Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 review

Budget handset, super performance

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The world might be sad to note the Samsung Galaxy S3 has yet to appear, but let's not forget about the smartphone users that want a decent experience without breaking the bank.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 is just that: a budget handset that actually performs pretty well given its modest specs.

The feature list is pretty poor compared to today's top end devices, with a 3MP camera, HVGA screen and a single core 800MHz processor. However, when you consider it will probably cost around £100, suddenly we're happy to sit up and take notice.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

It's not badly built for the price either, with a solid feeling chassis that apes the mesh-back design of last year's models for more comfortable feeling in the hand.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

There's nothing fancy like a camera shutter button to speak of, but the power/lock key is easy to hit and there's nothing that feels alien in the hand when using the phone normally – even the home button construction has been improved somewhat.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

The resolution of the screen doesn't seem to feel as low-res as it might do given the pixel count; it's not Super AMOLED quality, but for the smartphone user who doesn't want to consume loads of video it's more than adequate.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

The internet experience wasn't as crummy as other budget smartphones have offered either, with a slick loading time, legible text even when zoomed out and easy page manipulation.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

Flash video doesn't play unsurprisingly, but we're not far off seeing budget phones able to support that feature too – amazing considering it wasn't even possible a year or two back.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

There are some downsides to the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 though: opening and closing apps stuttered somewhat on more than one occasion, and the text input wasn't the greatest in the world. The former problem could be pre-release software though, and we're sure an alternative keyboard will solve the latter.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

Add into that the fact the phones is running with NFC as well, and you can see why we're pretty impressed with this dinky digit dialler.

Samsung galaxy mini 2 review

Early verdict

Sure, the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 won't be winning any awards when it comes to specs, but that's the not the point of a phone like this.

It's a compact phone that runs a pretty new version of Android (2.3.7), works as you expect it to, and handles most tasks well.

Even if the slight slowdown doesn't get fixed before release, we're still impressed, so stick around for our full Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 review.