Phone, Smartphone, Notebook and Gadget Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Forum


Home > Android Phone Reviews > Samsung Galaxy Stellar


Samsung Galaxy Stellar

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon
Manufacturer: Samsung
Discuss this product
Where to Buy

What's hot: Free on contract, strong features for a budget phone.

What's not: A bit thick, display could be brighter.


Reviewed September 27, 2012 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The Samsung Galaxy Stellar isn't going to wow you with its huge display or whizbang new killer features. It is however going to fit in your pocket and you can't beat the price: free on contract with Verizon Wireless. This Android smartphone has a 4", 800 x 480 display, LTE 4G and a fast 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core CPU. That's the same CPU used in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Motorola Droid M, but underclocked from their 1.5GHz. Will you notice that 0.3GHz? Likely not so much.

Samsung Galaxy Stellar

The Galaxy Stellar has a sharp and clear 800 x 480 display with decent though not wildly lively colors. Brightness is passable but it's not bright enough to combat bright sunlight. Still, for the price, it's easy on the eyes and the resolution is adequate for webpage and MS Office document viewing. Speaking of Office, the phone comes with the full version of Quickoffice that allows you to create, view and edit MS Office files. A nice touch for a budget phone.

The budget aspect shines through with the rear 3.2 megapixel camera, which lacks a flash. It can shoot VGA video and fairly noisy and dull looking photos. This isn't a phone for shutterbugs. The front video chat camera does a passable job with Skype video chat.

Design and Ergonomics

Neither stunning nor ugly: the Stellar is a distinctly indistinctive phone. Samsung loves shiny plastics and the back is gloss back with a subtle pattern. It's not bad looking but it gets mucked up with fingerprints very quickly. The 4.73 ounce phone feels solid and we appreciate the removable 2100 mAh battery. There's a microSD card slot under a door on the phone's right side, and the volume controls are on the left. Typical of Samsung, the power button is on the upper right side and the micro USB port is on the bottom. At 0.47", the phone is relatively thick, though overall compact compared to today's super-sized smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Stellar

Calling and Data

The Stellar is a CDMA phone with EV-DO Rev. A 3G and 4G LTE. Reception is good and the phone managed the same signal in -db as the Motorola Droid RAZR M in our tests in the Dallas area. Data speeds were good though not among the best Verizon LTE 4G phones, with 12Mbps down and 9Mbps up on average.

Call quality is likewise middle of the road with some slight flangy digitization to voice, especially when the DSP kicks in to reduce background noise. Conversations are intelligible but not crystal clear like on the Droid RAZR MAXX and Galaxy S III.

Samsung Galaxy Stellar


The Samsung runs Android OS 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is fairly current (Jelly Bean devices are still a rarity), but we don't expect significant version upgrades given the price. It has both Samsung's TouchWiz UI and a "Starter Mode" that's simplified for newbies. We like that Starter Mode doesn't take too much away from the standard Android UI, turning it into a dumb feature phone like Pantech's newbie-focused UI option on the Pantech Flex on AT&T. Many Samsung staples from the Galaxy S III are here including Media Hub (streaming movies and TV shows), Memo, S Suggest and S Voice. The standard suite of Android apps is on board including Maps, YouTube and Gmail. Verizon adds a few of their titles and a wide selection of Amazon apps including Kindle, Amazon MP3, IMDB and Zappos.

Samsung Galaxy Stellar


Deals and Shopping:

Get the Stellar from Wirefly:
Click to Select Product



Samsung Galaxy Stellar Video Review

Performance and Horsepower

The phone has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU with a gig of RAM and 4 gigs of internal storage (1.7 gigs available). There's a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 32 gigs. Keep in mind that Android 4.x doesn't support installing apps to SD cards and some 3D games can be 500 megs, so that internal space could be tight for gamers. You can store movies and music on a card.


Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Stellar has a 2100 mAh Lithium Ion battery that's user replaceable (just pop off the back door to access the battery and micro SIM card slot). Verizon claims an impressive17 hours of actual usage time, and in our tests it lasted as long as other recent Android smartphones on Verizon. It lasted a full day (8am to 10pm) on a charge with 20% power remaining with average use (email, web, watching a few YouTube videos, a few phone calls, playing music with the display off for an hour).


For free, you could certainly do much worse than the Samsung Galaxy Stellar. In fact, we're surprised it doesn't sell for $50 on contract. If you're just getting into your first smartphone and don't want to gamble lots of money or you're an experienced Android user on a tight budget, the Stellar gets the job done with a fast CPU, a sharp display with decent resolution and a recent Android build.

Price: Free with 2 year contract, $329 without contract



Samsung Galaxy Stellar


blog comments powered by Disqus


Display: 4" capacitive multi-touch TFT display. Resolution: 800 x 480, supports both portrait and landscape modes.

Battery: 2100 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core CPU. 1 gig RAM, 4 gigs internal storage with ~1.7 gigs available.

Size: 4.8 x 2.51 x 0.47 inches. Weight: 4.73 ounces.

Phone: CDMA with 3G EV-DO Rev. A and 4G LTE.

Camera: VGA front camera and 3.2 megapixel rear camera that can shoot VGA video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth.

Software: Android OS 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz UI and Starter Mode UI. Standard suite of Android applications including Gmail, YouTube, GoogleTalk, web browser and Maps. Verizon software: VZNavigator, MyVerizon Mobile, VZW Apps. Games: Let's Golf 3 and Plants vs. Zombies. Amazon apps: Amazon Shop, Amazon MP3, Kindle, Zappos and IMDB.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


All Phone Reviews
Smartphone Reviews
Android Phone Reviews
Windows Phone Reviews
HTC Phone Reviews
LG Phone Reviews
Motorola Phone Reviews
Nokia Phone Reviews
Samsung Phone Reviews
Sony Phone Reviews
AT&T Phone Reviews
Sprint Phone Reviews
T-Mobile Phone Reviews
Verizon Phone Reviews
Unlocked GSM Phone Reviews


All Tablet Reviews
Android Tablet Reviews
Tablet Comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons



Laptop Reviews
Ultrabook Reviews
Laptop Comparisons
Best Ultrabooks



Bluetooth Headsets
iPhone and iPad Accessories
eBook Readers

iPhone Game Reviews
iPad Game Reviews

iPhone Case Reviews
iPad Case Reviews


RSS News Feed

About Us

Contact Us


Site Map