Review: Samsung Galaxy Admire 2 for Cricket
The Admire 2 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface sitting on top. It has some, but not all, of the extensive features found on Samsung's tier-one smartphones, such as the Galaxy S 4.
The lock screen can be configured with a handful of app shortcuts that function both with and without a security code. You can also choose to have two different clock faces and live weather on the lock screen, as well as an information ticker if you're into that sort of thing. There are seven home screen panels activated by default, but those can be deleted or added to at whim.
The main app menu is fairly flexible. The default view is of a four by five grid of apps all arranged alphabetically. Apps can be rearranged in any order you wish, as well as viewed in list form, or dropped into folders. The notification shade includes toggles for the different radios on the device, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Unlike more advanced phones, these toggles can't be customized and there are only 10. The notification shade also provides access to the brightness setting, full settings menu, and of course all your alerts. I appreciate that there's enough room in the notification shade to actually see the notifications.
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The settings menu is more or less the stock version carried over from Android 4.1. All of the settings are listed on a single page that you scroll up and down, though they've been treated with the TouchWiz theme.
The Admire 2 does not include Samsung's "Easy Mode."
I didn't encounter any performance problems with the Admire 2. It has a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor under the hood, and it provides all the oomph needed by the Admire 2. All the screen transitions were fluid, the apps opened quickly, and it ran some graphics-rich games just fine.
Calls and Contact
The phone app is a reskinned version of the stock Android dialer. It's got a software dialpad, with tabs that run across the top for accessing the call history and contact groupings.
As with most TouchWiz phones, the Admire 2 has an extensive set of controls for the phone app. Calls can be rejected with messages, the volume can be amped up when the phone senses it's in a pocket, and users can set custom alerts for incoming calls. There's also a noise reduction feature that eliminates background noise so you are easier to hear. I found this function worked well.
The contact app works just as well as on any other Android phone. Favorites and groups can be accessed via the phone app; there are plenty of widgets available, and of course you can set direct access shortcuts on the home screen panels if you wish.
As expected, the Admire 2 offers the stock Gmail, email, SMS/MMS, Hangouts, and Google+ apps. Together with their associated widgets, they make an impressive arsenal for reaching out to and connecting with your friends, family, and colleagues.
On the social networking front, neither Twitter nor Facebook is pre-loaded, but Samsung's ChatOn instant messaging app is included. ChatOn, which works on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone devices, is a chatting app that works well and doesn't use monthly text messages.
Cricket today showed a sneak peek of two Samsung phones coming this summer. The Admire 2 sports a 4-inch screen and 4G LTE, while the Galaxy Discover is more basic with its 3.5-inch screen and stock Android interface.
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