The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is an unpretentious smartphone that has no other purpose than to give access to the main Google services. Its design is unadorned, its screen is difficult to read in daylight and the camera is lagging behind. But it’s perfect for those who are investing in their first smartphone or don’t want to go broke for a phone. The Core Prime is offered at 150 euros naked.
It’s not very flattering, but when you’ve seen a Samsung phone, you’ve seen almost all of them. This is the case with the Galaxy Core Prime, whose rounded corners and physical welcome button leave little doubt as to its origin. As with most of the brand’s models, the back is removable to give access to the battery and the micro SD memory card.
The left edge houses the volume knob while the power button is on the right. The photo sensor offers a 5 megapixel resolution and can be optionally assisted by the flash. The front panel houses a 2 megapixel resolution camera that delivers rather poor image quality.
While the 4.5-inch diagonal screen is a little more compact than the 5-inch models, its 800 x 480 pixel resolution is really light. Indoors, the display has a greyish tone. Images, video, websites are a pixelated aspect. We have to admit that we have become accustomed to the high and very high definition of the top-of-the-range models. Things get worse outside: texts become difficult to read and images appear faded. No surprise for this kind of first-rate phone, but you should know that. Another detail to keep in mind is that the Galaxy Core Prime tends to heat up, but summer temperatures don’t help… A point to watch.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat which is not the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. If by any chance it is updated (which is not sure), it will go directly to Android M, which will be released soon.
As on the other terminals of the brand, there is the TouchWiz custom overlay as well as some homemade applications such as Ultra Power Saving or a mode that simplifies the layout of the home screen. It is also possible to rearrange the quick access panel for settings.
There are two ways to use the photo application. Use the preconfigured modes (panorama, auto, face enhancement, sports…) or go to the settings menu to change the definition, ISO sensitivity, white balance, exposure… Attention, by default, Samsung sets the camera’s definition to 3.9 megapixels and not 5 megapixels. This also affects the aspect ratio: 3:5 in 3.9 megapixels instead of the usual 4:3.
When set to its maximum capacity, the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime delivers shots with vivid, saturated colours, as opposed to the dull colours obtained in low light conditions.
The front sensor also does not shine in terms of image quality. The 2 megapixel front camera produces a lot of grain. Indoor shots are greyish but outdoor shots are brighter and more colourful. It’s best to stick to those.
720p HD video (1280 x 780 pixels) is like everything else on this smartphone: convenient but not impressive. The same bland side is found on videos shot indoors and the sound recording is weak as soon as you move away from the subject being filmed. The rendering is a little more pleasant for well-lit outdoor scenes where sound is not always paramount.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is equipped with a Qualcomm quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz. A processor that equips most entry-level smartphones. So it’s no surprise that Samsung’s smartphone performs similarly to its main competitors. Navigation through screens and menus is fluid. Photo mode has some latency between shots, but switching to burst mode compensates for this.
The screen definition and processor are not the best for video gaming, but things aren’t going too badly. On Riptide GP2, the action may not be as smooth and responsive as on more powerful mobiles, but it’s still possible to play.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Core Prime’s 2000 mAh battery can last 10 hours of 3G talk time, 9 hours of video playback and up to 11 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing. In our video streaming test, the smartphone even surpassed this data by holding 10 hours. Of course, the autonomy will largely depend on your use. But in any case, you should be able to last at least eight hours.
Galaxy Core Prime’s Wi-Fi works on 2.4 GHz, not 5 GHz, which means downloads and transfers are not as efficient as on high-end models.
If you are looking for a simple and cheap smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime will perfectly meet your expectations. The Lumia 735 from Microsoft is also a good option. For about 20 euros more (169 euros excluding subscription), you get a much better screen (1280 x 720 pixels) and a better camera/front camera duo (6.7 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels on the front). But if you’re a fan of Google services, it’s best to go for the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. Another option: the Motorola Moto E 4G. It has almost the same technical specifications as the Samsung except for its less powerful front camera.