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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Young review: a budget Android Jelly Bean smartphone


The main draw of the Samsung Galaxy Young S6310 smartphone is the combination of its budget price tag – around £125 SIM-free – and the fact it runs on the (almost) latest Android operating system, version 4.1 Jelly Bean.

On the face of it, the Galaxy Young looks like any other of Samsung's smartphones. Everything is where you would expect it to be but the phone is much smaller than most these days. In a way it looks like a device from a number of years ago when handsets this small were the norm.

The Galaxy Young's size means it feels very different to most on the market at the moment. It actually fits in your hand and you can reach the entire screen without struggle. A small screen does come with drawbacks, though, which we'll explain later on.

The pebble-like shape, similar to that of the HTC Desire C, of the Galaxy Young is nice, even if it is a bit on the chunky side of things – 12.9mm. It's inevitably plastic but feels reasonably solid and not overly plasticky.

At just over £100, don't expect to be blown away by the hardware on offer from the Galaxy Young. It's got a 1GHz single-core processor and 768MB of RAM providing us with a dire GeekBench 2 score of 419.

The handset did equally bad in our other benchmarks, managing just 4fps in GLBenchmark and 3397ms in SunSpider. Needless to say, performance is not the Galaxy Young's strong point. The components just can't really cope with anything more complicated than swiping around the homescreen panes.


This is a big downfall for the Galaxy Young and means using it day to day is a painful experience. We'd rather have an Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Windows Phone 8, smartphone which can run smoothly.

As we mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Young has a small screen. It's just 3.27in making it a significant amount smaller than the 5in devices we're seeing now – Samsung's Galaxy S4 to name just one. Although the diddy screen means the device fits in your hand, it doesn't have much else going for it.

There's a low resolution of 320x480 (HVGA) meaning anything on the screen looks fuzzy and pixelated. The size also means the Galaxy Young isn't very good at the kind of tasks a smartphone is made for – web browsing, playing games, browsing the web and even using the on screen keyboard.

Storage is 4GB, a typical amount for a cheap handset. However, only just over 1GB is available to the user. As usual Samsung provides a microSD card slot which in this case means you can add up to 64GB more storage. Since we're running Jelly Bean, this extra space can't be used for apps, though.

Things don't turn a corner when it comes to cameras either. The Galaxy Young has a 3Mp rear facing camera which takes the most basic of snaps. There's no front facing camera at all, so you can forget making any video calls.

A bit of a shock is that the Galaxy Young comes complete with an NFC chip, something some mid-range handsets don't even have.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the main feature of this device, along with its bargain bucket price. It's not quite the latest version but it's almost there and the differences compared to 4.2 are minimal.

The Galaxy Young has Samsung's TouchWiz user interface but don't expect any special tricks like the Galaxy S4.

We were pleased with the battery life from the Galaxy Young which managed to get us through two days of use, albeit with minimal usage on the second day. The 4.8Wh battery is removable, which is a small bonus.

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