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Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy S several months ago, and haven't looked back since. The Galaxy S is easily the most popular Android phone to date, and has sold more than 10 million devices. It is the only Android smartphone which can be truly called an iPhone 4 competitor in terms of popularity.
After the success of the Galaxy S, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Tab, the number one Android tablet by sales, and the follow up Galaxy S 2 which looks excellent. It also launched a few budget phones, like the Galaxy 3 and Galaxy 5, but they weren't nearly as popular as the Galaxy S.
As well as high end devices Samsung is also releasing more budget Android phones. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Gio and the Galaxy Mini which I will be reviewing in this post. Of the lot, the Samsung Galaxy Mini is the cheapest one and sports the lowest specs you can find in an Android smartphone. It has a 3.2 inch display, 600 MHz processor and a 3 MP camera. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and is one of the best budget Android smartphone options in 2011. If you are looking to migrate from a feature phone to an Android smartphone, but want to test the waters first, the Samsung Galaxy Mini is what I would recommend you to try out.
- Dimensions: 110.4 x 60.8 x 12.1 mm
- Weight: 105 gms
- Display: 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display, 240 x 320 pixels
- OS: Android 2.2 Froyo, TouchWiz 3.0 UI
- Processor: 600 MHz processor
- RAM: 384 MB RAM
- Memory: 160 MB internal storage, up to 16 GB microSD card support
- Camera: 3.15 MP camera, 2048 x 1536 pixels
- Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- GPS: GPS with A-GPS support
- Battery: 1200 mAh Li-ion battery
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The Samsung Galaxy Mini has a very compact design and a cute and colorful look. It has dimensions of 110.4 x 60.8 x 12.1 mm which makes it very pocketable and is also very light, weighing in at 105 gms. It easily fits into the palm of your hand. The body is composed mainly of plastic and the build quality is quite good.
My only gripe with the phone is that it has a small display. It comes with a 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with a low resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. Using Android on such a low resolution display definitely degrades the experience a bit, especially after using 4 and 4.3 inch display phones. It will also limit the apps and games you can use on the Mini. The display is quite good though, in terms of brightness and contrast. Below the display are 3 keys - Menu, Options and Back. On the top, there is the 3.5 mm audio jack and the microUSB port while the left edge has the volume rocker. On the right, there is the power button and the microSD slot. The back houses the 3.15 MP camera and the battery compartment.
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The Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 comes with Android 2.2 Froyo, which is probably the best OS for budget smartphones, which probably won't get Android 2.3 Gingerbread anytime soon. Using a touchscreen OS on a small display isn't the best experience, but the Galaxy Mini handles it quite well. It comes with the TouchWiz 3.0 UI which optimizes the user interface for the small display. It comes with all the usual UI goodies found in Android. The TouchWiz UI has a menu which resembles the Tiles based UI in Windows Phone 7, but is fundamentally Android.
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The Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 comes with a 3.15 MP camera with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The camera doesn't support either flash or autofocus, and to be honest, the image capture quality is strictly average. It should be used only for casual shots. The camera interface is quite user friendly and intuitive. It can also record QVGA videos at 15 FPS, but that's not really good enough to make it worthwhile using.
It comes with a basic image gallery app with some nice 3D visual effects that allows you to view all your images as a thumbnail grid, or full screen with sharing options. It also has a music player and comes with an FM radio with RDS. The video player can handle basic formats, but watching videos on this small display isn't the best experience.
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The Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 comes with all the basic connectivity options. It has GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. It also has a GPS transceiver with A-GPS support and Google Maps. It comes with one of the best mobile web browsers, but doesn't support Flash. However, again, the small display isn't the best way to browse the web.
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The performance is quite good, with the phone being very responsive. It has a 600 MHz processor and comes with 384 MB RAM. It also has a 160 MB of internal storage and supports up to 32 GB extra storage via a microSD card (it usually ships with a 2 GB card).
The battery is a Li-Ion 1200 mAh and since the phone is not too power hungry you might get away with charging it every second day.
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The Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 is one of the best budget Android phones and it offers almost everything you might need in a budget smartphone.
It is priced quite low and is one of the best value offerings in 2011. If you are planning to buy a budget Android phone you might also consider the LG Optimus One, or you could check out the list of the best budget Android phones.
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- GSM Arena, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_mini_s5570-3725.php
- Samsung, http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/smartphones/android/GT-S5570EGAXEU/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail