The "Mini" portion of Samsung's lineup is squarely aimed at the budget market. It's strange, then, to see two new phones that are (at least in some respects) a generation apart launch on the same carrier on the same day. Verizon has done just that: the Galaxy S III Mini is now available starting at $49.99 ($249.99 without a contract) and the Galaxy S4 Mini is $99.99 (a full $399.99 contract-free). Oh, and both of them have the Verizon logo of shame on the home button.

siii mini

Between the two, the Galaxy S III Mini is probably a better choice for the smartphone buyer on a budget. The specs aren't anything to write home about: 4" 800x480 screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus SD card, and a 5MP rear camera. But then again, the Galaxy S4 Mini isn't going to win any specification showdowns either. It's got a larger and denser 4.3" qHD screen, a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, an 8MP rear camera, and an extra half-gigabyte of RAM, but the storage and Android version (4.2.2 plus TouchWiz) are the same. Both phones can use the ISIS NFC wallet app, if you really must have it.

s4 mini

So why do I recommend the S III Mini over the S4 Mini? Well, the off-contract price is $250, which is about as low as you're going to get for a new Verizon smartphone. But you're going to get something on-contract, you might as well skip both of them and go for the Motorola DROID Mini, a great little device with solid software and 2GB of RAM, which has the same $50 contract price as the S III Mini and the same $400 off-contract price as the S4 Mini. Just my two cents.

If you've got your heart set on a diminutive Galaxy, both the S III Mini and S4 Mini are on Verizon's website now. They should be showing up in retail stores today as well.

Source: Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, Galaxy S4 Mini

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://petervideos.com/ Peter Mansour

    who honestly would buy any of these phones..........

  • Open1Your1Eyes0

    Why Verizon actually removed the home button logo going from Note 2 to Note 3 and actually added one on the minis I don't think we'll ever understand.

    • poopfist024

      It's easy to understand, I think.

      These phones have been in the pipeline since Verizon was "Verizon-ifying" the Note 2; they just haven't gotten around to releasing them until now.

  • Ishaan Rajiv

    The Verizon Logo on the front button... Back with a blast. Why don't they just engrave that logo on the screen or something.

  • Bluewall

    Also, for 399$ you have a Nexus 5 + 50$.

  • Mystery Man

    Why does Samsung make such shitty mini phones?

    • Matthew Fry

      Different phones for different... uh... what rhymes with phones? Crones. I guess.

  • TheLastAngel

    Both displays are cut out of the same sheet of low ppi pentile garbage. Stay away from these.

    • Alien

      S4 mini doesn't have a pentile display. It uses the same pixel layout as on the Note II.

      • TheLastAngel

        You sir, are correct. Sorry

  • Matthew Fry

    Verizon: You'll love us for our network signal. You'll hate us for pretty much everything else.

  • ben

    I had the moto mini DROID but had to return it and get the 4 mini for the sd card slot and removable battery. I had to get a mini because I've been complaining about the size of the s3 since I got that last last, as an upgrade from the very easy to one hand control htc incredible.

    This s4 min is ok. The DROID mini was much smoother, and I much prefer the aosp style interface over touchwiz.

    oh well. The hardware is solid so I'm looking forward to rooting and roms someday.