Samsung slices the S3 into smartphones of several sizes

Samsung Galaxy Fame

Up until now, the Galaxy S3 has been a relatively premium experience. Both it, its 4G brother, and the Note 2 have carried premium prices, but if you didn’t want to spend that much money and still wanted the phone, there may be something coming just for you.

While a new model is expected to be announced within the next few weeks, the 4.8 inch Galaxy S3 has sold over 30 million around the world.

That’s a lot of phones, but not everyone wants to shell out the same pricetag for a handset.

Size test: Samsung Galaxy S3 (available in Australia) next to the Galaxy Express 4G

Shown this week at Samsung’s Forum for the Asia Pacific region, though, the company will be spreading the DNA of its Galaxy series across multiple price points and sizes.

The smallest of these are the Galaxy Young and Galaxy Fame, two very similar handsets that boast 3.2 to 3.5 inch screens, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3 or 5 megapixel cameras, as well as Android 4.1, the same version currently running across all of Samsung’s recent mobile range.

In the hands, these feel like tiny chunkier variants of the S3, with similar button placement and the same sort of curved plastic casing.

Samsung Galaxy Young

The screen on these isn’t very good, however, hardly a surprise given these are the “cheap” phones, and have a low resolution (320×480) with weak viewing angles.

Moving a step up, there’s the Galaxy S3 Mini (SIII Mini), which is pretty much what the name says: a smaller version of the S3. This handset takes the similar technology to what’s found inside the current S3, but lowers it a touch to fit inside a smaller shell.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

As such, we saw the 4.8 inch screen move down to a 4 inch in this handset, the quad-core chip drop down to dual-core, an 8 megapixel camera change to a 5 megapixel camera, and the resolution drop from 720p to 480×800, the high resolution for 2011.

In the hands, it does feel exactly like an S3, albeit smaller, and for people who don’t know if they need a screen above 4.5 inches.

Another variant, the Galaxy Express, featured a 4.5 inch screen, dual-core chip, NFC, 5 megapixel camera, and featured the high-speed 4G LTE connectivity, and sort of looks to be an S3 themed replacement for its S2 4G.

Samsung Galaxy Express 4G

Then there’s the Galaxy Grand, which increased the screen size to 5 inches – higher than the S3 – but adopted the same styling, same button placement, and pretty much the same look, but featured a 5 inch 480×800 screen.

Samsung Galaxy S3 next to the Galaxy Grand

In the hands, this feels like a nice device, though doesn’t appear to have the same grunt as the flagship models currently available in Australia.

There is one – the last one, promise – that did pick up our attention, and we hope it makes landfall soon: the Galaxy Xcover 2.

This particular handset takes what you know about the Galaxy models and wraps it in a shell that is IP67 certified, meaning it’s dust and water-proof for up roughly one metre.

Think of this as the ruggedised touchscreen phone, and for the people that still like some buttons, the soft buttons that are normally touch-based at the base of the handset, these are actually separate.

Other specs here include a 5 megapixel camera, 4GB built-in storage, dual-core processor, and scratch-resistant glass, an obvious bit given that this is the rugged phone.

This article has probably Galaxy’d you out for the next few minutes, but it’s worth pointing out that most of these handsets probably won’t make it to release in Australia.

Shown at the Samsung Forum for the Asia Pacific region, there are so many other places that these handsets could wedge into, however, given that Samsung already has budget models based on its S2 in Australian the market, we expect some of these are the replacements, while others could be placed as new mid-range phones.


Leigh D. Stark travelled to Samsung Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia as a guest of Samsung Australia