Updated: 09/06/2013 17:00 | By Richard Melville, contributor, MSN Tech

Samsung Galaxy Young review

A dinky Android for your pocket, designed for kids with a pocket money price to match


What is it?
The Samsung Galaxy Young is an entry level Android smartphone designed to ease you in to the world of emails and apps on a mobile gadget without a hefty subscription.

What’s great?
Small profile, rugged build, free cloud storage.

What’s not?
Small screen, low resolution and sluggish response times.

The bottom line:
A woefully poor screen in terms of resolution and consistent lag spoil the good looks and rivals offer twice as much value in terms of specification and extras.

Samsung Galaxy Young review (© Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Young: Review

The market for entry level smartphones is often disguised in the marketing blitz by every manufacturer to promote their hero product. For Apple, that means the iPhone 5 and, for Samsung, that means the Samsung Galaxy S4, both around the £500 mark when purchased without a contract.

The Galaxy Young may share a similar name to the Galaxy S4 but the similarity is in name only. This is a small smartphone which can be found online for £99 so, naturally, it sits in the entry level land of smartphones with rivals Huwaei and Motorola already waiting for someone to knock them off the top spot.

Samsung Galaxy Young: Design and build

The round edges and pleasing slim profile are similar to older Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy Ace and the Galaxy Mini. The rugged surround and pocket size means it’s easy to grip for calls and the removable rear is secure and the volume and power buttons are easily accessible and responsive. It’s a solid smartphone and feels like an entry level smartphone should - you expect nothing less than a plastic case and few design flourishes at this price. The 3 inch screen is the kicker, however, as rivals offer much larger screens.

Samsung Galaxy Young review (© MSN)

Samsung Galaxy Young: Software

Android 2.3 Gingerbread is the old operating system under the bonnet and Samsung’s own TouchWiz overlay helps navigation for newcomers to Android and downloads and browsing are fast. With very little storage inside the smartphone, you’ll need a £15 MicroSD card to get enough storage for music and apps.

Samsung Galaxy Young: Camera

The 2 megapixel camera is only good for bright conditions and close to the subject. We expect 5 megapixel cameras as an entry level camera system but for Facebook and Twitter, the snaps are acceptable. You won’t be printing any out or adding any to your physical photo album as the resolution just isn’t big enough. Video puts a real strain on the processor too - if you’re used to slick tablet style video, you’ll notice the footage lacks detail and stutters with fast moving subjects.

You can upload images to the free two year 50GB Dropbox account to save space but the images are small enough not to demand much space in the first place so it’s unlikely you’ll make use of the good value freebie.

Samsung Galaxy Young review (© MSN)

Samsung Galaxy Young: Performance

Although the operating system is fast, it’s the 3 inch screen that makes this a poor smartphone. Resolution is terrible and response times are dire and, in sunlight, you’ll struggle to see an image at all.

For music, text and calls, the Galaxy Young is fine and the two day battery life is a bonus but you can get much more for your money. Samsung has the habit of cutting too many corners at this price level and hoping that the kudos of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will rub off on its entry level smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Young: Verdict

Out of the box, the Galaxy Young looks the part and is fine for calls, texts and music but that defeats the purpose of a smartphone over an old fashioned mobile. By contrast, Nokia’s keyboard toting Asha 201 smartphone is half the price and offers better features, geared around basic non-Android apps and is suited to users upgrading from a BlackBerry. By the same token, you should look at the HTC Wildfire S for around £99 which does everything the Galaxy Young promised and the Huawei Y300 which has a 4 inch screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 5 megapixel camera and costs around £69. In short, the Galaxy Young is blown out of the water at every turn by rivals which can offer double bang for your buck.

2 stars

Samsung Galaxy Young: Available now - £119 or free on contract. Check Bing for the latest prices or buy one from O2.

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