Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone Should I Get?
Staff Writer | On 10, Apr 2015
Samsung is the largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world, dominating the market since 2011. It is credited with pioneering the ‘phablet’ market with its Galaxy Note devices, and the majority of revenue is generated by the Samsung Galaxy flagship series. However, top-of-the-range devices come at a price. So if you’re looking for the right smartphone to suit your needs at a price that you can afford, you may find yourself asking, ‘Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get?’
With 56 models released in 2014 alone, Samsung has plenty to offer other than the most recent S5 and S6. The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be purchased for £419 SIM-free from Carphone Warehouse, but there are plenty of people out there searching for a good-quality smartphone which won’t break the bank. Fortunately, Samsung has more variety on offer when it comes to smartphones than any of its major competitors.
With this in mind, there are four main options when it comes to keeping the cost down, and buying a Samsung smartphone that ticks the boxes that you need.
Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone should I get? The Older Model
One obvious tactic is to opt for an older model of the most powerful device currently being produced. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was released in April 2013 and followed in a similar vein to the critically and commercially successful S III. However, the model featured upgraded hardware and was more focussed on software features that took full advantage of the improved hardware.
The S4 is smaller than the S5, measuring 136.6mm by 69.8mm with a depth of 7.9mm. However, the design is representative of the classic Samsung style with a larger screen size, a plastic body and multi-touch screen. The resolution is identical to that of the S5 at 1080 x 1920 pixels, and a Super AMOLED display. The S4 is available with the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, unlike the preceding S III, and 441 pixels per inch which is better than the 432 PPI offered by the newer S5. The S4 also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon system chip like the S5.
Of course the battery life is estimated to be slightly shorter, the camera quality is lower at only 13 megapixels to the S5’s 16 megapixels, and camera features such as Continuous Autofocus and ISO control are unavailable on the older model.
But if you’re looking for the power and smooth design of the Samsung Galaxy S5 at a lower price, the S4 might be for you. If you’re wondering ‘which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get?’, consider opting for the S5’s predecessor, available SIM-free from around £299.
For more information, check out the CNET review.
Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone should I get? The Average Display
To answer the question ‘Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get?’, you must decide which areas you are most willing to compromise on. If you want the best of everything, then you have to be prepared to fork out for the latest flagship model.
If you need a high-quality smartphone with a powerful operating system and CPU, you should look for a model with the Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS which is widely considered one of the best available, and is featured in all of Samsung’s flagship phones since the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Galaxy Avant features the Android 4.4.2 software, with the additional TouchWiz layer. This places the Avant on a level with a high quality Samsung phone, meaning that if you need a powerful smartphone at a lower price, the Avant is a good option.
However, at the expense of a powerful OS and a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, the Avant compromises on hardware, with a lower resolution screen than the more expensive Samsung models. Most noticeably, the Avant uses a TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen instead of the Super AMOLED that is usually used in Samsung’s flagship models, which does mean that you should expect a poorer resolution and a sometimes ‘grainy’ display.
The overall design is smaller, measuring 133mm by 66mm but with a more substantial depth of 9.9mm than newer designs. Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get? With a 5 megapixel camera and more limited outdoor visibility, the Avant cannot be expected to provide the same experience that Samsung users may have become accustomed to with the later flagship models. However, for a powerful smartphone with high quality software, the Samsung Galaxy Avant is an excellent alternative that won’t break the bank.
For the full specification, go to http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-Galaxy-Avant_id8726
Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone should I get? Go Small
The Samsung Galaxy S III was critically well received when it was released in May 2012. It had improved hardware, a new design and improved software feature from its predecessor Samsung Galaxy II. But at an increased size of 136.6mm by 70.6mm, the design was impractical for some smartphone users who preferred a more ergonomic design.
The Samsung Galaxy S III Mini was released the following November, and followed a similar specification to its larger predecessor, but measuring at only 121.6mm by 63mm. With the same rounded design as the Galaxy S III, but in more manageable dimensions, the Galaxy S III Mini offers a more accessible option.
The style is just as sophisticated as with Samsung’s newer models, and the Galaxy III Mini boasts high quality software. The device is available with the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, and Samsung TouchWiz User Interface. The S III Mini has a 4.0 inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, and offers a reliable 5 megapixel camera which takes good quality pictures. In addition, the Mini comes available with technology such as S Voice, Samsung’s advanced voice recognition software, Pop-up Play and Direct Call features.
Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get? The main appeal of the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini basically comes down to value. The screen is smaller, with lower resolution and the hardware trails behind that of more recent models. But the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini is available from as little as £1 on contract. And with high quality software and a design virtually identical to that of the S III, the Mini is a great low-value option.
For more information go to: http://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-galaxy-s3-mini/
Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone should I get? Go Young
Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get if I’m looking for a replacement phone, or if I only ever use my smartphone for calls and looking up directions?
As the name implies, the Samsung Galaxy Young is primarily designed as a first smartphone for a more youthful demographic. However, it also fits the criteria for a second phone for the accident-prone, or a device for the occasional smartphone user.
With this goal in mind, Samsung have kept the specification simple on the Galaxy Young. Like the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, the Galaxy Young is designed for portability. Measuring 109.4mm by 58.6mm, with a thicker depth of 12.5mm, the screen is slightly smaller than other Samsung budget phones such as the Galaxy Fame, but still comes with a respectable 176 pixels per inch.
The Super AMOLED touchscreen of Samsung’s flagship phones would undoubtedly bump up the price considerably, but the TFT capacitive touchscreen provides a reasonable display, although the 3 megapixel camera is certainly no match for the 5 megapixel camera offered with the S III Mini.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Young features decent hardware, with a 1GHz processor and 768 megabytes of RAM. This is comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, and is around 25% more than many other budget smartphones. In addition, the device is available with the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
The Samsung Galaxy Young is available from £69.99 SIM-free, and for less than £10 a month on contract. For this modest price, it should be expected that there are areas where the Galaxy Young falls short of a Samsung user’s expectations. As we discussed earlier, when asking ‘Which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get?’, you should always consider which areas you would be most willing to compromise on.
With the Galaxy Young, this generally comes down to display quality and storage space. The screen is smaller than that of the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, measuring only 3.3 inches compared to the Mini’s 4 inches. The TFT screen is obviously inferior compared to the Super AMOLED that the Samsung user may have become accustomed to, and the resolution and pixel density are acceptable, but certainly not a selling point.
With only 4 megabytes of storage, the Galaxy Young offers a quarter of the space available with the S III Mini, and as a result, performance can be a little sluggish. However, if you intend to use the Galaxy Young as a second or replacement phone, the lack of storage space is unlikely to present an issue.
It’s certainly not the most impressive phone, with average to good hardware and software features, and a design that fails to impress in comparison to Samsung’s flagship models. But if you’re looking for a simple Samsung phone that enables you to use features only found on a smartphone, then the Galaxy Young might be a good option for you.
Which Cheap Samsung Smartphone Should I get?
If you’re asking ‘which cheap Samsung smartphone should I get?’ then these are four of your choices. For something cheaper than the latest release, you could try an older model of the successful flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, or save your money by going low-budget on the display with the Galaxy Avant.
Or for the more basic options, cut right back by going for the smaller screen of the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, or pay the minimum for the simple but successful Samsung Galaxy Young.
Whatever your budget, we reckon you’ll get a great Samsung smartphone for your money.
Picked up a Samsung smartphone bargain? Why not drop us a comment and let us know what you managed to achieve….