Interface and Functionality

The Galaxy Pocket Neo runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz Lite on top. Jelly Bean brings smoothness to performance, and that’s welcome. Samsung’s TouchWiz skin on the other hand looks cartoony and toyish just like the handset. The rounded icon edges, the sounds, all contributes to an oversweetened feel.

Like that aesthetic or not, TouchWiz also introduces some unique functionality. You can add quick access shortcuts to the lockscreen, the notification shade features quick toggles for oft used functions, and there is support for up to 7 home panels.

Samsung bundles in a bunch of home-brewed apps like S Planner (calendar and organizer apps that syncs with Google Calendar), ChatON (cross device instant messenger), Memo (notes application) and a file manager, all of which are welcome additions.

The phonebook is also a Samsung creation where you can swipe right or left on a contact to call or text them. However, the phonebook is slow to load often times, and we really wish often accessed function like this would open without a lag.

The 3-inch display makes texting very hard. In portrait mode, you have a full-on virtual QWERTY keyboard but keys are tiny and it’s hard to tap on the right letter. Heavy texters, this is not the phone for you.

Processor and Memory

The Galaxy Pocket Neo runs smoothly without slowing down and that’s great for an affordable device. It packs a very modest single-core Broadcom system chip, the BCM21654/G, with a Cortex A9-based processor running at clock speeds of up to 850MHz. The 512MB of RAM are a solid amount of memory for the ultra affordable class, and make fast multitasking possible.

Many of us like killing time playing games on a smartphone, and while the Pocket Neo is not the perfect device for this, we still managed to run basic games like Temple Run and Angry Birds without a hitch. That said, a lot of games are simply not optimized for it, and Temple Run 2 for instance just won’t start.

We went through a standard run of benchmarks to get a better feel of the overall performance of the device, and here are its scores.

Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo208249111370 / 12 fps1023 / 287
LG Optimus L31271

Samsung Galaxy Music20503787

The phone ships with 4GB of internal storage and less than 2GB of those are available to the end user. You can however expand that allowance via microSD cards of up to 32GB (cards are hot-swappable).

Internet and Connectivity

The handset comes with both Google’s stock Android and the mobile Chrome browser. Both of them were a bit slow to render web pages, but did succeed with even more complex ones. Scrolling and zooming around are supported, but work with a bit of stutter.

The phone supports 3G cellular connectivity at 7.2Mbps downlink speeds and Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity. Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and Glonass are also on board.

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