By Robert Schoon / ( | First Posted: Jan 30, 2013 08:41 AM EST

(Photo : Samsung)

Yesterday, it looked like Samsung may be expanding the availability of the Galaxy Express, including in Asia and Europe. The pared-down Samsung smartphone - originally announced in November and available only to AT&T customers for $99 with a 2-year contract - may be available in a store near you.

So how does this mid-range cellphone compare with the more-talked-about new Samsung mid-range variant, the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini? As far as price is concerned, the Galaxy Express and the more expensive Galaxy S3 mini may only be about $100 off each other.

You may find that both are very similarly stacked. Let's take a look at the specs, and see why the Galaxy S3 mini would be more expensive.

The Galaxy Express comes with a 4.5-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display, which is a little larger than the Galaxy S3 mini's, which comes in at 4 inches. The Galaxy S3 mini also has a Super AMOLED display, with the same maximum resolution, 480x800, as the Galaxy Express. However, the Galaxy S3 mini's display packs a few more pixels per inch, so unless you're going for size (and if you are, look at a phablet), I'd say the Galaxy S3 mini comes out on top.

The Galaxy S3 mini comes with two options, 8GB or 16GB of internal memory, and with a microSD card, you'll get up to 32GB of storage on the device. The most internal storage on the Galaxy Express is 8GB, but it also has a microSD for up to 32GB. Unless you really need the extra 8GB, it seems pretty close here.

Both phones sport a 5 megapixel camera, with 720p video capability, and a front facing camera as well.

The Galaxy Express comes with a Qualcomm dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor, running 1 GB RAM, compared to the Galaxy S3 mini's 1GHz dual-core with 1 GB RAM.

Other Features and Considerations
The Galaxy Express will be running the older version of the Android operating system, version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, while the Galaxy S3 comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The Galaxy S3 mini is a lot different than the Samsung Galaxy S3, but there are some features which it shares in common, which should entice anyone who has ever seen the Galaxy S3 commercials. First, the Galaxy S3 mini comes with some software extras and apps that may make it more interesting though. This includes Samsung's TouchWiz, an interface that runs on top of Android. It features photo-sharing and the touch-to-share S Beam, which shares files when you bump two Galaxy S devices together. There's also S Voice, which is Samsung's Google Voice Actions-enabled version of Apple's popular voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri.

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