Bonnie Cha

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Samsung Announces Mini-Me Version of Galaxy S III

The Samsung Galaxy S III got a new sibling today with the introduction of the Galaxy S III Mini. But if you were hoping to simply get the company’s flagship Android smartphone in a smaller package, prepare to be disappointed.

The Galaxy S III Mini is indeed more compact than the Galaxy S III, thanks to a four-inch HD touchscreen (versus 4.8 inches), but its feature set has also been scaled down.

First, the display has a lower resolution of 800 by 480 pixels, compared to the larger device’s 1,280 by 720 pixels. Replacing the main eight-megapixel camera and front-facing 1.9-megapixel camera are five-megapixel and VGA cameras. The Galaxy S III’s dual-core 1.5GHz processor has also been downgraded to a dual-core 1GHz processor.

One thing the Galaxy S III Mini has on its larger, more powerful sibling is that it ships running the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. The smartphone will also offer Samsung’s S Voice personal assistant app and the NFC-enabled S Beam feature, which allows you to share music files between Galaxy S III series and Galaxy Note II devices simply by tapping the phones together.

Samsung says the Galaxy S III Mini is designed for consumers looking for a more “practical” smartphone. The company did not announce availability dates or pricing for the smartphone today.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus