Samsung Galaxy Mini review: Samsung Galaxy Mini

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The Good Speedy Swype text input; nippy performance; small size.

The Bad No Flash support; low-resolution screen; battery life could be better.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Galaxy Mini won't suit demanding smart-phone users. Still, this cheap and cheerful addition to the Galaxy stable is a viable option for newcomers to the Android scene.

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6.5 Overall

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After the huge success of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2 smart phones, Samsung is looking to expand its Android range with the Galaxy Mini, also known as the GT-S5570. This pint-sized smart phone is not only smaller than its big brothers, it's easier on the wallet.

The Mini is available for free on a £15-per-month contract. You can also pick it up on a pay as you go deal or SIM-free for around £145.

Small Galaxy

The Mini certainly lives up to its name -- the handset is positively dwarfed by the Galaxy S 2, although, when compared to other budget Android devices, its dimensions seem less dainty. For example, the phone is only slightly smaller than the LG Optimus One, one of its closest rivals.

Swype comes pre-installed, making text input a breeze.

Like so many of Samsung's phones these days, the Mini is constructed almost entirely from plastic. Despite the lack of aluminium and brushed metal, the device feels sturdy enough. It doesn't creak when gripped tightly, and the battery cover is well secured. You'll also find that the micro-USB port is protected by a rubber cover -- something that isn't always the case on many modern phones.

The Mini bucks the trend by featuring only three buttons on its front, rather than the usual four. The near-ubiquitous Android 'search' command is missing. The placement of the buttons is also somewhat unusual. The 'home' key is fixed inside what initially looks like a trackpad, but in reality is merely a single button. This arrangement takes some time to get used to, and you'll often find yourself automatically pressing this central button as if it were a means of confirming a menu selection.

Picture imperfect

On the back of the handset, you'll find a 3-megapixel snapper, which is also capable of capturing low-resolution video footage. Sadly, the lack of flash and autofocus curtail the camera's usefulness, and the washed-out images look poor when viewed on your laptop or television.

Trapped within the Mini's modest frame are some distinctly low-end specifications. The 240x320-pixel display is possibly the most disappointing element of the entire package -- it's rather inadequate for surfing the Web and reading emails. Images appear heavily pixellated and reading tiny text is near-impossible.

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