While back in the day Chinese knock-off phones aimed to replicate the originals’ designs by the letter while taking specs down a notch (or several), Shanzhai’s M.O. seems to have changed lately.

In short, it’s not about what’s on the outside so much anymore, but what’s on the inside, so more and more clones nowadays look to xerox or even undercut the hardware configurations of their “masters”.

Case in point, the first Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini clone to come out of China. Dubbed simply the S3 Mini quad-core by its makers, Rhythm Communication Technology Co., this has been spotted by the guys over at GizChina rocking considerably better specs than Samsung’s recently released 4-incher.

The doppelganger gets rid for starters of that disappointing 4-inch 800 x 480 pix res display, bumping the panel’s diagonal size to a more comfortable 4.5-inch. We don’t know yet what resolution this screen is boasting, but we have reason to hope for at least 720p.


And that’s mostly because the Mini clone (which is not exactly “mini” at 4.5-inch) is apparently powered by the same Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core CPU used on the original, 4.8-inch Galaxy S3. This is paired with 1 GB of RAM, so it would definitely be a pity for that awesome duo to be spoiled by a WVGA or qHD resolution display.

There are only two other features “known” about this clone as of right now, both clearly superior to the ones on the S3 Mini – an 8 MP rear-facing snapper and a 2 MP front-facing cam. Another very intriguing detail leaked is an Antutu benchmark score of over 16,000 points, which should put any concern of low performance at rest.

Then again, we can’t really know if all the info is legit, with the benchmark result in particular being fishy. The fact that we’ve never heard of Rhythm Communication Technology (and that not even a quick Google search can help us with details about the company) makes us even suspicious, but that can’t stop us from dreaming.

GizChina is also claiming the clone will go for just 999 Yuan, or $160, so everything does sound like a sweet, sweet dream that we don’t fancy waking up from. Do you guys agree? Does this doppelganger look too good to be real? Or do you think it’ll prove real, but it’ll balance the awesome hardware off with some cheap build quality?

  • craig pettitt

    buy one and find out!

  • Guest

    lol “shanzhai” is not a company. It’s a Chinese term (山寨) for ripped-off products, now generally electronics.

    • Adrian Diaconescu

      Where did you get the idea I used “shanzhai” as a company’s name? When I said “Shanzhai’s M.O.” has changed, I was refering exactly to the market of knock-offs as a whole.

  • LeDerp

    hmmmm ill take one to replace my broken gnex

  • abir

    I dont think the specs of this phone are out of this world but what draws attention to this phone is that fact that how pathetic the specs of the Samsung galaxy S3 mini is specially for the price its being sold at. I know Samsung owns 46% of the android market and majority of the people love their phones but I dislike the road that Samsung is taking android to, lack of innovation, every device looking similar to the other, plastic construction on every device but with a hefty price tag ………. Everybody might love Samsung but I simply cant.

  • bob

    I just got the latest version of the normal s3 clone . its fucking perfect , outstanding!, full 1,4ghz full 1gb ram , full camera 720p full 4.8 screen all logos , wonderful thing , plays n64 playstation GTA3 , no lag!, battery drain time is very good too, also u get two of them :P

    • bob

      Oh and its also perfect 1:1 copy. no one would ever tell unless they were a serious tech head

      • bob

        One more .. Heres how to tell if if looking at a real one or not
        1) Flash is a little more yellow
        2)Take of the back and compare to a google picture, there will be one extra screw.

        Other then that its 100%

    • Doug

      What company did you buy your knockoff from, and what is the cellphone’s real name, also whats the cost?

    • jaytee

      Where can I get one of these in Canada? I appreciate any info. Cheers!

    • Ben

      Can you please send me te link 2?

  • Doug

    Adrian, when is the S3 mini quad-core going to be available?

  • MadCowOnAStick