Samsung Galaxy Core 2 is an incremental update over the previous-gen Galaxy Core smartphone. The previous-gen Core wasn't met with good reviews but it still sold in boatloads. The Galaxy Core 2 tries to improve upon its predecessor with the addition of a quad-core processor, but reducing RAM by 1/4th and storage by half.
The Galaxy Core 2 is an evolution (to an extent), but this time around the competition is even stiffer. On one hand you have the Moto G still standing strong and its new competition the Asus Zenfone 5 which re-defines what mid-range smartphones should be priced at. The launch of the Galaxy Core 2 raises more questions that gives answers. Instead of wondering, lets find out how the new Core 2 looks like in our unboxing followed by our first impressions about the device.
In the Box
Inside the box you get all that's expected including a wired wall-charger, USB Data-cable, headset and battery.
Samsung Galaxy Core 2 Duos
2000 mAh Battery
So, there's nothing extra in the box but the USB data cable is greatly appreciated.
The Galaxy Core 2 has upgraded almost every aspect from its previous-gen Galaxy Core apart from its display. On that front there is a slight downgrade. The new Core 2 uses a 4.5-inch display keeping the same WVGA (480x800 pixels) resolution giving it a measly PPI of 207 compared to the previous Galaxy Core's 217 as it had a smaller 4.3-inch display. The processor has been upgraded though to 1.2 GHz quad-core with 768 MB of RAM and storage has been reduced to 4 GB out of which 2 GB is available to install apps and games, instead of 8 GB but it is expandable with a microSD card up to 64 GB. Makes you think, what was Samsung thinking!
You get a larger 2000 mAh battery here which should last you a day with average use, but we'll reserve judgement on that front. Connectivity options are similar, you still have dual-SIM 3G support, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM Radio. There is no protection for the front glass, atleast one that's explicitly mentioned.
The Core 2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box which is more optimized to run on low memory devices and with a heavy TouchWiz skin this is what the Core 2 will end up being.
The Galaxy Core 2 looks like any other smartphone from Samsung's recent portfolio. A rectangular block with rounded sides, fake-chrome strip on all four sides and a leather-like textured back-cover. But yes, its build solidly and offers a refinement over the previous Galaxy Core.
In the front you have a 4.5-inch display and and just below it are two capacitive buttons for menu and back alongwith the physical home button. The capacitive buttons are not backlit. Above the display you again see the Samsung branding with the earpiece just above it. You can find a VGA front camera on the right. Now for the big reveal, even at about Rs. 12,000 the Samsung Galaxy Core 2 is missing basic sensors like a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor.
Coming to the left you have the volume rocker there while the right gets the power/lock button. Both are sturdy, offer good feedback as well. The silver faux-metal plastic band that runs around the entire device does look like the Note 3. There is a space to open the backcover on the right as well.
The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack while you can find the primary microphone and microUSB port at the bottom. The 5 MP camera module rests in the middle of the back-cover with the LED flash and speakerphone flanking it on the left and right, respectively. Samsung emblazons its name just below the camera arrangement and then you are greeted to a wide expanse of pure plastic. The back has a soft touch leather-like texture which is pleasing to hold especially the characteristic faux-stitching on the sides.
The back-cover curves on the sides and makes the phone easier to hold. The Galaxy Core 2 is 9.8mm thin and weighs in at 138 grams which does give it a solid feel in the hand without feeling hefty.
On the inside, you would find a microSD card slot and a microSIM card slot stacked together with a micro-SIM card slot on the left. The battery compartment sits below the SIM card slots and houses the 2000 mAh battery. The build of the device is good, it feels good to hold and easy to grip.
The Samsung Galaxy Core 2 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box. Specs really don't matter much if you are going to get a good user experience on a device. But the display on the Core 2 doesn't offer that, colors do look a bit odd and the viewing angles are a bit narrow. You can see color and brightness shifting.
Moreover, it really doesn't offer much value for money coming in at about Rs. 12,000. Sure, it has good build quality, possibly a good camera as well and almost no bloatware installed but we wanted a bit more from Samsung. We have probably been spoiled by Asus and Motorola, but seeing what they have achieved Samsung better fess up.