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Samsung Galaxy Mini review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £96
inc VAT

It's got a low resolution screen, but if you want a SIM-free Android phone on a tight budget, it's a bargain


Android 2.2, 3.1in 240×320 display

As this is a budget phone, corners have had to be cut. One of the main areas is with storage, as the Mini comes with just 164MB of phone memory, of which just 138MB is free for installing apps. Samsung has used the storage space it’s taken wisely, with QuickOffice, FM Radio (for the built-in receiver), and a voice recorder all pre-installed, but you’re still likely to want to install more and the small amount of storage won’t go far.

Samsung Galaxy Mini right

There’s a MicroSD card slot for adding more storage and a 2GB card ships with the phone, but not all apps support being moved to the memory card and even those that do require some internal phone storage. Still, at this low price a lot of phone storage can’t be expected.

The Mini loses out to the Fit in terms of digital camera, too, having just a 3-megapixel model compared to the 5-megapixel model in the Fit. Shots were grainy in poorly-lit conditions and there’s no flash to help. Even in well-lit areas, 3-megapixels aren’t enough to capture any details. Videos were just as poor, with soft details and, at 14fps, they were jerky. It’s fixed-focus camera, too, making hard to use as a barcode scanner.

Samsung Galaxy Mini back

There are a couple of other minor annoyances, too, such as you have to install the Kies Desktop software and phone driver in order to enable the phone’s mass storage option when you connect it via USB. It’s easier in practice to remove the MicroSD card and use it in the provided SD card adaptor to plug directly into your computer.

Battery life wasn’t too bad, with the phone lasting for just over 24-hours in our playback test. Given a hard day’s use of 3G and Wi-Fi, you’ll most likely want to charge this handset every day, but that’s no different to the majority of other smartphones.

It’s hard to pick between this and the Galaxy Fit, as they have largely identical specifications. If you’re on a very tight budget, it’s hard to argue against the Mini, as you can buy it SIM-free for less than £100. However, if you’re going for a contract, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Fit instead; you can get roughly the same deal for both phones, but we’d take the Fit’s slightly larger screen and better camera.

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Main display size3.1in
Native resolution240×320
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3-megapixel
Video recording formatMP4
Internal memory164MB
Memory card supportMicroSD
Memory card includedN/A
Operating frequenciesGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Wireless dataHSDPA


Operating systemAndroid 2.2
Microsoft Office compatibilityN/A
Email clientPOP3/IMAP
Audio format supportMP3
Video playback formats3GP, MP4
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserWebkit
Talk time6.3 hours
Standby time18.3 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)24h 7m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£96
Price on contract0
Prepay price£96

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