Samsung Galaxy Core borrows from stellar smartphone line
Samsung has been accused of cribbing from others with some of its smartphone designs but with its latest mid-range mobile model, it's borrowing from some other popular phones in its lineup.
No pricing has been announced for the phone, but based off the pedestrian specs, it's believed to be targeted at the mid- to low-end market, which is especially hot in places like China, India, Africa, the Middle East, and parts of South America.
Galaxy Core has a 1.2GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM, as well as 8GB of internal storage and support for a microSD card with up to 64GB of space.
The unit has a 4.3-inch WVGA display of 480 by 800 pixels.
It has a larger battery than the S2—1800mAh compared to 1650mAh—but falls down in the camera department with 5MP back and VGA front cameras compared to 8MP front and 3MP back shooters on the S2.
Special modes supported by the camera include best photo, continuous shot, panorama, share shot, smile shot and cartoon. Core models shipped this month will contain dual SIM technology, while single SIM models will ship in June.
Some features found on Samsung's high-end S4 handset are also being incorporated into Core.
Among them is Smart Stay, the facial recognition program that can suss out if you're looking at the phone and dim the screen to save power if you're not. Smart Alert lets you know if you've missed any calls or messages when you pick up your phone. It also supports simple gesture commands with Motion UI, to perform tasks like refreshing a screen or muting the phone. You can also order the handset around with S Voice, which allows you to issue voice commands to the phone.
Core will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and includes an FM radio with RDS.
Who is this for?
While high-end smartphones continue to be popular in the United States, high-priced phones don't have that cachet in many other places in the world, explained Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst for mobile devices technology and trends at IDC.
"If you look at what's popular in China rights now, there's a flood of low-end, entry level smartphones selling for around $100," he told TechHive.
High-end smartphones in China can cost the equivalent of three or four paychecks for many workers, he said.
Nevertheless, the current climate in the lower-priced smartphone market in developing nations like China has been discouraging for some vendors. "The market is very competitive, very cut-throat so there are a lot of vendors out there who have decided to move upstream to the higher-end market," Llamas said.
Samsung sees that as an opportunity, he added.
"Samsung will go into a market and compete in the low-end, but it will price its devices slightly higher than its competitors," he said. "It will upgrade the features a little more and become the aspirational device that people will be willing to pay more for."