Samsung announced its Galaxy S III mini, which it described as a “compact version of the flagship smartphone Galaxy S III”, although in terms of features it is probably closer to its predecessors in the Galaxy S range.

The device has a 4-inch screen, compared with the 4.8-inch screen of its bigger sibling. While it was widely observed that this makes it comparable with the iPhone 5, the original Galaxy S also had a display of this size.

Samsung said that the device’s small size means it can be an “optimal choice for consumers who are looking for more practical smartphones”, acknowledging that the large screen of the Galaxy S III is not ideal for many users.

Indeed, the Galaxy S III display is closer in size to the large-screen Note/Note II than the original Galaxy S.

Galaxy S III mini uses the latest version of Google’s Android platform, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor (the Galaxy S was 1GHz single core, the S II was 1.2GHz dual core).

The device includes HSPA (14.4Mbit/s) connectivity, includes Wi-Fi and Glonass positioning technology, and (unlike the iPhone 5) supports NFC.

Last month, Samsung said the Galaxy S III had seen unit sales of 20 million in the 100 days after its launch, making it the South Korean vendor’s most successful smartphone to date.