There’s another Galaxy ready to take your money: Samsung’s next offering in the upper-midrange segment of smartphones, the Galaxy Premier. When you take a good look at the unit, there’s nothing that sets it apart from the S III. It’s just considerably less round and has a screen that’s only just slightly smaller. Inside, though, the phone resembles the Galaxy Nexus more than the powerhouse flagship. Heck, the model name suggests the same thing: the Nexus is I9250, while this new phone is tagged as I9260. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
As we’ve said before, the Galaxy Premier has a close resemblance to the Galaxy S III. It looks like a mash-up between Samsung’s flagship phone and the Galaxy Nexus. The actual dimensions of the phone are like those of the latter, though. At 9mm thick, this phone is very slim as well. It’s quite big, definitely, but the thinness and the relative light weight (130 grams) allow it to still feel compact enough for handling.
The exterior of the Galaxy Premier is quite glossy, although the gloss on this one is different from the one found on the frame of the S III. As for the materials, you know you’re holding something plastic when you pick up the Galaxy Premier, but don’t let that hold you back. The overall design helps offset any cheapness one might perceive based on the choice of material. Build quality still looks to be very good, although durability is another matter entirely.
The Galaxy Premier is powered by a dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz and with a TI OMAP 4470 chipset, closely resembling the 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU and TI OMAP 4460 on the Galaxy Nexus. In addition, there’s a PowerVR SGX544 graphics unit as well as 1 GB of RAM. Those specs should make the Premier a very fast and responsive device, especially considering that it comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. The 2100 mAh battery isn’t too exciting, though.
The phone comes with either 16 GB or 32 GB of memory, with memory expansion up to 32 GB via microSD. It fields an 8 MP camera with autofocus and an LED flash, another improvement over the 5 MP-toting Galaxy Nexus. It also comes with a 1.9 MP front camera. The screen is set at 4.65 inches of Super AMOLED goodness, with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels to give it a great pixel density (316 ppi).
In many ways, we can’t help thinking that the Galaxy Premier spec sheet is at least what the Galaxy S III Mini should at least be carrying, albeit on a smaller (4-inch to 4.3-inch, maybe) form factor.
Since the Galaxy Premier is practically a Galaxy Nexus packed with an improved, higher-clocked CPU and a new GPU, performance is indeed more than satisfactory as far as benchmarks go. It easily equals or even outperforms other dual-core Cortex A9-equipped smartphones, although it is still a bit behind the Krait-packing One S. As for browser benchmarks, the Premier outperforms the GNex considerably, based on NenaMark 2 and SunSpider tests. These capabilities make the phone a great all-around smartphone.
Display performance is also great — you can expect no less from a Samsung Super AMOLED device. The vibrant colors, top-notch contrast, and ample brightness should be a treat. Of course, there might be some who won’t appreciate all the saturation. Good thing there are three display modes, and with Android 4.1, you could easily tweak your screen settings anyway.
Camera performance is superb, since the phone practically carries the same 8 MP sensor as the one on the S III. There are subtle differences in image quality, which means the difference actually lies in the image-processing software. There’s also the ability to take snaps while recording HD videos.
If you liked all the Galaxy Nexus aspects save for the stock Android OS, then you’ll love the Galaxy Premier because it is essentially GNex 2.0. It’s not exactly flagship quality, but the phone will easily be at the top shelf if you don’t consider the quad-core powerhouses we have today. We recommend this model for people who want all-around great performance from their personal or business phone without shelling out the kind of money you would need for an S III or similar handset — the specs and performance are both close enough anyway.