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Samsung Galaxy Core Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Samsung Galaxy Core Review

Introduction


The Galaxy Core is one more soldier in the horde of Samsung Android smartphones. As if made out of a single blueprint, all Samsung handsets look alike and this one is no exception. Dressed in that typical Samsung uniform however hides an interesting device: one that marches not in the forefront with top of the line specs, but indeed in the core of Samsung’s army - the mid-range.

The Samsung Galaxy Core comes in both single and dual SIM versions (named Galaxy Core Duos), and we have the dual SIM one for review. It comes equipped with a 4.3-inch display, a dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera in a well-rounded package selling at a very affordable price.

Overall, the Galaxy Core does not shine in any particular area, but it hits all the bases of a decent smartphone. Is that enough to survive in a fiercely competitive dog-eat-dog world of Android devices? Or does it need a little extra flare after all? Let’s see.

Box and contents - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
Box and contents - Samsung Galaxy Core Review

Box and contents

In the box:

  • Headphones
  • microUSB to USB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • User Manual

Design


By design, the Galaxy Core is a typical Samsung device, made out of the same general blueprint as a horde of other Android handsets by the Korean company. Is it plastic? Yes. Is it identical to so many other Samsung phones? Yes. But is it practical? Yes, as well.

By design, the Galaxy Core is a typical Samsung device - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
By design, the Galaxy Core is a typical Samsung device - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
By design, the Galaxy Core is a typical Samsung device - Samsung Galaxy Core Review

By design, the Galaxy Core is a typical Samsung device


Samsung Galaxy Core
5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches
129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Samsung Galaxy Core

LG Optimus L7 II
4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches
121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm
4.07 oz (116 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

HTC Desire 600
5.31 x 2.64 x 0.36 inches
134.8 x 67 x 9.26 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

HTC Desire 600

Acer Liquid E2
5.16 x 2.68 x 0.39 inches
131 x 68 x 9.9 mm
4.94 oz (140 g)

Acer Liquid E2

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

The Galaxy Core comes in a white and blue versions, and we have the white one for test. The build quality is solid, with no screaking parts. The handset is thin rather than thick at 9mm (0.35”). It is very lightweight, tipping the scales at only 124 grams (4.38 oz). It is also relatively compact and easy to use single-handedly, plus it won’t stick out of your pockets like some larger phones. Under the easily removable back cover are a user-replaceable battery, a microSD card slot and the two micro SIM card slots.

The Samsung Galaxy Core is relatively compact and easy to use single-handedly - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
The Samsung Galaxy Core is relatively compact and easy to use single-handedly - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
The Samsung Galaxy Core is relatively compact and easy to use single-handedly - Samsung Galaxy Core Review

The Samsung Galaxy Core is relatively compact and easy to use single-handedly


The button layout is standard for Samsung. There is a single physical home key on the front, the lock key is on the right side and the volume rocker on the left. You can easily find the buttons in the dark as they protrude a bit. They also have nice travel and pressing them is effortless. The microUSB port is located on the bottom of the device, and up top is a 3.5mm headset jack.

Volume rocker (left) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Core - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
Power key (right) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Core - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
3.5mm jack (top) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Core - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
microUSB port (bottom) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Core - Samsung Galaxy Core Review

Volume rocker (left)

Power key (right)

3.5mm jack (top)

microUSB port (bottom)

The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Core


Back - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
Rear camera - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
SIM trays and microSD card slot - Samsung Galaxy Core Review
Back cover removed - Samsung Galaxy Core Review

Back

Rear camera

SIM trays and microSD card slot

Back cover removed




Display


The 4.3-inch LCD display on the Galaxy Core features a middling resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (WVGA). The screen is not razor sharp and you’d notice slight pixelization. Technically, pixel density comes at 217ppi, slightly below average, but we would not count this as a fatal flaw given the price of the handset.

The first thing you notice when you fire up the display is that it is just not bright enough. At a peak brightness of merely 343 nits, everything on it looks dim to the point where it’s hard to use the device outdoors. Color accuracy of the display is high and generally we are pleased with the picture. Viewing angles are good and colors do not deteriorate even when viewed from an angle.

Samsung also saved on oleophobic coating and the screen quickly gets covered in greasy smudges, making it hard to read and forcing you to wipe it clean way too often. There is also no light sensor and that means no automatic brightness setting. Samsung had to cut it short somewhere to arrive at the affordable price, but lacking automatic brightness setting is just plain annoying. Luckily, Samsung includes a brightness slider right in the notification dropdown for easy and quick control.

47 Comments
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posted on 20 Aug 2013, 03:53 6

1. xperia1409 (Posts: 11; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Why Do Samsung make phones with nearly same specs and just differ their names???? -_-

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:41

37. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)


marketing bro :D

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:00 14

2. Kurai (unregistered)


Why the hell is this piece of crap 8/10?

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:51 15

7. FiddyPence (Posts: 21; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


Because this is Phonearena and its made by Samsung ?

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:44 5

23. sssssssss (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


smartphone which can't even play subway surfer smoothly gets 8 points while some powerful smartphone still gets below 7 ;)

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:47 6

24. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


You may have heard about Samsung that pays the reviewer to give a good review for a Samsung phones.
This Galaxy Core review prove that it actually happened.

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:42

38. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)


at least the reviewer gets paid :D

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 10:21 2

26. GTR722 (Posts: 236; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


If this was a Sony Phone...no more than 6.0...and we all know that.

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:06 4

3. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1144; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


okay this is getting boring now...

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:18

4. garlic456 (Posts: 169; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)


WHY THE HELL THIS PHONE RECORDS VGA VIDEO WITH THIS SPECS

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:32 7

5. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Dear PhoneArena please explain To me, the rating
system that you use.

Because i don’t understand why Galaxy Core get 8 in PhoneArena rating, when there are other phones that have the same price range but with better performance.

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:49 2

6. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate

We've decided that in its price range, the Core is a good phone, that deserves rating 8/10. Feel free to list the phones that you think are better in the same price range, this will be helpful :)

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 05:30 8

12. Kurai (unregistered)


If phonearena is a phone, i'll rate it .5. Why? please read thishttp://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate . . . that's how you're answering every damn question . . .sorry for the rude words . . . but it's what i think is going on . . .

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 05:47 6

13. Kurai (unregistered)


http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Sony-Xperia-L_id7786 . . . the xperia L gets a 6.5?

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 06:27 3

17. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Xperia L is much better with better chipset, better and faster connectivity and also have better camera

I think 8 for Galaxy Core doesn’t fit at all with what you explain herehttp://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate

Maybe that’s the reason why a lot of people who don’t agree with this review.

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 06:33

18. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


At NegriElectronics Xperia L and Galaxy Core have same price point about $260

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 09:53 1

25. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


So you can not give more
reasonable explanations why G Core deserves rating 8/10, when there are other phones in the same price range but with better performance and more features???

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 10:23 4

27. GTR722 (Posts: 236; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


So Phone Arena...Xperia L, same price range, better specs...but 6.5 ?? and this Samsung 8.0 ?? Sorry PA, but dont try to hide the obvious.

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 02:05

48. jowenfm (Posts: 3; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)


PhoneArena Team...
just wanna ask if this galaxy core can support these kind of games
*fifa 2013
*candy crush saga
*temple run 2
and other online games

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:51 4

8. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5494; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Okay, let me get this straight. You guys rated the HTC Desire 600 7/10, and now you rate the Samsung Galaxy Core 8/10.

The Desire 600 has a quad core processor, dual front speakers, better screen (245ppi).
The Galaxy Core has a dual core processor, single rear speaker, lower screen (217ppi).
PhoneArena, you really need to explain how you guys rate. If it's a Samsung phone, no matter how bad it is, you guys will rate it higher than the others?

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:56 2

10. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


Please read this page -http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate - and the conclusion of this review.

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 10:24 1

28. GTR722 (Posts: 236; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Now explain me why the Xperia L with better specs, same price range, released months ago gets 6.5 and thos Core 8.

posted on 24 Aug 2013, 16:27

33. sswain (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


The Desire 600 costs $350 unlocked whereas the Galaxy Fame costs $200. That's an almost 80% increment. They're not even in the same league.

The Galaxy Core is doing battle with the Xperia M and the Optimus 5 II. All of which cost almost exactly the same ($180-220). Not the Xperia L nor the Optimus L7 II, both of which are a step above ;)

The PhoneArena team erred in mentioning the Desire 600 on this page. It's direct competitor is the Xperia SP. Both retail for ~$350-$400 unlocked :)

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 00:08

44. mhikan22 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


The Desire 600 has a quad core processor, dual front speakers, better screen (245ppi) Cash Price: PHP 17,990
The Galaxy Core has a dual core processor, single rear speaker, lower screen (217ppi).Cash Price: PHP10,990

Now See... Case Close buy your Desire 600 XD so expensive

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 04:52 5

9. Lyngdoh (Posts: 224; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


8/10 my A**!

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:45

39. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)


hahahah

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 05:20 2

11. WTF24 (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


why the F, does this one got 8/10 while the likes of xperia L got 6,5/10? xperia L has better chip set GPU,PPI count, has almost d same battery capacity 1750mah to 1800mah ,the same 4.1 jb, has better camera 8mp to 5mp,and the price that is not that far $350 to $300 yet it only got 6.5..

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 05:49 4

14. aditya.k (Posts: 461; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


iSamArena!

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 06:06 3

15. mottykels (Posts: 371; Member since: 15 May 2013)


galaxyphonearena.com

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 06:25

16. djcody (Posts: 45; Member since: 17 Apr 2013)


4/10 for dual sim. Next!!! If is 99$ off contract then OK other whise piece of junk

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 07:45

19. k4j98 (Posts: 60; Member since: 12 Jul 2012)


I can understand everyone's confusion about the rating, but there is a lot more to consider than specifications.

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:10 1

20. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Like what?

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:18 4

21. shuaibhere (Posts: 1428; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate
like this...

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:32

22. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Hahaha... that’s really funny

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 20:55 3

29. najib1312 (Posts: 100; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Ooops, PA did it again!!

I don't argue with the fact that this phone got 8/10 since it's price is only USD230 in Malaysia. But I'm pissed at the fact that the relatively better Xperia L got only 6.5/10 despite having better specs at the same price. Except the dual-sim functionality, Xperia L triumphs in ALL departments but PA didn't even recommend this in the conclusion.

My conclusion would be: "If dual-sim is a must, Galaxy Core is the best bet as it got all the bases covered. But if u don't need the dual-sim standby, close your eyes and just buy Xperia L. Forget the other brands."

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 12:27

41. keliori (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Sep 2013)


No najib, even in dual-sim arena I can't consider this phone as the best.
Around $250 price range some other phone are better than this.

For example:
-Acer Liquid E2 Duo
-Lenovo P770

Correct me if I'm wrong

posted on 22 Aug 2013, 03:35

31. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2662; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


So this phone is better than Xperia ZR, L & Desire 600 as far with ratings. WTH is this going on PA? Please change your rating system or else change your name. Now onwards I'll not trust PA for their Reviews.

posted on 27 Aug 2013, 12:53

34. iluvsonynokia (Posts: 122; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


Formula to find real rating score
Samsung =10-pa rating/2
Sony =pa rating + 1/2 pa rating

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 05:07

35. mecool (Posts: 7; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


phone arena u r doing bad...
xperia m and xperia l r way better than the crap core

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:40

36. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)


maybe the best featured mid range price smartphone

posted on 06 Sep 2013, 12:16

40. keliori (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Sep 2013)


I don't get it, why this phone scores better than Acer Liquid E2 Duo.
In my country Samsung Galaxy Core Duos priced slightly higher at $260, while Acer Liquid E2 Duo priced at $250. Both are unlocked.
So basically not only Galaxy Core is a bit more expensive, it also offers lower specs.
Yet it got better score here...sorry to say but it really doesn't make sense at all.

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 04:28

43. Hytparts (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Fox fixing, is it easy? these cell phone replacement repair parts are too multiple to select right.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 00:10 1

45. mhikan22 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


this phone is so amazing !!! nothing 2 complain ..... cheep price and good quality.... other phone is good 2 but so much expensive XD ......

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 02:04

47. jowenfm (Posts: 3; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)


can galaxy core support these kind of games
FIFA 2013,,,candy crush saga,,,temple run 2 and other online games?

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 02:02

46. jowenfm (Posts: 3; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)


is this samsung galaxy core supported with these kind of games
*FIFA 2013
*candy crush saga
*temple run 2
and other latest online games

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 08:40

49. garlic456 (Posts: 169; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)


Oh my god. calm down....
I'm sure Temple Run 2 and Candy Crush is supported but not sure about the Fifa

posted on 07 Jan 2014, 06:43

50. hariharan1991 (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Hi Guys i am interest with Samsung Galaxy Core. How is the phone faster because i want to play the games with core. Please tell me before this Saturday i will buy this saturday

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Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8625, Dual core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A5 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches
(129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm)
4.37 oz  (124 g)
Battery1800 mAh, 14 hours talk time

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