Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) India Launch Set for November 20, Price Tipped to Be Around Rs. 35,000


Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is set to arrive in India on November 20. Samsung on Wednesday sent invites to the media to confirm the launch of the Galaxy A9 (2018) in the country. The smartphone was unveiled at an event in Kuala Lumpur last month with four rear camera sensors. It is touted to be the “world’s first rear quad camera” phone. The phone also features an Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio as well as include up to 8GB of RAM. The formal invite sent by Samsung confirms the launch of the Galaxy A9 (2018) in India. It reads “4X Fun” in a bold font to highlight the quad rear camera setup featuring Galaxy A9 (2018). In the meanwhile, a report cites industry sources to claim an approximate launch price. Separately, Flipkart has created a landing page, indicating the Galaxy A9 (2018) will be exclusive to the e-commerce platform at launch.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) price in India

IANS cites industry sources to claim the Galaxy A9 (2018) price in India will be around Rs. 35,000. Interestingly, a previous report had claimed — using Samsung website code as the source — that the smartphone will be launched in India carrying a Rs. 39,000 price tag. As we mentioned, Flipkart has also created a landing page for the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018), tipping that the smartphone will be exclusive to the e-commerce platform in India.

Globally, the Galaxy A9 (2018) price starts at EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 48,800) and GBP 549 (roughly Rs. 44,700). Official India price details of the smartphone are yet to be revealed. Moreover, it comes in Bubblegum Pink, Caviar Black, and Lemonade Blue colour variants.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) runs Android 8.0 Oreo on top of Samsung Experience UX and features a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2220 pixels) Infinity Display Super AMOLED panel with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, with four cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz. This is paired with either 6GB or 8GB RAM options. On the back, the quadruple rear camera setup of the Galaxy A9 (2018) includes a 24-megapixel primary camera featuring an f/1.7 aperture, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera featuring 2x optical zoom and an f/2.4 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree lens and f/2.4 aperture, and a 5-megapixel depth camera with an f/2.2 aperture. There is also a 24-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture. The phone also has a Face Unlock feature as well as Bixby assistant and Samsung Pay integration.

Samsung has provided 128GB of onboard storage on the Galaxy A9 (2018) that is expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB). On the connectivity front, the handset has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, and an RGB light sensor. The smartphone also has a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. Besides, it packs a 3,800mAh battery that supports fast charging.

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Samsung Pharmaceutical Arm Samsung BioLogics Fined For $4 Billion Accounts Breach


Contract drugmaker Samsung BioLogics is the third-biggest firm of its kind in the world by market share.

Seoul: 

The pharmaceutical arm of giant South Korean conglomerate Samsung was fined Wednesday for alleged accounting breaches amounting to nearly $4 billion, and had dealings in its shares suspended indefinitely.

Contract drugmaker Samsung BioLogics is the third-biggest firm of its kind in the world by market share, and one of the South’s 10 most valuable companies.

It has a market capitalisation of 22 trillion won ($19 billion), even after a 30 percent decline over the past month as the scandal deepened.

The Incheon-based firm “intentionally” violated accounting rules in 2015, a year ahead of its IPO, by inflating the value of a subsidiary, Seoul’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said. 

After making losses for years, Samsung BioLogics changed the valuation method of its 85 percent stake in another group affiliate, Samsung Bioepis, raising it by 4.5 trillion won ($3.9 billion) and resulting in net profit of 1.9 trillion won.

“Based on all evidence and all circumstances, we concluded that the firm… deployed arbitrary accounting methods that are not in line with official accounting rules,” FSC vice chairman Kim Yong-beom told reporters. 

The FSC fined the firm 8 billion won and suspended trading in its shares “for a while” to give stock market authorities time to decide whether it should be delisted.

It also asked prosecutors to investigate the firm for accounting fraud and advised Samsung BioLogics to dismiss its current chief executive, Kim Tae-han.  

The controversy is likely to cast a shadow over the South’s biggest conglomerate, which eyes pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses as a future engine for growth beyond its flagship businesses of mobile handsets and microchip production. 

Samsung BioLogics apologised for “causing confusion” among investors and customers but rejected the claim by the FSC, saying the firm was “confident” that it did not violate accounting rules. and would go to court to try to have the ruling overturned.

“We were told by many accounting specialists that our handling of accounting matters was in line with laws,” it said in a statement, describing the FSC’s conclusions as “very regrettable”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Samsung Galaxy S10 Tipped to Have a Display Hole, Triple Camera Setup


Samsung Galaxy S10 is rumoured to debut with a display hole to have space for the selfie camera alongside managing high screen-to-body ratio. The latest rumour comes days after Samsung showcased its new range of Infinity Display design, including the Infinity-O option that will be related to the display panels carrying a hole. The South Korean company also last month teased the Galaxy A8s as its first few models featuring a display hole design to accommodate the selfie camera. In a separate report, a tipster claimed that a low-end Galaxy S10 model will come with a price tag of as low as $650 (roughly Rs. 46,900). This could be designed to take on the likes of the OnePlus 6T and Xiaomi Mi 8.

Among other details, popular tipster Evan Blass through his renowned @evleaks Twitter account revealed that the Galaxy S10 will have a “punch hole-style” selfie camera cutout and feature an ultrasonic, in-display fingerprint sensor. The display panel is expected to be based on the Infinity-O design that the company unveiled at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2018) earlier this month. Also, the arrival of the in-display fingerprint sensor is also likely to finally enable the company to ditch its iris scanning technology that debuted on the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016. The technology was one of the biometric advancements in the smartphone market, though it became mediocre with the arrival of 3D facial recognition technologies such as Apple’s Face ID that projects infrared dots on to a user’s face to unlock the device.

Blass also claims that the Galaxy S10 will have a triple camera setup with support for standard, wide, and telephoto shots. This setup is likely to work similar to the triple camera featured on the Galaxy A7 (2018). However, we’re yet to receive a word on the resolution of the sensors.

In addition to revealing the hardware, Blass mentioned in his tweet that the Galaxy S10 will run One UI on top of Android Pie. Samsung already confirmed that it is bringing One UI to the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 in January via the Android Pie update. This means while the new proprietary skin will debut on the previous flagships, it will also come with a similar experience on the next-generation Galaxy model.

Following the details leaked by Blass, tipster Ben Geskin has posted a concept image on Twitter that shows two handsets with an offset display hole instead of a traditional display notch. The display panels are also found to have curved edges and two distinct size options, just as the Infinity Display panels available on the Galaxy S9 models.

Geskin has also in a separate tweet mentioned some specifications of the budget Galaxy S10 model that he claims to go on sale within a price bracket of $650 and $750 (roughly between Rs. 46,900 and Rs. 54,100). The budget model is said to have a flat Infinity-O display and a dual camera setup. Geskin also mentions that there will be a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. This suggests the low-end Galaxy S10 won’t have an in-display fingerprint sensor. Further, he says that the phone will come in three configurations – 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage, 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage, and 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage. Moreover, the tipster says that there will be a Snapdragon 845 SoC or Exynos 8150 SoC powering the budget flagship model.

The Galaxy S10 is already rumoured to have multiple variants, and from what Geskin has provided, the low-end model is likely to give a tough competition to Chinese offerings such as the OnePlus 6T and Xiaomi Mi 8. The more expensive models in the Galaxy S10 family, on the other hand, are expected to compete against this year’s and next year’s iPhone models.

Samsung recently announced the Exynos 9820 SoC that is expected to be the powerhouse of the Galaxy S10 next year. The new chip is based on the 8nm LPP (Low Power Plus) FinFET process and comes with an integrated neural processing unit (NPU) to enable on-device processing of artificial intelligence (AI) tasks. It also has a custom CPU that is boost multi-core performance by 15 percent, single core performance by up to 20 percent, and boost power efficiency by up to 40 percent when compared to the Exynos 9810 that powers the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 models.





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Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ Ice Blue Colour Variants Launched: Price, Availability


Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ Ice Blue Colour Variants Launched: Price, Availability

Samsung Galaxy S9 Ice Blue price starts at CNY 5,499 in China

Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have received a new Ice Blue colour variant in the Chinese market months after the original launch. This is the first gradient-style colour option for Samsung’s flagship smartphone range. With this release, Ice Blue now sits with other options like Burgundy Red, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Sunrise Gold, and Titanium Gray in the Galaxy S9 lineup. Key highlights of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ include Snapdragon 845/ Exynos 9810 SoCs, AKG-tuned dual speakers, superb cameras, and AR Emojis.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Ice Blue price, availability

The new Ice Blue colour variant in the Galaxy S9 range is up for pre-orders in China starting Tuesday exclusively in China only in the 128GB storage variants. The Galaxy S9 model is priced at CNY 5,499 (roughly Rs. 57,000), while the Galaxy S9+ model will retail for CNY 6,499 (around Rs. 67,400), both with a free bundled wireless charger. The Ice Blue colour for the Galaxy S9 starts shipping from November 20 while the Galaxy S9+ will be released later on November 26. Global availability is not official yet, but we can expect Samsung to make an announcement soon.

Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ specifications

The Samsung Galaxy S9 sports a 5.8-inch QHD+ Curved Super AMOLED panel with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio, while the Galaxy S9+ has a larger 6.2-inch QHD+ Curved Super AMOLED panel with the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are both powered by the Exynos 9810 SoC in the Indian market. The Galaxy S9 comes with 4GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery. The Galaxy S9+ comes with 6GB of RAM and a 3,500mAh battery. Both have the same rear 12-megapixel primary Dual Pixel sensor with f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture and OIS, however the Galaxy S9+ has an additional secondary 12-megapixel wide angle rear sensor. Event their front cameras are the same – an 8-megapixel autofocus sensor with f/1.7 aperture.



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Samsung Galaxy M50, Galaxy M30, Galaxy M20 Details Tipped Ahead of Launch


Samsung Galaxy M-range, which was previously rumoured to replace the company’s online-exclusive Galaxy On-series family, has now been reported to debut with two new offerings carrying model numbers SM-M205F and SM-M305F. These could be called the Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M30. The company could also have the Galaxy M50 with an AMOLED display. Storage options of the new models have also been leaked. Alongside having plans for the Galaxy M-series models, the South Korean giant was already reported to be set to kill its Galaxy J-series family and integrate its price points into the Galaxy A family. That strategy could help the company streamline its lower-end models and bring newer options to take on Chinese vendors, including Xiaomi and Huawei sub-brand Honor.

SamMobile reports that Samsung will bring two new Galaxy M models. While the SM-M205F is said to have 32GB and 64GB of onboard storage options, the SM-M305F will reportedly come in 64GB and 128GB storage variants. Both models are said to have dual-SIM variants, though their single-SIM models could also arrive in some countries.

A separate report by ETNews claims that Samsung will have not just two but three new models in its Galaxy M range that will be called the Galaxy M50, Galaxy M30, and Galaxy M20. The Galaxy M50 is likely to be the high-end model in the new series with an AMOLED display panel, while the Galaxy M20 and Galaxy M30 are said to have LCD panels. The smartphone maker is also said to have plans to bring LCD panels to the new Galaxy A models next year. This makes sense as the company was previously found to have plans to ditch the affordable Galaxy J-series range and integrate its price points into the Galaxy A family.

The changes in the Galaxy lineup could help Samsung make the competition tougher for Honor and Xiaomi that both are actively bringing new models to markets such as China and India to take on Galaxy smartphones. Also, the move to switch to LCD panels from AMOLED displays is likely to give a boost to the production of affordable smartphones by the company and give enough margins to generate better revenue over time.



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Samsung Galaxy S10’s Exynos SoC Expected to Be Unveiled on November 14


Samsung Galaxy S10's Exynos SoC Expected to Be Unveiled on November 14

Samsung Exynos 9820 Soc is said to be built on the 7nm LPP process

Samsung is all set to launch its next-generation Exynos SoC at an event on November 14. The company has confirmed that a new Exynos SoC is incoming, and since this processor is expected to be a flagship level offering, it is expected to be used on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 flagship smartphones next year. While Samsung hasn’t revealed the name of this new chip, it is speculated to be called Exynos 9820, given Samsung’s naming tradition. Samsung’s new chip is reported to be built on the new 7-nanometer LPP (Low Power Plus) process.

The South Korean company has confirmed via its Exynos Twitter handle that the next-generation Exynos chip will be announced in a few days i.e. November 14. While the name is still a mystery, it is expected to be called the Exynos 9820 SoC that’s been tipped earlier. This SoC is rumoured to be built on the 7nm LPP process, said to deliver up to 50 percent lower power consumption and 20 percent performance improvement.

Samsung teases the chip with the tagline ‘intelligence from within’, hinting at a dedicated AI neural processing unit (NPU) that has been reported earlier as well. Previous reports state that the Exynos 9820 SoC will include a dual-core NPU to offer an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience. The presence of the dedicated coprocessor is reported to handle neural network tasks as well as uplift image and video results. It is said that one of the major use cases of the new SoC will be to “enhance the camera” performance of the Galaxy S10, and is somewhat similar to how the Pixel Visual Core works on Google’s Pixel smartphones.

The dedicated NPU on the next Samsung flagship could help power deep learning for image and speech recognition tasks. The chip will process data and algorithms – without putting any additional burden on the core performance of the new Exynos SoC. Users can expect some improvements on the part of bokeh effect and portrait mode over what is available on the existing Galaxy series flagships.

Leaks also claim that the Exynos 9820 SoC will come with Mali-G76 MP18 GPU. The SoC is also said to have eight CPU cores in a DynamIQ architecture – with two Exynos M4 big cores, two Cortex-A75 or Cortex-A76 medium cores, and four Cortex-A55 small cores. The GPU, on the other hand, is reported to include 18 cores – identical to the Mali-G72 GPU available on the Exynos 9810. While the chip is set to be announced on November 14, it will be first integrated into the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone set to launch sometime early next year.





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Samsung Galaxy A70, Galaxy A90 Rumoured to Be the First to Sport New Infinity Display Panels


Samsung Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A90 are said to be the first devices by the company to feature its new Infinity Display panels that were showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2018) last week. The South Korean giant at the developer-focused convention showed off its four new types of Infinity Display panels, including the notch-featuring Infinity-U, Infinity-V, and Infinity-O as well as the notchless New Infinity. It appears that the Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A90 will be the first models to have a display notch since the company has so far managed to keep its Galaxy models from the ongoing trend of mobile devices having a cutout for the selfie camera and frontal sensors. It instead deployed its previous Infinity Display design that has thin bezels on the left and right sides but significant space for the front-facing sensors and earpiece on the top of the screen and a chin at the bottom.

Russian tipster Eldar Murtazin claims that the Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A90 with the new Infinity Display panels will debut in February. The two new Samsung phones are said to be the successors to the Galaxy A7 (2018) and Galaxy A9 (2018) models. However, despite being an upgrade, both models are likely to have competitive prices. The Galaxy A7 (2018) notably was the company’s first model to have a triple camera setup, while the Galaxy A9 (2018) debuted last month with a quad camera setup.

Samsung at the SDC 2018 showcased its three new type of notch display designs in the form of the Infinity-U, Infinity-V, and Infinity-O. While the While the Infinity-U design appears to have a U-shaped display notch, the Infinity-V design will come with a V-shaped notch, and the Infinity-O design will bring a hole to the display panel. It is unclear that which type of design will debut on the rumoured Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A90. However, the company teased the Galaxy A8s with a display hole design for the selfie camera. There will also be a New Infinity design in the future Galaxy models that will bring notchless display experiences. This could be exclusive to the premium Galaxy-series handsets next year.

Ben Geskin, who is popular for visualising rumours and leaks by designing renders, posted an image projecting the new Infinity Display family. The image shows how we could see notch displays on Samsung devices in the coming future.

samsung new infinity display range render twitter ben geskin Samsung New Infinity Display models

Photo Credit: Twitter/ Ben Geskin

 

A recent report from South Korea’s ETNews highlighted that the Galaxy A family in 2019 will get LCD panel-sporting models. All the existing Galaxy A-series models in the current market notably have an AMOLED display to deliver a comparable experience with vivid colours and deep black levels. But it appears that since the company is reportedly in plans to kill its Galaxy J series, the new decision could help bring new affordable models.

The report also specified that there will be the Galaxy A30, Galaxy A40, Galaxy A70, and Galaxy A80 with AMOLED display panels, while the Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A60 will come with LCD panels. The OLED and LCD models in the new range are said to debut in markets such as Korea, North America, and Europe, while the LCD models will debut only in price-sensitive India and some Southeast Asian markets. The ultimate aim is to bring devices at prices lower than KRW 300,000 (roughly Rs. 19,300).

Samsung is also rumoured to have plans to consolidate its Galaxy J, Galaxy On, and Galaxy C series of models under the Galaxy M lineup. Further, there could be the Galaxy M50 with an AMOLED panel, while the Galaxy M30 and Galaxy M40 will come with LCD panels. Storage variants of a couple of new Galaxy M models have also been leaked.





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Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) India Launch Tipped to Be This Month, Features 4 Rear Cameras


Samsung will launch the Galaxy A9 (2018) – its first smartphone with quadruple rear camera setup – in India this month, IANS reports citing industry sources. The report adds that the smartphone will be priced aggressively to take on the leader OnePlus 6T.

The IANS report also mentions that the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is likely to launch in two variants in the country – 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage and 8GB RAM/ 128GB storage – both expandable up to 512GB. To recall, a report last week tipped the Galaxy A9 (2018) price in India is likely to start from Rs. 39,000, citing a source code on Samsung India’s official site.

Samsung globally launched Galaxy A9 (2018) in Malaysia last month, with a global price staring price of EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 51,300) and GBP 549 (roughly Rs. 53,700). It will be made available from November in Bubblegum Pink, Caviar Black, and Lemonade Blue colour variants, with the first and last featuring a gradient pattern.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) runs Android 8.0 Oreo, and features an 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2220 pixels) Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and Super AMOLED panel. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, with four cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz. This is coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) bears a quadruple rear camera setup, with a 24-megapixel primary camera featuring an f/1.7 aperture, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera featuring 2x optical zoom and an f/2.4 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree lens and f/2.4 aperture, and finally, a 5-megapixel depth camera with an f/2.2 aperture. In low-light conditions, main camera uses pixel binning to combine 4 pixels into one. On the front, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) sports a 24-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture. It features Face Unlock technology, apart from Bixby assistant and Samsung Pay. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.

The Galaxy A9 (2018) bears 128GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, and an RGB light sensor. It’s powered by a 3,800mAh battery, complete with fast charging.

Written with inputs from IANS



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Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review


Samsung has been experimenting with its entry-level smartphones for a while now. With limited hardware resources on such low-cost devices, it can be tough to deliver a smooth usage experience. Samsung tried adopting the Tizen OS with its Z-series not too long ago, because Android used to struggle to run. Now, we have Android Go, which is designed specifically for the lowest-end hardware in price-sensitive markets such as ours.

While the Z-series is no longer listed on the Samsung website, the J-series seems to have taken over this segment. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy J2 Core is one of the latest smartphones in the J-series and runs on Android Oreo Go Edition, making it the first Samsung smartphone to ship with Google’s stripped-down mobile OS. Priced at Rs 5,990 is it the best entry-level smartphone to go for? We put it through our tests to find out.

 

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core design

The Samsung Galaxy J2 Core is a small smartphone and is easy to hold in one hand. It has a 5-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. There’s a Samsung logo below the display but there are no capacitive touch buttons, and this phone uses on-screen navigation buttons instead. The body of the Galaxy J2 Core is made of plastic, but the construction quality is good for the price. The power button is positioned on the right while the volume buttons are on the left. All the buttons are easy to hit thanks to the small dimensions of the phone. The Galaxy J2 Core is available in black, gold, and blue variants, and we had the blue one in for review.

Galaxy J2 Core Back Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review

 

The Galaxy J2 Core has a Micro-USB port at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone. At the back, it has an 8-megapixel camera along with an LED flash placed inside a module that protrudes slightly. Next to it is a loudspeaker grille. The rear panel pops off and gives you access to the removable 2600mAh battery. Once you pull out the battery, you can access the two Micro-SIM slots. There’s also a dedicated microSD card slot placed above the SIM 1 slot.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core specifications and software

The Galaxy J2 Core sports a 5-inch display with a qHD 540×960-pixel resolution. There’s no ambient light sensor, but to make up for that Samsung uses the 5-megapixel selfie camera to gauge the ambient light around you and set the screen’s brightness accordingly. This only happens each time the phone is unlocked and is not constantly active like a dedicated ambient light sensor would be. The quality of this display is acceptable for the price but we would have preferred an HD panel, which is now the norm even in this price segment.

Samsung has opted for its own Exynos 7570 processor to power the Galaxy J2 Core. This is a quad-core chip clocked at 1.4GHz and is manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process. The smartphone has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, out of which only around 4GB is available to the user. Storage is expandable by up to 256GB using the microSD card slot. The phone also gives you the option to transfer supported apps onto the microSD card, freeing up precious internal storage. There is support for 4G as well as VoLTE, but only one SIM can use it at a time while the other is restricted to 3G networks. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Galaxy J2 Core Port Samsung Galaxy J2 Core ReviewThe Galaxy J2 Core has a Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom

 

On the software front, the device runs on Android Oreo Go Edition which is a light version of Android Oreo designed to run on phones with low-powered hardware. When we started using the Galaxy J2 Core, it was running the July security patch, but we received an update to the October patch while reviewing it.

You also get preinstalled Go versions of popular apps including Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. These apps occupy less space on the device than their standard versions, but have slightly limited functionality. For example, Google Maps Go cannot give you directions and needs a companion app called Navigation Go to enable this functionality.

Samsung has managed to keep bloatware under control and you only get Galaxy Apps, Samsung Members, Samsung Max, and Ultra Apps preinstalled. Ultra Apps lets you run Web versions of apps like Facebook, Instagram and many others while saving on data consumption using Samsung Max.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core performance, battery life, and cameras

Looking at the spec sheet we had our expectations in check, but the Galaxy J2 Core managed to deliver a lag-free experience. Basic actions like opening the dialer app, browsing through the menus, and using WhatsApp were quite snappy.

We ran a couple of benchmarks to see how this phone fares against others in the same price range. It scored 3,544 in PCMark Work 2.0, and in Geekbench 4, it scored 614 in the single-core test and 1,645 in the multi-core test. The Asus ZenFone Lite L1 (Review) scored 3,656, 664 and 2,394 in the same tests respectively. The Xiaomi Redmi 6A (Review) scored 765 and 2,306 in Geekbench 4.

There is limited support for games with this smartphone. While Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG were not available, we could play Angry Birds and Alto’s Odyssey. Both these games were playable with occasional slowdowns.

Galaxy J2 Core Screenshot Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review

 

The Galaxy J2 Core offers great battery life. In our HD video loop test, the smartphone managed to go on for 15 hours and 32 minutes. With our usage, which included running a couple of benchmarks, an active WhatsApp account, and Google Maps while driving for close to an hour and a half, the phone lasted us well over a day without needing to be plugged in. The phone also has a battery saver mode, which, when enabled, switches off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS when its not in use. When the battery does get empty, it takes a little under three hours to charge it completely with the bundled charger

The camera app on the Galaxy J2 core is quite basic, and you only get filters and a timer, as well as beautification options when using the front-facing camera. There is autofocus for the primary camera but the phone is slow to focus and set the exposure, forcing you to wait. Photos take with the Galaxy J2 Core are good enough to be shared on social media. Objects at a distance lack detail. In landscape shots, we observed that the phone occasionally struggled to set the right exposure, burning the sky out in the final result.

Tap to see full-sized Samsung Galaxy J2 Core camera samples

 

Macros are below average, and you’ll need to be patient to get the right focus. Low-light shots need a steady hand. The photos don’t have a lot of noise but the output is not very distinct either.

Selfies lack detail as well. Video recording maxes out at 1080p for both the primary and the selfie cameras, and the lack of stabilisation which is acceptable at this price point.

Verdict
The Galaxy J2 Core is Samsung’s first Android Go smartphone, and it does get a couple of things right. Despite its low-end hardware like just 1GB of RAM, this phone manages to deliver snappy performance. Battery life is another big plus point. The display and the cameras are where corners have been cut the most.

If you are looking for a low-cost smartphone that offers a good user experience, the Galaxy J2 Core could fit the bill quite well. If you want better specifications then you can consider the Xiaomi Redmi 6A (Review), which has 16GB of storage and an 18:9 HD+ screen, and is available for just a little bit more.


Is Samsung Galaxy J2 Core a budget winner that trumps Redmi 6A? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review


Samsung has been experimenting with its entry-level smartphones for a while now. With limited hardware resources on such low-cost devices, it can be tough to deliver a smooth usage experience. Samsung tried adopting the Tizen OS with its Z-series not too long ago, because Android used to struggle to run. Now, we have Android Go, which is designed specifically for the lowest-end hardware in price-sensitive markets such as ours.

While the Z-series is no longer listed on the Samsung website, the J-series seems to have taken over this segment. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy J2 Core is one of the latest smartphones in the J-series and runs on Android Oreo Go Edition, making it the first Samsung smartphone to ship with Google’s stripped-down mobile OS. Priced at Rs 5,990 is it the best entry-level smartphone to go for? We put it through our tests to find out.

 

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core design

The Samsung Galaxy J2 Core is a small smartphone and is easy to hold in one hand. It has a 5-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. There’s a Samsung logo below the display but there are no capacitive touch buttons, and this phone uses on-screen navigation buttons instead. The body of the Galaxy J2 Core is made of plastic, but the construction quality is good for the price. The power button is positioned on the right while the volume buttons are on the left. All the buttons are easy to hit thanks to the small dimensions of the phone. The Galaxy J2 Core is available in black, gold, and blue variants, and we had the blue one in for review.

Galaxy J2 Core Back Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review

 

The Galaxy J2 Core has a Micro-USB port at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone. At the back, it has an 8-megapixel camera along with an LED flash placed inside a module that protrudes slightly. Next to it is a loudspeaker grille. The rear panel pops off and gives you access to the removable 2600mAh battery. Once you pull out the battery, you can access the two Micro-SIM slots. There’s also a dedicated microSD card slot placed above the SIM 1 slot.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core specifications and software

The Galaxy J2 Core sports a 5-inch display with a qHD 540×960-pixel resolution. There’s no ambient light sensor, but to make up for that Samsung uses the 5-megapixel selfie camera to gauge the ambient light around you and set the screen’s brightness accordingly. This only happens each time the phone is unlocked and is not constantly active like a dedicated ambient light sensor would be. The quality of this display is acceptable for the price but we would have preferred an HD panel, which is now the norm even in this price segment.

Samsung has opted for its own Exynos 7570 processor to power the Galaxy J2 Core. This is a quad-core chip clocked at 1.4GHz and is manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process. The smartphone has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, out of which only around 4GB is available to the user. Storage is expandable by up to 256GB using the microSD card slot. The phone also gives you the option to transfer supported apps onto the microSD card, freeing up precious internal storage. There is support for 4G as well as VoLTE, but only one SIM can use it at a time while the other is restricted to 3G networks. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Galaxy J2 Core Port Samsung Galaxy J2 Core ReviewThe Galaxy J2 Core has a Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom

 

On the software front, the device runs on Android Oreo Go Edition which is a light version of Android Oreo designed to run on phones with low-powered hardware. When we started using the Galaxy J2 Core, it was running the July security patch, but we received an update to the October patch while reviewing it.

You also get preinstalled Go versions of popular apps including Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. These apps occupy less space on the device than their standard versions, but have slightly limited functionality. For example, Google Maps Go cannot give you directions and needs a companion app called Navigation Go to enable this functionality.

Samsung has managed to keep bloatware under control and you only get Galaxy Apps, Samsung Members, Samsung Max, and Ultra Apps preinstalled. Ultra Apps lets you run Web versions of apps like Facebook, Instagram and many others while saving on data consumption using Samsung Max.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Core performance, battery life, and cameras

Looking at the spec sheet we had our expectations in check, but the Galaxy J2 Core managed to deliver a lag-free experience. Basic actions like opening the dialer app, browsing through the menus, and using WhatsApp were quite snappy.

We ran a couple of benchmarks to see how this phone fares against others in the same price range. It scored 3,544 in PCMark Work 2.0, and in Geekbench 4, it scored 614 in the single-core test and 1,645 in the multi-core test. The Asus ZenFone Lite L1 (Review) scored 3,656, 664 and 2,394 in the same tests respectively. The Xiaomi Redmi 6A (Review) scored 765 and 2,306 in Geekbench 4.

There is limited support for games with this smartphone. While Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG were not available, we could play Angry Birds and Alto’s Odyssey. Both these games were playable with occasional slowdowns.

Galaxy J2 Core Screenshot Samsung Galaxy J2 Core Review

 

The Galaxy J2 Core offers great battery life. In our HD video loop test, the smartphone managed to go on for 15 hours and 32 minutes. With our usage, which included running a couple of benchmarks, an active WhatsApp account, and Google Maps while driving for close to an hour and a half, the phone lasted us well over a day without needing to be plugged in. The phone also has a battery saver mode, which, when enabled, switches off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS when its not in use. When the battery does get empty, it takes a little under three hours to charge it completely with the bundled charger

The camera app on the Galaxy J2 core is quite basic, and you only get filters and a timer, as well as beautification options when using the front-facing camera. There is autofocus for the primary camera but the phone is slow to focus and set the exposure, forcing you to wait. Photos take with the Galaxy J2 Core are good enough to be shared on social media. Objects at a distance lack detail. In landscape shots, we observed that the phone occasionally struggled to set the right exposure, burning the sky out in the final result.

Tap to see full-sized Samsung Galaxy J2 Core camera samples

 

Macros are below average, and you’ll need to be patient to get the right focus. Low-light shots need a steady hand. The photos don’t have a lot of noise but the output is not very distinct either.

Selfies lack detail as well. Video recording maxes out at 1080p for both the primary and the selfie cameras, and the lack of stabilisation which is acceptable at this price point.

Verdict
The Galaxy J2 Core is Samsung’s first Android Go smartphone, and it does get a couple of things right. Despite its low-end hardware like just 1GB of RAM, this phone manages to deliver snappy performance. Battery life is another big plus point. The display and the cameras are where corners have been cut the most.

If you are looking for a low-cost smartphone that offers a good user experience, the Galaxy J2 Core could fit the bill quite well. If you want better specifications then you can consider the Xiaomi Redmi 6A (Review), which has 16GB of storage and an 18:9 HD+ screen, and is available for just a little bit more.


Is Samsung Galaxy J2 Core a budget winner that trumps Redmi 6A? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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