Samsung late last week announced the Galaxy S3 Lite, a low cost Android smartphone to sell exclusively at mobile carrier Safaricom in Kenya. This is a Kenya only affair. Now the S3 Lite is a 3.5 inch screen device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Galaxy S 3 Lite started selling on the 7th of February, a day after Samsung Africa Forum started and I made my purchase today. Sells at Kshs 11,000 and you get 1.5GB, though mine is yet to go through. The guys at Safaricom customer service tells me that the SIM card might take time to register the Serial number of the phone and I should use it and restart it several times.
Below are the rest of the specifications:
- Size: 113.2 x 61.6 x 11.9 mm
- 3.5 inch HVGA LCD display
- 3 megapixel camera
- Single core processor clocked at 850 MHz
- 4 GB internal storage
- 512 MB RAM
- 50 GB free Dropbox storage
- It will run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay that will include add-ons like Chat-ON and the expanded notification shade that we first saw on the Galaxy S4
- 1300 mAh battery
- Others: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth 4.0 (with LE)
As usual the Galaxy device comes with the 50 GB free storage on Dropbox for 2 years and pre-installed apps from both Google and Samsung. Kleek and Dropbox are some of the apps preinstalled by Samsung on the device. Of course there is other apps standard to Samsung devices like the S Planner, Memo app, Music player, Opera Mini, Music Player, Voice Recorder, Video Player, Gallery app and Files browser. Oh, and the usual weather app. Interestingly, Samsung has dropped their browser in this device and there is only Opera Mini and Google Chrome.
I have been using large smartphones for quite sometime so I’d be forgiven for feeling like this is tiny. For someone who just dropped out of i-things things are regular as the S3 Lite is the same screen size as the iPhone 4, minus the resolution difference.
The phone does feel and look a bit stocky with it’s 11.9 mm sides but it’s not a bother whatsoever. It feels light and easy on the hand. I bought the black colour option and with that I already notice that it’s a fingerprints magnet.
Standard Galaxy design applies here, physical home button with capacitive keys on each side of the home button. Charger port which also acts as the USB port is at the bottom while volume rocker on the left and power button on the right. The 3.5mm jack port is at the top with the back cover. The phone is minus a flash in the rear, so the back has the speaker and the 3MP camera aligned side by side at the upper back.
See below how the Galaxy S 3 Lite stacks up against the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3 respectively.
Out of the box we have the charger and separate micro USB cable, standard earphones, 1300 mAh battery (I had already peeled the polythene cover off it to check my bundles at the store) and a quick start guide. The rear has the micro-SIM slot under the battery and the micro-SD slot on the left, this one doesn’t require you to remove the battery to pop in and out, the slot supports up-to 32 GB of microSD storage.
Below we have a gallery of the unboxing images.
So far I think the deal is good, I will be using it actively for the next few days and will update on the internals and whether it really is value for money as the first impressions have me thinking. Also, do tell us in the comments what you think, what more you’d want to know, and of-course critics are welcome too.