Samsung Galaxy Y vs ZTE Skate

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Samsung’s Galaxy Y takes on ZTE’s Skate this time around, as we aim to see which budget friendly Android smartphone packs the biggest punch

Smartphones are no longer devices reserved for the tech obsessed among us – they’re part of most people’s every day existence.
Whether it’s checking your calendar to keep tabs on a birthday, or killing some time playing a game on your commute, your smartphone keeps you in touch, entertained and organised. And most people can’t live without their shiny little box of tricks.
Thankfully this level of general acceptance has led to companies investing time and effort into producing high quality, low cost products, with the aim of allowing people on a budget to embrace the smartphone revolution without breaking the bank.
Two such devices are Samsung’s Galaxy Y and ZTE’s Skate. The question is – which one represents true value for money?

Screen
Samsung’s Galaxy Y ships with a 3-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen that operates at a resolution of 240×320 pixels and displays 256K colours. While we weren’t expecting one of Samsung’s sterling AMOLED’s in a budget conscious device, we were hoping for something a little more potent than what’s on offer here.
The ZTE Skate comes with a bit more tech, in the shape of a 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen that operates at a resolution of 480×800, displays 16 million colours and offers an impressive pixel density of 217ppi.
Winner – ZTE Skate

Power
ZTE’s Skate runs on an 800MHz single-core CPU, which is sufficient enough to run the OS without any major lag or hiccups but let’s be honest, it won’t set the world alight (nor is it intended to).
Similarly, the Galaxy Y runs on an 832MHz processor, which offers up a tiny bit more power but, again, don’t expect miracles. These processors are intended for the distance, not a sprint.
The ZTE Skate comes with a fairly respectable 512MB RAM, though, which should give the device a more spritely feel when multi-tasking or opening up applications. Samsung’s Galaxy Y features a so-far undisclosed amount of RAM, but we wouldn’t bet our shirts on it rivalling the Skate in the memory stakes.
Both device’s do, however, offer support for Micro SD cards up to 32GB in size, so you shouldn’t be stuck for space to store your MP3s and photos.
Winner – ZTE Skate

Form and Build
Samsung Galaxy Y – 104 x 58 x 11.5 mm, 97.5g
ZTE Skate – 125.9 x 67.8 x 10.4 mm, 120g
The Galaxy Y is a neat, pocketable device that isn’t heavy or unnecessarily ugly. It’s constructed out of lightweight plastics and the level of craftsmanship on offer is vintage Samsung, which is to say, fine, but rather undistinguished.
The ZTE Skate is a larger, more premium looking (and feeling) device, which feels robust and well assembled, though, its extra bulk makes it a little cumbersome at times.
Winner – Draw

Software
Both devices run on version 2.3 of Google’s popular Android OS.
The Samsung Galaxy Y features the company’s nice UI overlay, TouchWiz, which gives it some nice additions such as widgets, apps and social networking integration.
The ZTE Skate also offers a tweaked UI, with custom widgets and apps and, surprisingly, it’s quite intuitive and pleasing to use.
As you’d expect both devices also offer all the other trappings associated with Android, such as apps, games and huge customisation potential and in this respect both are light years ahead of other similarly low priced ‘dumb’ phones.
Winner – Draw

Camera
Budget conscious smartphones aren’t usually known for their photographic prowess but the ZTE Skate does pack a pretty decent 5-megapixel camera, which also offers autofocus, LED flash and geo-tagging.
The Samsung Galaxy Y keeps to tradition with a bog-standard 2-megapixel offering that borders on awful.
Both devices capture video, the Galaxy Y at QVGA (15FPS), while the Skate’s capabilities are unconfirmed.
We know these device’s aren’t going to be made or broken off the back of their photographic chops but if we’re talking bang for buck the Skate takes the round, hands down, and the Galaxy Y looks pitiful in comparison.
Winner – ZTE Skate

Verdict
So it’s a win for the Chinese-made ZTE Skate, almost with no contest.
If you’re looking for a low priced smartphone that offers a decent level of performance you could do far worse than the Skate. Sure, it isn’t one of the latest, greatest dual-core beasties, but it works and works well.
The Samsung Galaxy Y on the other hand, is underwhelming in almost every respect.

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