Samsung Galaxy Ace, Gio, Fit, and mini gather for a mega hands-on

You didn't think Samsung just brought its new high-end Galaxy S II to Barcelona, did you? Nope, it also packed a few of those new budget Android 2.2 smartphones -- the Galaxy Gio, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Ace, and Galaxy mini -- in its luggage. We're aware that's a lot of Galaxy, but there are, of course, a couple of key features that differentiate the low-end phones. Hit the break for our short impressions of the four and a brief video of our favorite.

  • Galaxy Ace - Of the four new Galaxy phones, the Ace is the best spec'd. It's no Galaxy S -- nope, no AMOLED display or 1GHz processor -- but it does have a decent 800MHz chip and 3.5-inch HVGA LCD display. The plastic phone has a comfortable etched back with a 5 megapixel camera, and it's the only one of the four to nab a flash. Design-wise, it's not a bad looking handset -- it looks a lot like the European version of the Galaxy S when powered off with the square-shaped home button. This one, like the other four, runs Android 2.2 with TouchWiz 3.0 -- whether you're alright with that comes down to personal preference. All of them also come with a Swype keyboard.

  • Galaxy Gio - The Gio happened to be our favorite of the bunch. Sure, it has a lot of the same attributes as the Ace -- it has a 800MHz processor, Android 2.2, and Swype -- but we like the look of its curved figure and the squircle-shaped home button. We guess you could call it a poor man's Nexus S. It also has a matte plastic back, which we're actually starting to wish was a feature of more Samsung handsets. Compared to the Ace, the Gio takes it down a notch with a 3.2-inch display and 3 megapixel camera.

  • Galaxy Fit - The differences between the Gio and Fit are mostly aesthetic, and we don't mean that in a very good way. The 3.3-inch handset boasts a 600MHz processor and a 5 megapixel shooter, but is noticeably thicker than the two aforementioned phones. Either way, this one isn't much of a looker, and it's a bit of a throw back to some of Samsung's feature phones. Also, you're only get a QVGA display here.

  • Galaxy mini - There's no doubt that the mini is the cutest of the bunch, but it's also the cheapest. The 3.14-inch phone has a 600MHz processor, 3 megapixel camera, and QVGA display. Sure, it is very pocketable and has a greenish border, but it's also rather thick, and the display quality just looked incredibly grainy and washed out. Still, we assume if Samsung prices it extremely well, it stands a fighting chance.