Samsung Galaxy Mini review

To infinity and beyond? You're in for a bumpy ride

Samsung Galaxy Mini
The budget offering in the Galaxy range

TechRadar Verdict

Using the Samsung Galaxy Mini is not a treat. If your top priority is price then look no further, but you'll have to make some sacrifices in terms of performance.


  • +

    Cheap and cheerful

  • +

    Easy to use

  • +

    Integrates social networking

  • +

    Speedy connectivity

  • +

    Simplistic UI


  • -

    Very low quality screen

  • -

    Keypad too small

  • -

    Touchscreen not responsive

  • -

    Slow processor

  • -

    Below average camera quality

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Samsung is the only manufacturer that can get away with launching variants of one particular device in a series and pricing them to suit different budgets, as it did five years ago with the D500 and its variants the G600 and D900. Now the Koreans are doing it again with the Galaxy Series.

If you're in the market for a new smartphone, you can check out our quick video guide to what to look out for:

The latest addition to the Samsung Galaxy range - topped by the five star Samsung Galaxy S2 (currently number one in our 20 best mobile phones ranking) - is the Galaxy Mini. Almost identical to the Galaxy Fit, it's slightly lighter and has a lower camera quality.

It's clear that Samsung designed the Galaxy Mini to look and feel low-end and when it's up on the shelves on the high street, it will fit in well next to the likes of LG's Optimus One and Orange's San Francisco.

This touchscreen phone is definitely affordable, at £10.50 per month on an O2 contract or £129.99 on prepay, but it's clear that you'll have to make sacrifices on performance and looks as a result.

Samsung galaxy mini

The Samsung Galaxy Mini looks and feels pretty cheap in comparison to others in the Galaxy range. This is a real shame as we were expecting a lot more from this dinky device after being pretty impressed by the low-end Samsung Galaxy Ace, which is miles better in terms of performance and aesthetics.

The white variant of the Galaxy Mini that we reviewed looks particularly cheap, and starts to look grubby after a week or so as it attracts the slightest bit of dirt. Again, this is where the Samsung Galaxy Ace is miles better, as it looks and feels like a bigger, better and more robust device.

However, it is 3G HSDPA and the download speeds are pretty impressive, all things considered.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini is a good size in the hand, weighing 106.6g and measuring 110x60x12mm. But it feels slippery, unlike its brother the Galaxy Ace, which sports a textured back cover making it more grippy in the palm. For those with fat thumbs, the keypad on the Mini may be a bit tricky to operate.

There are very few buttons on this simplistic handset, and the side buttons are mostly flush against the surface of the device.

Samsung galaxy mini

The left side has a volume rocker, while the opposite side sports the power button and SD memory card slot.

Samsung galaxy mini

The top of the Galaxy Mini includes a 3mm headphone jack and a micro USB charger port with a cover to protect it from nasty dust bunnies.

The 3.14-inch capacitive touchscreen is an ideal size for most activities, but it's far less responsive than the Samsung Galaxy Ace and, most of the time, a light touch isn't good enough to launch an app.

Samsung galaxy mini

It's clear that Samsung decided to save on the screen display quality in order to place this device in the low-end range, as when compared to higher quality screens, such as the Apple iPhone 4's retina display, there's a very, very clear distinction.

In other words, the 240x320 resolution is as sharp as the bluntest pencil in the box and makes reading text-heavy web pages an excruciating task – but this is understandable, given the low price.