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?