Not everyone can afford a top-of-the-line Android smartphone. In fact, some mobile users would prefer cheap and rugged phones that don’t get second looks from thugs when you use it on the subway or dark alleys at midnight. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Pocket GT-S5300, the South Korean company’s upgrade to the cheap Galaxy Y, which has proved to be a big hit in emerging markets.

In the UK, Three will start offering the Galaxy Pocket by September, although the network is still mum about how much the phone will cost. It will likely be offered for free with a contract and data plan, judging on how the phone usually retails for about $120 contract-free in other markets.

As a recap, the Samsung Galaxy Pocket will feature lightweight specs in a small form factor. Here are some highlights:

  • 832MHz single-core ARM 11 processor
  • 2.8-inch QVGA screen at 320 x 480 resolution
  • 2-megapixel rear-facing camera (no front camera)
  • 3GB internal storage
  • microSD slot
  • 1200mAH battery
  • Support for GSM 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 and HSDPA 900 and 2100
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS

The Galaxy Pocket ships with 2.3.6 Gingerbread on board. The phone features the same resolution as previous entry-level devices from Samsung, although the 2.8-inch screen gives it a higher pixel density than, say the Galaxy Y or dual-SIM Galaxy Duos. However, the small screen may come with some usability issues, especially given Android’s predominantly touch-based interface. Apps that require bigger screen real estate may not work properly, or at least without scrolling.

However, a notable upgrade from previous entry-level devices is the improved internal storage. At 3GB, that’s already 1,500% larger than the space offered by previous entry-level models, which were prone to running out of memory unless a user knew how to move apps to SD or create symbolic links via root-only hacks like Link2SD.

The Samsung Galaxy Pocket would be an excellent smartphone to start your young kids with. It’s light on the pocket — literally and figuratively. With Android smartphones as small as these, who needs a man-purse?

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.
  • JactitationSpanner71
  • How will it be an excellent phone for anyone? Seriously? These cheap Samsung’s are so poor I fail to see the point of them. They look and operate poorly and compared with the budget Sony devices I cannot see who would want to buy them.
    Get a Tipo or a Huawei G300 on Vodafone. Budget Samsung’s are plain wrong…

    • Gave my grade-school aged kids Galaxy Y’s and I never have to worry about them scratching the screen or dropping the phone. In contrast, I always have to watch over their shoulder when they’re using the wife’s iPhone. Some folks just want to be able to call, text and download the occasional app. The smaller form factor is great for their age, too.

      Better-spec’d and designed phones are the way to go for enthusiasts and more serious users, I agree.

      Yes, I agree there are cheap phones from other brands that have better screens and specs for almost the same price. But that’s Samsung for you.

    • I do have this phone…and its something thats really worth the price…Considering the fact that it has 3 GB internal memory and an ARM11 processor having a speed of 832 MHz…about the res..sure it is much smaller than the std.180 ppi but still its way better than the galaxy y in terms of res…about performance, it is really smooth and the touch screen is super responsive….U can install tons of apps too,,,i would recommend it to anyone on a budget and from what i have heard an ice cream sandwich update is still very likely on the device.

      • Dave

        can i upgrade galaxy pocket to icecream 4.0?