Expert Review of Samsung Galaxy Core Metallic Blue
Samsung has come out with its latest budget smartphone offering - the Samsung Galaxy Core. After overwhelming the smartphone market with high-end devices like Samsung Galaxy S4 that is to be followed by the launch of the Galaxy Note 3, the Korean smartphone maker has decided to address the needs of those folks who have decided to spend big, but fall short of the high price that the Galaxy S4 and its variants command. The Galaxy Core has dimensions of 129.3mm x 67.6mm x 9mm, and weighs 124g. The newly-launched budget smartphone sports a 4.3-inch TFT touch screen display that is easily dwarfed by the 5-inch+ ‘Phablets’ that are currently flooding the market from all sides. Also, it comes with resolution of 480 x 800pixels (217 ppi pixel density) which further accentuates the ‘budget smartphone’ aura of the Galaxy Core. The phone runs on the previous-generation Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system that runs smoothly thanks to the 1.2GHz dual-core processor that powers the Galaxy Core, along with 1GB of RAM. The Galaxy Core comes with 8GB of internal memory storage that can be further expanded to a maximum of 64GB with a microSD card. It also comes with a 5-megapixel camera with Autofocus and LED Flash. Other camera features include touch focus, geo-tagging in addition to face and smile detection. The camera is capable of capturing images of resolution 2592 x 1944pixels and shooting 480p video at the rate of 30fps. The inability to capture 720p/1080p HD video is a serious drawback with this phone. A VGA camera is also provided for video-calling facility. Samsung has got you covered with all the standard connectivity features on offer: GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot facility and Bluetooth v3.0. It is offering the Galaxy Core in two color options: Chic White and Metallic Blue. The device is powered by a 1800mAh Li-Ion battery that gives excellent battery life, as claimed by Samsung: talk time of up to 14 hours on 2G/ 9 hours on 3G and stand-by time of up to 500hours on 2G and 300hours on 3G.
User Interface and UI functionality
As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Core runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is the previous generation of the operating system. However, it is likely that Samsung will release an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the phone in the coming months. As usual, Samsung has pasted its proprietary TouchWiz interface over the stock Android interface. Some of the cool features that have been handed down from the Galaxy S4 include Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Motion UI and S Voice. Smart Stay detects when you are looking at the display and dims the display when you are not. Smart Alert shows you the missed calls and messages as soon as you pick up the phone. Motion UI, which is new on the S4, allows you to issue simple motion commands in order to perform basic functions such as mute or refresh. S Voice, as was introduced in the Galaxy S3 itself, is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri- a virtual voice assistant.
The Galaxy Core comes loaded with all the multimedia features that you can possibly hope for: a music player capable of playing MP3/eAAC+/WAV/FLAC/AC3 formats and a video player capable of playing MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 formats. However, it is not capable of playing 720p and 1080p Full HD video smoothly. However, the 4.3-inch display should be enough for watching the occasional movie or YouTubing.
Pictures and Video quality
The Galaxy Core comes with a 5MP camera with Autofocus and LED Flash. It is capable of snapping pictures with a resolution 2592 x 1944pixels and shoots video of a maximum of 480p quality at the rate of 30fps. It is a major disappointment that the camera cannot record 720p or 1080p HD video. As common in all Galaxy smartphones, Samsung has added a few more features to the stock camera app, including panorama mode, ‘Best Photo’ mode, continuous shooting and ‘Smile Shot’ that takes the picture just when it detects a person smiling.
While 3G HSUPA is allowed on the Galaxy Core, 4G LTE support is missing. Otherwise, you get GPRS/EDGE that is still the most popular way of accessing mobile internet in India. While the stock browser will easily meet your browsing needs, it is recommended that Google Chrome be installed to enhance the overall browsing experience significantly.
Internal and External Memory
The Galaxy Core comes with 8GB of internal memory storage that can be further expanded to a maximum of 64GB with a microSD card.
Applications and Gaming
While Google Play Store is at your disposal for you to download and install all the Apps and Games that you could possibly ask for. In addition, Samsung has also bundled some applications such as ChatOn messenger, Cloud and Premium Hub. While most games manage to run on the phone, some of the more high-end games may face trouble while running due to the inadequate strength of the 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
The Galaxy Core smartphone runs on an 1800mAh Li-Ion battery that gives excellent battery life. Samsung claims that it gives talk time of up to 14hours on 2G, 9 hours on 3G, and a stand-by time of up to 500hours on 2G and 300hours on 3G.
All of the standard connectivity features are available on the Galaxy Core, including GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot facility and Bluetooth v3.0. Samsung is launching the Galaxy Core in two versions: an international standard version with Single SIM, and a dual-SIM version to be available in specified markets only.
While comparing the Samsung Galaxy Core with the recently launched Sony Xperia L, we observe that both the phones occupy the same price-category and are pretty much neck-to-neck in terms of features. Both sport 4.3-inch displays and come with 1GB RAM. However, the Galaxy Core edges ahead with a more powerful 1.2GHz processor while the Xperia L comes with only a 1GHz processor. Nevertheless, the Xperia L easily quashes the Galaxy Core when it comes to its camera: since the Xperia L is mainly a camera-phone, it sports an 8MP camera that is capable of shooting 720p HD video at the rate of 30fps, capturing much higher resolution images and advanced features like video stabilization and HDR.