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When a product or appliance fails in our household, I am normally quick to replace it after carrying out some research to establish the most suitable for our needs. However, when my mobile phone packed in approximately six months ago, I felt extremely overwhelmed due to the extensive number of handsets that were available.
There was no way that I was going to a high street store for guidance and advice, as I didn't wish to waste my precious time with some overbearing sales person who would no doubt inform me of all the reasons why I would need an all singing and all dancing top of the range model. Instead, I chose to carry out my own online research and after painstakingly studying a wide range of handsets for what seemed like a lifetime, I finally decided upon the Samsung Galaxy Mini II, GT-S6500 on an Orange pay as you go tariff. I opted for the Dolphin package and in return for a monthly £10 top up, I receive 400 texts each month together with more internet usage than I really need although the exact amount I receive escapes me.
REASON FOR PURCHASING THIS PARTICULAR MODEL
Whilst my previous mobile phones have all been basic and simply enabled me to send text messages, make phone calls and take the odd photograph, I was eager to keep up with technology, which was one of the reasons for choosing the Galaxy Mini smartphone with an Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread operating system. Despite the word Mini in the title, I wouldn't describe the handset as being mini in nature, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned, as I want to be able to comfortably read the screen and operate the various icons without squinting.
APPEARANCE OF THE PHONE
The phone is considerably lightweight at just 105g and offers measurements of approximately 10½ cm in height, 5½ in width and 1¼ cm in depth. In addition to offering specifications to perfectly meet my needs, it was the sleek, slim design and contemporary chrome appearance that won me over. I was like a child with a toy when I purchased my phone from an Orange store, as I couldn't wait to try out the internet, which was a totally new experience for me.
SETTING UP THE PHONE
Accompanying the phone is a pocket sized thirty page quick start guide containing very little information, which concerned me a little especially as I was a total novice to the world of smartphones and had absolutely no idea of what to do. Being the impatient individual that I am, I ignored the guide and plugged the phone into the accompanying charger and eagerly waited the three hours for it to fully charge before I could play with my new toy. Fortunately, I didn't have to fiddle around with installing the SIM, as the sales person did this for me. However, not long after I purchased the phone I needed to remove the back, which was an easy task, as I thought my phone had failed, but it was simply a case of me being stupid and not properly pressing the power/reset/lock key.
Using a touch screen was a totally new experience for me, as I was so used to simply pressing buttons and it took a little time for me to learn what my phone was capable of. I was highly impressed when I initially discovered the level of clarity, colour and brightness of the HVGA screen, which measures approximately 5 cm x 7 cm.
USING THE PHONE
The 256K colours and 320 x 480 pixels were surprising especially as the model is marketed as the perfect first smartphone for the younger user and didn't cost me the earth. As I gently swiped the screen with my finger tips I was able to recognise many of the icons from my laptop and my first point of call was with the internet, which can be either accessed via Wifi or as part of the personal data plan from your service provider. I always choose the latter especially as I have quite a large allowance and I may as well use it considering that I'm paying for it. The smartphone offers 2G and 3G network capability and is extremely fast in loading Google due to the 800 MHz processor.
I vowed that I would never shop on my mobile phone, but alas, the temptation was too easy and I've made quite a few purchases from Amazon and whilst it isn't as fast as using my laptop due to the fact that I need to swipe the screen back and fore, it's good enough for me. However, as I have long finger nails, a real issue for me was that I continuously knocked the adjoining keys on the qwerty keyboard. Whilst I attempted to use the smartphone by turning the screen on a 90 degrees angle, unfortunately, this did not assist me with my problem and as a result, I purchased a stylus from Poundland, which now makes this task much easier. I am impressed at the fast response from touching the keys, which is nothing when comparing with my previous push button phone.
Sending text messages is extremely easy and I like the fact that all messages to and from one person, continuously tag, so I can refresh my mind with what we were previously discussing. In addition, this prevents a long list of text messages building up and deleting texts is the case of pressing a few icons. Receiving my first phone call was a little problematic, as try as I might I could not answer the call and ended up passing the phone to my work colleague who simply pressed the green phone icon and swiped it along the screen for it to connect. Simple and if I had initially read the accompanying quick start guide, I would have known that.
I have never experienced any issues with connectivity whether it is the internet, sending/receiving text messages or making/receiving telephone calls. The sound quality is first class and it's good to be able to enjoy a telephone conversation without it cutting off, which was one of the many issues with my previous phone. The smartphone offers Bluetooth, which is real bonus for me, particularly as I have Bluetooth built into my car, so I haven't got to pull over when my phone rings when I am driving.
Whilst I had heard a lot of about applications, they were considerably alien to me, but over the months I have enjoyed downloading quite a few onto the 2.7GB of impressive storage capacity. I would advise that I have installed a microSD memory card inside my phone, but unfortunately, this was not included with my purchase. I would previously take the odd photograph/video with my previous phone, but the images weren't particularly impressive and could sometimes be described as grainy. However, due to the 3.15 megapixel camera, the images on this smartphone offer superb clarity although I still prefer to use my digital camera. Whilst I cannot admit to being bothered about ring tones, there are a good number from which to choose; all of which offer superb MP3 sound quality.
Samsung claim that the phone offers 120 hours of standby time and up to 360 minutes of talk time although I am unable to evidence either of these claims. I find that with sending half a dozen or so text messages each day, answering the odd call and browsing the internet for up to half an hour, I need to recharge the phone every three days. Considering how much I use my phone on a daily basis, I am of the opinion that the battery life is pretty good. Thankfully, the phone bleeps to alert me to the fact that the battery is low and a warning icon will appear at the centre of the screen.
The phone is considerably robust, as it has taken quite a few knocks where I have dropped it on the floor and there is no evidence of any marks on the other casing or on the toughened screen. However, to prevent the risk of any damage I made a purchase of a cover. The screen doesn't get as grubby as I had anticipated although when it is in standby mode when the screen turns black, I am able to witness the small dab marks from the rubber end of my stylus. However, these are unnoticeable when the phone is in operation and are easily wiped away with a dry cloth.
It would be impossible for me to list all of the features offered by the phone and I must admit that I've not used them all and it is highly unlikely that I ever will. However, I've tried and tested a few of them such as the MP3 player, which offers excellent sound quality, calendar, predictive text, which I cannot bear as the most weirdest of words appear, organiser, radio, image/video editor, voice memo and dial.
The phone offers a microUSB v2.0 port in addition to Java MiDP emulator and HTML5 and Adobe Flash although these specifications are far too technical for me, so I am not even going to attend to discuss them.
The phone carries a two year warranty and I am hoping that I am never likely to need it, as up to now, I have not experienced any issues such as the phone crashing or the screen freezing.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
When I purchased mine six months ago I paid in the region of £70 where it had been reduced from its full price of £109.99. However, I've noticed that Argos is selling this particular model for £58.99 on the Orange pay as you go tariff.
Due to the reasons discussed above and the fact that the phone offers such a lot for such a low price when making a comparison with other brands, it receives five stars from me together with a high recommendation.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
This phone is great for on the go usage, as it has great battery strength, also I have noticed the great signals. This is just a all round great phone. There are many great things about it:
- You can get a great variety of apps
- You can get amazing music and movies of google.co.uk/play and link it to your phone and your tablet
- Great Camera
- Fast message send times
- Is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Instergram ect
I have used this phone for about 3 Months now and there is only one disadvantage to this phone, and it still wont apply to many people, I have had an issue when loading facebook comments. However this may not be Samsung's fault, it might be an error of the facebook app.
My final conclusion of this phone is that its great for all ages and has none if not few bugs, and great if you need a great phone cheaper than other smart phones.
After my contract finished on my Samsung Galaxy(yes, the first galaxy phone by Samsung that started the long line of galaxy generations) after 2 years of having it I spent hours trying to find a new contract. This was a long process and it doesn't help not being able to understand EE's call offices from what seems like every country in the world apart from England. My mum then took control of the situation and said she would sort out a contract as a Christmas present. She stayed true to that promise and managed to get me... Drum roll please... The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2! You read that right, the ace 2.
Not only did it arrive a week after Christmas but I also got this lovely phone (the mini 2)
instead of what we signed up for.
Well that's how I got the phone but luckily the is much easier to use then to get. I don't use it for apps too much as I also have the iPod touch 5G but I use it a fair amount for texting and making calls.
Battery Life: 2/5
I am rather disappointed with the battery of this phone as it barely lasts 12 hour when it's just sitting on a table. It doesn't last long and I have almost no apps on it. If you spend a lot of time on trains or have a job that involves a lot of travelling then this probably isn't what you want as if your gaming on it, it won't last at all. Compared to the original galaxy the mini's battery is shorter than the phone is smaller.
The design is modern and smooth. When you unbox it you get a yellow and black back(I use the yellow).They both go well with the phone which is just as well because you aren't going to find many backs for it in a shop. The phone is mostly quite smoothish and all the edges are curved which gives it that modern feel and the size is perfect. The size of the phone goes perfectly into any pocket and fits well into my hand, although the screen could be bigger.
Internal Design: 4/5
Don't really know what to call this section but I think this title is suitable. When you are inside the phone then the locking system and messaging is the same as any other galaxy phone. The main feature is the big Google search bar on your home page which I find very useful an perfectly placed. The rest of the layout is simple and easy enough to find your way round the phone.
I don't think the apps are anywhere near as good as that on apples app store but there are still a fair few. I didn't find any apps I would say are a "must have" but I haven't looked particularly hard due to using the iPod for apps. The layout for the app store is a bit annoying and hard to find anything that isn't in the top apps section.
To summarize, I think that it is a great phone but if you are looking for apps you probably want something with a better selection and more battery life. If you just want a practical phone for texting and making calls then this could well be the phone for you.