Samsung Galaxy Express review: Jelly Bean Express
Decent 5MP camera
The Samsung Galaxy Express comes with the same 5MP camera as its US counterpart, and is able to capture photos at a maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. It has an LED flash to assist it in low lighting conditions.
The interface is virtually the same as on other Jelly Bean-running Galaxy's. On the right there's the still camera / camcorder switch, a virtual shutter key and the gallery shortcut (which is a thumbnail of the last photo taken).
On the left, you get several controls and the good news is that you can pick any four shortcuts to put there - its let you easily have all frequently used features just a tap away.
The fifth shortcut always points to Settings. You can also move the icons around to your liking.
The Express has an extensive set of features: touch focus, smile shot, continuous shot, panorama mode and can snap photos during video recording (but at only 720p resolution, basically a frame from the video). The only thing that's missing is built-in HDR functionlity.
Unfortunately, the weather didn't permit us to get the most ideal shooting conditions we would have liked, but it did allow us to get a general feel about the performance of the 5MP shooter on the Express.
Noise reduction isn't too aggressive and the fine detail is mostly intact. Colors are very accurate (with just a hint of oversaturation) and the dynamic range is good. There is also a slight pink spot in the middle of the frame.
Photo quality comparison
The Samsung Galaxy Express has plenty of 5MP shooters to compete with in our Photo compare tool. The tools page gives you info on what to look out for.
720p video recording is as advertised
The camcorder interface of the Galaxy Express is almost the same as the still camera's - you get the same customizable panel on the left with five shortcuts.
The Galaxy Express doesn't take advantage of 1080p video recording like some newer, more powerful smartphones out there, but it does give you 720p video recording at an unwavering 30fps @ 10Mbps, complete with stereo sound at 128Kbps / 48kHz.
Again, the poor weather prevented us from getting a real taste of what the camcorder is able to deliver, but overall, the image quality is good, with no noise or compression artifacts. There are some jaggies on diagonal lines and some slight oversharpening halos, but the color reproduction is accurate, as is the contrast ratio.
In low lighting conditions the Galaxy Express left much to be desired, as the sensor was only able to provide a blurry image with poor color reproduction and even worse resolved detail.
Here is the untouched 720p (0:16s, 20.1MB) video sample taken directly from the Galaxy Express.
Video quality comparison
The Samsung Galaxy Express enters the video quality comparison tool to face off against other 720p-capable smartphones. The low-light charts shows its poor performance in inadequately lit areas, and the ISO chart shows the same pink spot, which was prevalent in still images as well.