Samsung has got many handsets to offer based on the user’s preference of features as well as the price. We take a look at the lower end of the Android phone spectrum that starts with the Galaxy Star. It’s the only handset from Samsung to run the Android Jelly Bean OS while selling for around Rs. 5,000 (~$85).
The design of the Galaxy Star is pretty identical to other Samsung Galaxy devices. Samsung has gone with a curvy design that makes it easier to hold in the hands. The phone uses plastic chassis with the front side sporting the 3-inch display with a physical home button and touch-sensitive menu and back buttons. The right-hand side has the power/lock key while the left has the volume. The 3.5mm headphone port is on the top, microUSB port at the bottom and the loudspeaker and 2 megapixel camera at the back.
The Galaxy Star has a 3-inch display with QVGA resolution (320×240 pixels). The display is nothing to write home about. Viewing angle is okay and found the text to be not as crisp but can thankfully use the ‘increase legitibility’ option under Display settings to enhance the clarity of the text that helps to resolve the issue (at least partially). Galaxy Star lacks the ambient sensor which is why you won’t find it to automatically control the brightness. However, Samsung has given a handy slider in the notification panel to control the brightness instantly without having the user delve deeper in the settings.
Galaxy Star is a 2G phone that belongs to the Duos (dual-SIM) range. Interestingly, Samsung has adopted the use of microSIM, which could prove cumbersome for some users as they’ll have to exchange their full-sized SIMs with the smaller ones from their respective operators. But also given the fact that even this low-end Android uses the smaller-sized SIM card, all devices going forward will boast the same SIM form factor.
The notification bar shows the active SIM, making it easier for the user to know which number is active at the moment. Furthermore, if you’re using two SIMs, you can switch back and forth from the notification panel or use the Dual SIM Always On feature to receive calls from SIM2 when SIM1 is active and vice-versa. Do note that this feature forwards the call from the inactive SIM to the active one so there maybe additional charges depending on your operator.
Galaxy Star is powered by a single-core Cortex-A5 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. While Samsung doesn’t mention the make of the application processor, the phone uses SC6820 chip from Spreadtrum. To cut the long story short, the phone runs Android 4.1.2 fairly well. Games like Temple Run 2, Stick Tennis run satisfactorily on the device while multimedia duties are handled by the integrated music player, video player and FM Radio app.
The camera is a 2MP fixed focus camera and offer decent picture quality but suffers horribly in low light situations. There are various camera modes to select from and even supports video recording at 320×240 resolution.
|Galaxy Star Sample Shots|
When it comes to battery life, the Galaxy Star has a 1200mAh battery but with moderate use on a single SIM, the phone easily lasts for almost two days.
Galaxy Star goes for under Rs. 5,000 at some retail stores and given the price range it is being offered, the phone gives a decent Android Jelly Bean experience to a first time smartphone user. The screen, no GPS chip and the camera could be considered as negatives but the battery life is a plus, which is the bane of many Android devices today.
You may or may not get future Android upgrades on this device but Samsung is actively working on the device, which was evident from the two stability updates we received during our testing of the device.