Interface, Software

Running Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX, the Galaxy Express is very similar to the Galaxy S III or Note II. It does not have all of the extra features, such as multi-window support, but the basics are all familiar. The homescreens, notification shade, app drawer and lock screen are all typically Samsung and most users will be comfortable using it out of the box. If not, Samsung offers you what seem like an endless stream of pop-up tutorials as you perform actions for the first time. For the novice these are very helpful, for the experienced these are beyond annoying.

Processor and Memory

The UI speeds along thanks to the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, which is paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, 5 of which are available to the user. The Galaxy Express utilizes Qualcomm’s integrated Adreno 225 GPU to deliver very respectable benchmark results, which back up the fluidity of everyday use.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Samsung Galaxy Express50471068661,1
HTC One VX52691082258,4
LG Escape5268683059,8
Pantech Flex5083697460,5

As memory has increased on smartphones the performance impact of preloaded apps has been minimized, but they are still as annoying as ever. There are 13 AT&T loaded apps to go along with 10 Samsung apps preloaded on the Galaxy Express, not including Samsung-reworked stock apps like the dialer and gallery. The quality of these apps can be debated, but overall there is a lot of junk preloaded on the device that can be disabled via the Android app manager, but not deleted.

Connectivity and Browser

As with most new AT&T smartphones, the Galaxy Express is a 4G LTE device. If you are not lucky enough to have LTE coverage the Galaxy Express will connect to AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network. Data speeds were acceptable but nothing to crow about. On AT&T’s LTE network we generally got speeds between 10-11Mb/s down and 7 up. On the HSPA+ network it was hit and miss; at times we got mediocre 3G speeds, generally 1-1.2Mb/s down and around 1 up, whereas other times in the exact same location we got 3-4 down and 1 up. The Galaxy Express is a quad band global device, with tri-band UMTS. Other wireless standards include GPS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

The stock browser is plenty capable, but as usual we found Chrome to be a better featured browser. Either will handle just about any page you throw at it, assuming it doesn’t have Flash content. There are of course several other browser options in the Play Store.

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