The Samsung Galaxy Core LTE crosses no lines to deliver what the company thinks is the right balance between equipment and price. Focus is on a single feature, until recently exclusive to premium smartphones – LTE connectivity.
It’s a simple game plan the Galaxy Core LTE is following, like a number of namesake predecessors, to offer strictly the essentials and little more. The original Galaxy Core was quite successful, and warranted a couple of upgrades. We guess most of the credit goes to the dual-SIM version. Less than a year later, the Core lineup is promoted to the LTE league.
The Samsung Galaxy Core LTE is low-end Android phone that offers LTE Category 4 connectivity. Other hardware features include 4.5-inch screen, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and 5-megapixel camera with LED flash.Feb 17, 2014
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; dual-band 3G with HSPA
4.5″ 16M-color qHD capacitive touchscreen; 244ppi
Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU
1GB of RAM
2,100mAh Li-Ion battery
5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 720p video recording @ 30fps, continuous autofocus
0.3 MP front-facing camera, VGA video recording
Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wireless Hotspot
GPS with A-GPS, GLENS
8GB of built-in storage
microSD card slot
Stereo FM radio
Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
Accelerometer and proximity sensor
Android version is not up to date
The fastest network data aside, Samsung managed a couple of improvements elsewhere too. The most obvious change is the increase in screen size. Better yet, the resolution caught up and we must say the jump from WVGA to qHD is actually bigger than the nominal difference in screen real estate.
LTE support called for a more robust processing, so a dual-core Cortex A9 CPU and 1GB of RAM promise a speed boost on the newcomer that’s not limited to network data.
The corner cutting has affected the software package, though, and while the Galaxy Core LTE comes with a newer 4.2 Jelly Bean, it’s two generation behind what’s currently available elsewhere. OK, that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with an update later on.
Samsung didn’t feel an urge to experiment with the design of the Galaxy Core LTE. The Samsung Galaxy S4 template is pretty much set in stone. The company pulled an identical stunt with the original Galaxy Core, which took after the then incumbent Galaxy S III.
The textured matte finish on the back, however, is a welcome break from the high gloss on most entry-level Samsung handsets. Other than that, the design of the Galaxy Core LTE will feel immediately familiar, not to say repetitive.
The phone has rounded edges and there’s an aluminums-acting plastic frame going all around the front and sides. The front is covered in glass, while the plastic back is removable, letting you replace the battery if needed and allowing access to the memory card slot.
Interestingly, the Galaxy Core LTE has exactly the same layout of controls as its bigger sibling, the Galaxy Grand Neo. Below the display you get the usual three-button setup of hardware Home button and capacitive Menu and Back keys.
There are proximity and ambient light sensors next to the earpiece, along with a 1.2MP front-facing camera. The only two buttons on the sides of the device are the volume rocker on the left and power/lock button on the right. Up top is a 3.5mm audio jack, while at the bottom you’ll find the microUSB port and microphone pinhole. Around back is the 5MP camera along with an LED flash and a loudspeaker grille.
The Samsung Galaxy Core LTE packs a 2,100mAh battery, which did surprisingly well in our dedicated battery test, scoring a rating of 62 hours. The Core LTE didn’t handle video playback too well but other than that, it was spot on. Couple this with a solid stand-by time and you’ve got a long-lasting phone in your hands.
The Samsung Galaxy Core is built around a 4.5″ PLS display, which is a step up from the first-generation Core’s 4.3″ TFT unit. The resolution follows suit – up to qHD here from WVGA on the original Core. This results in a pixel density of 245ppi – good enough for the phone’s entry-level spot. Compared to the original Core, contrast and brightness are slightly better, but not spectacular. Outdoor visibility, however, is great and you’ll have no problems reading the screen in bright sunlight. Colour reproduction isn’t too great though. Colours look a bit washed out which may be down to a halfhearted effort at calibrating the display. Viewing the even at under the slightest angle results in poor contrast.
The Core LTE has a screen that’s only 4.5 inches on the diagonal. That’s bigger than any iPhone has ever been, but compared to most of Samsung’s mobiles, it’s positively tiny. As the name suggests, the Core LTE’s superpower is its ability to hook onto 4G networks. This’ll get you significantly faster browsing and data downloads when you’re using your mobile out-and-about. The Samsung Galaxy Core LTE is low-end Android phone that offers LTE Category 4 connectivity. Other hardware features include 4.5-inch screen, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. The Samsung Galaxy Core is built around a 4.5″ PLS display, which is a step up from the first-generation Core’s 4.3″ TFT unit. The resolution follows suit – up to qHD here from WVGA on the original Core. This results in a pixel density of 245ppi.