Hands on Review: Samsung Galaxy Mini

If you are going to carry a phone around, there’s almost no reason why it should not be a smartphone. for the one time you might need that extra functionality, having one in your pocket, purse or on your hip may make that decision all worthwhile.

What holds some people back besides not seeing a need is often the cost and being locked into a contract. So I had the opportunity to test-drive a low-cost no contract device, the new Samsung Galaxy Mini, (SGH T-499) which sells, in Canada for $169.99 through Mobilicity.

Inside the box are an instruction manual, a standard battery, and a USB cable (with a microUSB connector on one end) that you can use to charge or connect to your computer as well as an AC charger.

It has a lightweight, plastic construction, weighing in at 108g and measuring 110.4×60.6×12.1mm thick.  It actually fits nicely in the palm of your hand, comparable to many other devices on the market.

It comes with a 3.14” QVGA (240×320) touchscreen (262,000 colours) and a 3 mega-pixel  (2048×1536) camera with a camcorder and voice recording capabilities. It has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and 512MB internal memory (181MB is user). It comes with a 2GB Micro SD Card as well as a Micro SD Card adaptor, so you can insert or read it in a standard size reader.

Android 2.2 Upgradeable

For an operating system, it ships with Android 2.2 (Froyo) but it is upgradeable to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). As for apps, you can get selections from the Samsung Market as well as the Google Market. It comes preloaded with a Clock, Memo, Calendar, Gmail, Media player and more – all those standard utilities you’d expect to see on a smartphone, including ThinkFree Office, GPS and mapping capabilities.

Turning it on and booting it up, you see a friendly and intuitive interface. It doesn’t have the consistency of an iOS device, but I found it fairly easy to navigate around without even looking at the manual. Configuring your Internet connection