• Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • HSDPA 2100 / 900 EDGE / GPRS / GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 4.8-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display
  • Bluetooth, USB2.0, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm audio
  • 5-megapixels camera
  • Pros:
  • Sleek curved screen
  • Good performance
  • Cons:
  • Only Android 2.3 out of the box

Advancing The Galaxy

If the Samsung GALAXY S III forms the core of Samsung’s GALAXY line of phones, the Samsung GALAXY S Advance would be one of the many other systems orbiting it. This is not a flagship device; it’s meant to be the more affordable phone for people looking for something between the premium S III and the lower end GALAXY W. However you cut it though, the GALAXY S Advance is a worthy phone to consider.

By design, the Advance takes its cues from the ever popular GALAXY S II, sporting the same minimalistic look and plastic back. The real difference here is its more compact design, and the notably sleek 4-inch curved display. Not only does this make it very pocket-able, it also offers a good and bright Super AMOLED display. The display resolution here isn’t the highest, but it’s certainly sharp enough.

The phone may be light, but the built quality is solid enough, and everything else is well placed. The button placements are standard here, with both the volume controls and lock key at each side of the phone, while the recognisable physical home button sits at the bottom. The plasticky back cover might put off a few people, but trust us when we say it’s hardier than it looks.

The insides of the Advance is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor (ARM Cortex A9) which, while lower than the top-of-the-range phones, does a fine job at keeping things zippy and appropriately fast. There are a few lags, though, but not to the point of detriment.

The Advance, perhaps unfortunately, still runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which does feel rather disappointing. Still, there’re good things to be had from the familiar TouchWiz UI, and the Advance does come with a plethora of essential features. The 5-megapixels camera isn’t great, but it does its job and performs decently. Battery life doesn’t differ itself from the competition by very much, but you can have a day’s worth of usage with the right rationing.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The Samsung GALAXY S Advance doesn’t advance the line significantly. Rather, it expands the portfolio to include an affordable star of a phone that sports a sleek screen, good performances and sufficient features despite the lack of Android 4.0.

(previously published in issue August 2012)