AT&T has the highest success rate for delivering mobile content across nationwide 4G LTE networks.**  And AT&T was named America’s fastest 4G LTE network  in PC Magazine’s 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study – and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest. ***

From the initial purchase to ongoing service interactions, AT&T is focused on providing an unparalleled customer experience.  AT&T was recently recognized with two significant achievements, outperforming competitors for customer service and wireless purchase experience.  J.D. Power awarded AT&T the “Highest Ranked Customer Service Performance Among Full-Service Wireless Providers” and “Highest Satisfaction with the Purchase Experience among Full Service Wireless Providers” in their 2013, Volume 2 studies.