Samsung Galaxy Core Advance Preview
Standard TouchWiz affair with several accessibility extras added.
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean comes loaded onto the Samsung Galaxy Core Advance along with the usual UI modifications found on Samsung's recent Androids. There is no need for us to go over TouchWiz and its boat-load of features for a gazillionth time, but we will highlight the accessibility features that have been implemented. One of them is an app called Light Sensing. Basically, it detects light using the phone's camera and provides feedback via beeps or vibrations depending on how bright the source is. This is a tool made for visually impaired users. They might also find Optical Reader useful – this app scans text and reads it out loud. In addition to all this, we see that Samsung has implemented its S Voice, S Translator, and Group Play apps.
It is worth mentioning that a shortcut to the UI's accessibility settings has been added to the menu that pops up when you hold down the power key. Most of the options available there are also found on other Samsung phones, but others are exclusive to the Galaxy Core Advance. Among them is the Ultrasonic Assistant, which detects nearby objects in front of the user.
The on-screen keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy Core Advance is pretty good overall. Its keys are large enough and its buttons are well spaced out. Of course, there's a bunch of extras like predictive text input and auto-correct.
Processor and memory
Okay for a phone of this class, but don't be expecting flawless performance.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Advance relies on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC with a 1.2GHz dual-core Krait processor and Adreno 305 graphics. One gig of RAM has been thrown in for good measure. In plain words, that's not a bad hardware setup considering the fact that we're handling an entry-level phone. We assume that it should be able to run most apps and some not so demanding games pretty well. Still, we aren't expecting it to deliver a smooth experience if pushed too much. Of course, we can't draw any final conclusions based on our experience with a prototype device, so we'll save our verdict about the phone's performance for a later time.
With the Galaxy Core Advance you get 8GB of on-bard storage, but expect only half of that to be available. That's why equipping the phone with a microSD card would be a good idea. It is nice of Samsung that it is treating Core Advance owners to 50GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years.
Web browser and connectivity
Gets the job done, with no bells and whistles.
On the Galaxy Core Advance we find Samsung's Internet browser app. There's nothing radical about it in terms of features, but it does get the job done. That the status bar is hidden while browsing the app is a tweak that we appreciate. What we don't quite like, on the other hand, is that the text is pretty small and sometimes difficult to read without zooming because of the display's low pixel density.
Connectivity-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Core Advance gets online via Wi-Fi or its 3G radio. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS support for enhanced location pin-pointing, NFC, and even an FM radio.