Samsung Galaxy Mini review
It's got a low resolution screen, but if you want a SIM-free Android phone on a tight budget, it's a bargain
Review Date: 6 Aug 2011
Price when reviewed: £96
Reviewed By: David Ludlow
Samsung seems intent on being the dominant mobile phone manufacturer at all price points. It's already impressed us this year with the high-end Samsung Galaxy S2 and the budget Galaxy Fit. Now it's the turn of another budget Android handset, the Galaxy Mini.
In many ways the Mini is very similar to the Fit. Both are a similar size and look fairly similar too. As with the Mini, the Fit is made from plastic, although the build quality is high and the phone feels pretty tough and well made.
Telling the differences between the phones requires a bit of investigation. One difference is that the Mini has a slightly smaller screen to the Fit (3.1in vs 3.3in), although both phones have the same 240x320 resolution so the difference isn't particularly noticeable.
This resolution is fine, although text can look a fit fuzzy and you need to zoom into a web page in order to be able to read properly. Still, at this price high-resolution AMOLED screens are simply too expensive to include, so it's to be expected.
As with the Fit, the Mini has a 600MHz single-core processor. It may seem a little bit slow by today's standards, but it nipped along and we found zooming into web pages and navigating through the OS to be slick and smooth for the most part. Once you've got a lot of applications open, the slow processor means it can take a while to switch between them; fortunately, Samsung has built-in a Task Manager app to end unwanted processes and we recommend using it. You'll also find that the latest games will chug a little.
Android 2.2 comes installed on the phone, which means you turn the phone into a 3G hotspot using its Wi-Fi adaptor. It's a little bit of a shame that Android 2.3 wasn't installed, as it's that little bit more polished. That said, Samsung's customisation of the OS makes up for some of 2.2's short-fallings. In particular, the new copy-and-paste selection tools are far more advanced than the basic Android 2.2 version and actually easier to use than the Google version in Android 2.3. We also like the way that Samsung has integrated the shortcut buttons for toggling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Silent mode into the standard Android pull-down menu.
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