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Samsung Galaxy Mini review: Samsung Galaxy Mini

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The low-resolution screen causes numerous problems, especially in the Gmail application.

The upshot of this low resolution is speed. Because it doesn't have to render high-resolution images, the Mini positively whips along, despite its unimpressive 600MHz processor. Moving between applications is a pleasantly swift experience, and the process of navigating Samsung's TouchWiz user interface is never anything but silky-smooth. Hitting the Web is a reasonably nippy experience too, thanks to the inclusion of 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity

The only exception to this swiftness is mobile gaming. While the Mini is perfectly capable of playing many thousands of titles available in the Android Market, it struggles with more graphically complex titles.

Despite the presence of Android 2.2 Froyo, the Galaxy Mini's browser doesn't support Adobe Flash. Like the LG Optimus One, the Mini runs on an ARMv6 CPU, and an ARMv7 chip is required for Flash support. It's also a shame that Samsung didn't launch the handset with Android 2.3 Gingerbread -- HTC managed it with the similarly modest Wildfire S, after all.

The Swype is mightier than the tap

Like so many of Samsung's phones, the Mini ships with the Swype text-input software. This method of typing requires you to draw a line from letter to letter on the virtual keyboard to compose words, thus removing the need to lift your finger from the screen. It's incredibly quick and makes typing on the Mini's cramped 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen much easier.

The cramped screen isn't ideal for gaming, and many recent 3D titles don't run well at all.

While you might expect such a modest device to be frugal when it comes to consuming battery power, we discovered that the Mini isn't any less hungry than the likes of the iPhone 4 and HTC Desire S. We squeezed around two day's worth of moderate usage out of the handset before it required a top-up.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Mini's nippy performance and Swype software make it an ideal phone for younger users, and those who want to experience Android but don't want to spend all their cash on a high-end phone. But the low-resolution screen, average battery life and lack of gaming clout mean you should also consider rival devices, such as the Galaxy Ace, Acer Liquid Mini and HTC Wildfire S. Still, if your aspirations are kept in check, you might find much to like about this diminutive device.

Edited by Charles Kloet 

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