The Galaxy Mini S5570 is a cute little phone – more like a Corby than a smartphone proper. At 110.4 x 60.8 x 12.1 mm, the handset weighs 105 grams, which is just right. The screen certainly could’ve been bigger – it’s an observation you just can’t help. But the rest seems to make sense. The phone is all made of plastic but well put together and fingerprints are not an issue.
Unlike some superior smartphones, the Mini doesn’t have to worry about being underdressed. It looks simple and plastciky but after a while you begin to appreciate the details: the lime color accents, the pattern of the rear and the subtle chin at the bottom of the phone. It looks fun and fresh. And it’s nice to handle.
The front of the device features the 3.14” TFT touchscreen of QVGA resolution. Size and the low resolution are things you need to accept in a low-end smartphone.
Apart from that, the capacitive unit is very responsive and supports multi-touch. Colors come out fine and contrast is good.
Above the screen, there’s a proximity sensor. We didn’t have any issues with it, but the lack of an ambient light sensor means you’ll have to manually set the brightness to match changing lighting conditions. Fair is fair though: using the Galaxy Mini S5570 out on a sunny day won’t be a problem.
You don’t get a front facing camera and no video calls out of the box. The OS itself has no native support for video calling but some of Samsung’s android phones come with that feature enabled. Well, not a supposedly cheap one like the Galaxy Mini.
Below the display, there are three hardware buttons: a central Menu key with Home and Back controls on the sides. They have good press and are large enough for comfortable use. The home button is set within its own frame and in no way interfering with the other two buttons. It has a nice feel to it thanks to the brushed-texture finish.
Moving on to the top of the phone, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack and the MicroUSB port, hidden under a little plastic lid. Unlike the Samsung S8500 Wave, the S5570 has a USB port cover that pops out and doesn’t slide. It’s a little less comfortable to use, but gets the job done and we really don’t have much to complain about it.
On the right side of the device you get the power knob and a hot-swappable MicroSD card slot, hidden again under a plastic lid. The power button is small but clicky.
The left side features the volume rocker only. It’s thin but sufficiently raised with good press.
The phone has no dedicated camera button but there’s no autofocus either which is the thing to be concerned about.
The rear panel of the phone is where the camera lens is. There’s no actual protection but the lens is recessed and reasonably safe against getting scratched in your pocket. There’s no flash of any kind, which makes low-light photography a no-go.
Design-wise the back has a textured non-slip finish. It doesn’t quite affect the actual grip but makes the device a little more appealing. The matt finish is fingerprint-proof.
The loudspeaker grill is placed at the bottom. It’s on the very “chin” of the phone, which makes sense for not getting muffled.
At the bottom of the phone, the mouthpiece is the only thing to note.
Removing the back panel reveals the 1200MAh Li-Ion battery and the SIM card compartment. You shouldn’t expect any miracles in terms of battery life. Android phones are power-hungry creatures and the low-res screen doesn’t make it any easier on the Mini’s battery.
We kept the wireless on and surfed the web for a couple of hours, played music on it for a couple more, downloaded some apps and took some pictures with the phone, all the while at maximum brightness. It dropped by 1-2% every 10 minutes.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 isn’t a bad performer per se. It’s just that you can’t take advantage of what’s probably the only positive side of having a low-res screen. If used sparingly, the Mini could last 2 days at most. But if you push it harder you’ll have to charge daily.
The Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 is a very friendly phone to use and one that fits snugly in your hand. The hardware buttons make sense – somehow capacitive buttons feel more relevant to high-end devices. The Mini’s controls are big and tactile. The all plastic build is acceptable – the important thing is the phone feels sturdy and the color accents are fine.
Even the original Galaxy S was made all of plastic.
The Mini is a good phone in terms of build quality and ease of use. Screen resolution and size are something users will have to live with but that hopefully will be reflected in the price tag.
And hey, it’s a phone that may even turn some heads along the way with its fresh lime-colored frame. It’s a smartphone for the young and this should be a part of the job description