Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 review
|Review: June 2012|
In a nutshell: The Galaxy Mini 2 is a compact phone clearly designed as a budget first smartphone.
Today's best buy: Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini from Tesco Direct (£227.95)
There's a hunger out there for an affordable Android smartphone that doesn't cut corners, except on price. The original Galaxy Mini was a great phone except for its battery life, which was pants. Can the Mini 2 deliver the benefits of Android without slipping on a banana skin and making a fool of itself?
Speaking of banana skins, the first thing we notice about the Mini 2 is its banana yellow back cover. It's clearly a fun phone intended for younger owners. The next thing we note is that it's shrunk in size compared with the original Mini, losing a couple of millimetres in each direction. This time it really is mini! That can only be a good thing, especially since the screen size has actually increased slightly, to a respectable 3.27 inches. This is smaller than most smartphones, but it's not far behind the 3.5 inch screen of the iPhone. The resolution has also doubled to 320 x 480 pixels, making it sharp for its size.
Inside there have been more changes for the better. The processor speed has been increased to a decent 800MHz - faster than the rival HTC Desire C - and even better the internal memory has increased massively to 2.7GB user memory. This gives you plenty of room for storing apps, texts, etc. You can also add a microSD memory card up to 32GB, giving loads of space for photos, videos and music.
As well as calling and texting, the Mini 2 can be your camera, music player and portable games machine. The camera is basic, but it can take quick snaps and video clips. The music player is better, being the standard Android player, with options for playlists, album art, etc. You can listen to music via the 3.5mm headphone jack or on the tinny loudspeaker.
The phone runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), combined with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface enhancements and is easy to use. The increased memory and processing power seem to be up to the job, with no noticeable lags using the touchscreen. An advantage of Android is the hundreds of thousands of apps available to download (many free and including plenty of games), and there's lots of room for storing apps on the internal memory.
Assisted GPS is also available, and Google Maps provides location and directions. The screen is big enough to handle this without any difficulty.
Internet connectivity is fast, with both Wi-Fi and 3G HSPA available. A full web browser is installed, and you can easily access facebook and twitter using the Social Hub app.
The phone also supports Bluetooth and USB. The phone is NFC compatible, although not all operators support this. Check when you buy, if this feature is important to you. As yet there are few uses for NFC, but Samsung are starting to make some noises in this area and it could become important in a year or two.
The worst feature of the original Mini was its terrible battery life. Things have improved slightly with the Mini 2, but not a lot to be honest. If you use the phone intensively it probably won't make it through the day, although most users should just about make it to sunset. If you buy this phone, you'll want to pay attention to the features that consume power, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and maybe you should check out Google Play for battery saving apps.
At launch, the Mini 2 is selling at around £125 - £150 on Pay as you Go, or free on contracts at £15/month. For this sort of money we'd much prefer the Sony Xperia U. Take a tip from us - wait until the Mini 2 falls to £100 and then it will make a good alternative to the Galaxy Ace or HTC Wildfire S.
Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 features include:
- 3 megapixel camera with 3x digital zoom
- Video recording (320 x 240 pixels)
- Display: 320 x 480 pixels (3.27 inches) TFT touchscreen with auto-rotate
- Music player
- FM radio RDS
- MP3 ringtones / 64-voice polyphonic ringtones
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- GPS with Google Maps
- Personal organiser functions
- Processor: 800MHz
- Memory: 2.7GB plus MicroSD memory card (up to 32GB supported)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC
- Internet: Android browser, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA 7.2Mbps
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), dual band 3G (900/2100)
- Size: 109 x 59 x 11.85 mm
- Weight: 106g
- Battery: 1300 mAh
- Talktime: 410 - 680 minutes
- Battery standby: 420 - 540 hours
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Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 user reviews
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Average rating from 2 reviews:
Reviewed by Barrie from UK on 21st Aug 2013
I have owned this phone for about a year. It has given me nothing but trouble.
Main problems are
1 it switches itself off fairly regularly when there is good battery life left
2 the screen settings change without prompting eg brightness
3 the sounds change without prompting eg volume/silence
4 the screen is almost impossible to see in bright daylight
5 texts are not sent on command
6 commands for operations are not intuitive
7 often bell rings to signal an event but no event is recorded
My sister in law has the same model and she experiences similar problems with her phone, I would not recommend this phone to anyone
Reply by Christine from New Zealand on 22nd
I got this phone not long and already have doubts. Am experiencing similar problems as Barrie, screen almost impossible to see in bright daylight, sounds change without prompting, alarm doesn't go when phone is off, poor battery life. I wouldn't recommend the phone.
Reviewed by nicky from israel on 18th May 2013