- Free with new contract
- Fast processor
- Good battery life
- Sharply limited specs
- Extreme bloatware
A very entry-level smartphone that cuts a few too many corners to be worth the little bit of savings it offers.
The Samsung Galaxy Stellar offers first-time smartphone users access to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and does so for free with a new two year contract. Is this too good to be true?
Build and Design
On the face of it, the Galaxy Stellar could be any one of the dozens of Galaxy S variants and derivatives; Samsung has probably produced more units of knockoff models of the original Galaxy S than they did the Galaxy S itself. Most of them share the same basic shape (which the Stellar certainly does) and the same specs, or close enough. When it comes to specifications though, the Galaxy Stellar has been renovated a little bit more than average, gaining some things and losing others.
Not that you’d notice from just looking at it. The outside is pretty much stock Samsung all the way. The entire outer casing is black plastic/high gloss, but not overly prone to taking fingerprints. Overall, its design is very basic and minimal in keeping with its target market. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but then, it can’t afford them. What it does have is decent quality materials and a pleasantly rounded shape that’s been well tested with other Samsung devices.
Strangely, despite having an almost stock Samsung design and screen size, the Stellar doesn’t use the Super AMOLED screen that has graced almost all of their other similarly designed models. I don’t know why, since it’s not like Samsung hasn’t gone low end with AMOLED before, but maybe in this case, the Stellar is just a little too low end.
Instead, Samsung chose a 4-inch, 800 x 480 conventional LCD. It’s not a bad looking screen, all things considered; it’s crisp and the quality is good. But it’s still limited by its technology, which doesn’t hold a candle to newer AMOLED screens in contrast and color.
Other Buttons and Ports
Instead of going with the on-screen navigation buttons which are supported by Android 4.0, the Stellar sports a set of conventional silkscreened buttons on the bottom of the touchscreen. I like this actually, since it means you don’t take up screen space, plus it gives you a dedicated “settings” button at all times.
There’s a flap on the side of the device covering the microSD card slot (which is empty, when you take the phone out of the box), and the SIM card is nestled next to the battery under the back cover.