- Editor's Rating
- Free with new contract
- Fast processor
- Good battery life
- Sharply limited specs
- Extreme bloatware
Quick TakeA 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 is a decidedly entry-level smartphone that focuses on cost efficiency over general performance. And when we say cost efficient, we really mean it — the Stellar is available completely free of charge at the time of review, provided that you sign up for a 2-year contract with Verizon upon grabbing it. While signing up on the U.S.\’s largest 4G LTE network for the contract price alone is a solid perk, too many of this smartphone\’s features are substandard enough for Brighthand to say that they \”have a hard time seeing to whom [they] could recommend the Stellar.\”
But first, the good. In short, the Stellar knows what it\’s doing. It\’s cheap, it works, it runs a customized version of Android 4.0.4, and it\’s aimed squarely at first-time and/or low-budget smartphone users. Its build is, as Brighthand terms it, \”stock Samsung all the way\” — minimal, basic, and unoriginal, but made up of \”decent quality materials and a pleasantly rounded shape that\’s been well tested with other Samsung devices.\”
It comes loaded with QuickOffice Pro and other necessary productivity apps, meaning that the Stellar can be used to get basic work done on the go to a certain extent. It even sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor that, while certainly not impressive, holds its own against other entry-level competitors. In fact, the Stellar scored an average score of 4073 in Quadrant benchmark testing, which Brighthand calls \”more than respectable\” considering how cheap and limited the rest of the phone can feel.
And some features here are indeed cheap and limited. Take the 800 x 480 LCD display, for example, which isn\’t terrible, but quite frankly isn\’t going to cut it in today\’s market of Super AMOLED and Retina displays. The Stellar\’s 3.2-megapixel camera leaves much to be desired as well, as Brighthand calls out its \”terrible low-light performance,\” consistently blurry images, and subpar overall optics. Video recording doesn\’t get much better either.
But the Stellar\’s most annoying deficiency may be the sheer amount of bloatware Verizon and Samsung have crammed onto the phone. Despite being rated at 4GB of storage, only 1.7GB is available to the user from the get-go. The rest of the space is packed with what Brighthand bluntly calls \”useless junk software,\” including needlessly sizable game demos, shallow apps, and many non-removable features that could simply be downloaded from the Google Play store on most other phones.
Despite its relative successes compared to other entry-level phones, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar is simply too lacking, limited, and — with regards to its bloatware — annoying to be recommended to most new smartphone users. As Brighthand recaps: \”It\’s a decent starter device, but as the user grows into more serious use, it\’ll start to feel increasingly limiting. And by the end of a two-year contract, it\’ll be an antique.\”