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Samsung Galaxy Young 2 review

Katharine Byrne
5 Oct 2015
Samsung Galaxy Young 2
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT (SIM-free)

Small, slow and frustrating to use, the Samsung Galaxy Young 2 should be avoided at all costs

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Specifications

Processor: Single-core 1.0GHz ARM SCX15, Screen Size: 3.5in, Screen resolution: 480x320, Rear camera: 3 megapixels, Storage (free): 4GB (2GB), Wireless data: 3G, Size: 110x60x11.8mm, Weight: 108g, Operating system: Android 4.4

With 5in screens fast becoming the norm for entry-level models, it's almost hard to believe smartphones were once this small. Measuring just 110x60x11.8mm, the 3.5in Samsung Galaxy Young 2 is roughly the same size as the original iPhone, making it feel truly titchy compared to your average 2015 handset. It's so small, in fact, that my fingers can actually curl round the top of the phone – a feat nigh on impossible for me on my current cut-price favourite, the 4.5in 2nd Gen Moto E.

Display

Of course, not everyone wants a big screen phone, but there are still plenty of other cheap phones around that are better sized than the Galaxy Young 2, such as the £50 Vodafone Smart Speed 6 which has a 4.5in screen. By comparison, the Young 2 just feels clumsy and impractical, and its tiny resolution of just 480x320 certainly doesn't help matters.

With a screen and resolution of this size, onscreen keys are tiny, making it difficult to type quickly with any degree of accuracy. App icons are blurred and fuzzy, and web pages appear very squashed and cramped. Admittedly, responsive web pages which automatically resize themselves according to your screen's size and resolution are surprisingly legible on the Young 2, but scroll down and text actually half disappears as it tries to keep up with the screen's refresh rate.

Samsung Galaxy Young 2 display

Display quality is also among the worst I've ever seen. Turn the screen even slightly to the side and it will darken immeasurably, and a poor contrast ratio of 536:1 provides very little detail in images and videos. Likewise, its colour accuracy is dismal. You can see colours don't look right as soon as you turn the screen on, but an sRGB colour gamut score of 58.2% is by far the worst score I've seen from a phone display. Blue coverage might be very strong, but it's lacking in almost every other major colour group, leaving the screen without any punch of vibrancy to speak of. Black levels are also very high at 0.65cd/m2, and its max brightness level of 346.05cd/m2 is only just bright enough to see outside. 

Performance

The Young 2 is easily one of the slowest phones I've tested as well. Armed with a mere single-core, 1GHz ARM Cortex A7 chip and 512MB of RAM, the Young 2 strains under the pressure of loading simple web pages and even unlocking the phone takes a couple of seconds to register your thumb movement. This makes using the phone rather frustrating, as you're frequently left waiting for it to kick into life.

Samsung Galaxy Young 2 rear

It showed in our benchmark results, as its Geekbench 3 score of 257 in the single core test puts it right at the bottom of the heap when it comes to overall performance. That's 200 points slower than the £50 Vodafone Smart Speed 6, but its multicore score is more than 1,000 points behind due to the Young 2's complete lack of additional cores. Likewise, its Peacekeeper score of 309 can't even keep up with last year's 2nd Gen Moto G, making it feel decidedly sluggish for a 2015 smartphone.

Unsurprisingly, the Young 2 isn't equipped to play 3D games, as it wasn't able to run our GFX Bench GL Manhattan test. Instead, it's much better suited to simple 2D games like Alphabear, but others such as Threes! proved more taxing during testing, as card animations were noticeably jerky, making it difficult to play at speed.

Samsung Galaxy Young 2 side

Battery Life

Battery life isn't great either, as it only lasted 8h 43m in our continuous video playback test when the screen brightness was set to 170cd/m2. This would have been more acceptable last year, but most budget phones generally hit double figures these days, including the £90 2nd Gen Moto E, making the Young 2 decidedly below average for a 2015 handset. There's hardly any room for storing media files either, as out of its 4GB of internal storage, only 2GB is actually available to the user, making a microSD an absolute necessity.

Camera

The one redeeming feature of the Young 2 is its rear camera. While the resolution is a rather token 3-megapixel, I was actually quite surprised by how well it coped during our indoor and outdoor tests, particularly when it doesn't have any flash or touch focus controls. In both cases, colours were bright and reasonably well illuminated and object outlines weren't nearly as soft and blurry as I was expecting them to be. Still, when there's so little detail present, they're hardly going to be ones for the album. In direct sunlight, it also struggles to expose scenes correctly, with lighter areas being blown out completely.

Samsung Galaxy Young 2 camera test

^ Photos showed reasonably vivid colours, but there's barely any detail when you zoom in 

Samsung Galaxy Young 2 camera test indoors

^ The Young 2 copes surprisingly well in bright indoor lighting conditions, but its lack of flash means it will struggle in dimmer situations

Conclusion

The saddest thing about the Young 2, though, is that it's one of the most recognisable £50 phones available on most UK networks, particularly if you're after something on Pay As You Go. You'll have to pay around £70 to buy it SIM-free, but when the 2nd Gen Moto E can be found for as little as £60 on PAYG or £90 SIM-free, there really is no contest. The Moto E is the infinitely superior smartphone in this instance and no-one should ever have to suffer having to put up with the Young 2. If you really don't want to spend any more than £50, though, then the Vodafone Smart Speed 6 is the clear winner by a country mile. Avoid the Young 2 at all costs. 

Hardware
ProcessorSingle-core 1.0GHz ARM SCX15
RAM512MB
Screen size3.5in
Screen resolution480x320
Screen typeLCD
Front cameraNone
Rear camera3 megapixels
FlashNone
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage (free)4GB (2GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NFCYes
Wireless data3G
Size110x60x11.8mm
Weight108g
Features
Operating systemAndroid 4.4
Battery size1,300mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£70
Price on contract (inc VAT)Free on £13.50-per-month
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
SIM-free supplierwww.carphonewarehouse.com
Contract/prepay supplierwww.carphonewarehouse.com
Detailswww.samsung.co.uk
Part codeSM-G130HN

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