We didn't have much time to use the NX mini, but we can confirm the obvious - it is remarkably slim. The Nikon J3, which is not a large camera by any means, looks unreasonably thick by comparison. It maintains a pocket-friendly profile with the 9mm prime attached, though the kit zoom is significantly larger even in its collapsed position.
It's also fair to predict that its suite of connectivity features will be particularly strong. The NX mini carries all of the connectivity features included under its Smart Camera 3.0 branding, including NFC. My colleagues with Android phones have really come to appreciate this quick means of creating a Wi-Fi connection (where's my NFC, Apple?). Samsung has had years of experience creating connected cameras, and with the company's imaging division fully incorporated by Samsung Mobile, the trend can only continue.
The mini is a curious thing. Its Wi-Fi connectivity and flip-up LCD suggest that it's aimed at a socially-driven user, someone who wants concert photos and pictures of friends and isn't too concerned about changing settings. But its ability to change lenses is a feature that an advanced user seems more likely to care about. There are plenty of features on board that just about anyone can appreciate; its claimed battery life of 530 shots is generous, and it will fit in most jacket pockets with the 9mm lens. But the overall feature set is a bit puzzling.
The 'selfie'-loving, socially-driven user is not likely to care whether the lens comes off or not and might be put off by the prime. A more advanced user looking for a pocketable second camera may appreciate the extremely small interchangeable lenses, but probably won't care for the camera's lack of mode dial and direct controls. While it's great that the mini will be available with the 9mm prime, F3.5 is awfully slow.
In terms of value, the NX mini offers what is in all likelihood a perfectly good, thoroughly Wi-Fi connected, 20 megapixel 1-"type sensor and a wide angle prime for $449, and the whole thing fits in your jacket pocket. That's not a bad deal at all for someone just looking for a compact that's a cut above the typical point-and-shoot (and likes shooting a fixed focal length). Those who want a little more control will be comforted knowing that there are manual exposure modes and Raw shooting available, but as mentioned previously this is decidedly not an enthusiast camera. Without a control dial, changing exposure settings is done by way of touch screen or using the directional buttons, both slightly tedious propositions.
If nothing else, the NX mini is another option in a growing category of super-small interchangeable lens cameras. The Pentax Q7 and Panasonic GM1 appear to be the enthusiasts' best options in the field, while the mini joins the Nikon 1 J3 in targeting beginners. In fact, it could be argued that the mini doesn't offer much (outside connectivity) that Nikon hasn't already sold in its 1-series, right down to the 1" sensor. They also offer extremely fast AF and full frame 15 fps burst shooting, and the NX isn't positioned to keep up in either of those ways. Will its slimmer proportions and Wi-Fi be enough to sway consumers toward the mini? We'll be interested to find out.