Lauren Goode

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Samsung’s Galaxy Stellar Has Two Interfaces: One for Techies and One for Newbies

As smartphone ownership in the U.S. inches upwards, some mobile phone makers are looking to lure feature phone folks with simplified, dual-interface smartphones. Case in point: Samsung’s newest offering, the Galaxy Stellar.

The smartphone, which runs Google Android’s 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, has both Starter and Standard modes. The Starter mode offers an oversimplified interface with a quick-dial option to make phone calls right from the home screen, while Standard mode looks more like what you’d expect from an Android OS, with customizable apps on the home screen.

Clearly falling into the category of budget phones, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar has a four-inch, 800 x 480 resolution display (low-res compared to the specs of some higher-end phones), a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, and runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. One bonus: It’s compatible with Verizon’s high-speed 4G LTE wireless network.

It’s selling exclusively through Verizon Wireless starting Sept. 6; with a two-year contract and a data plan, the phone costs $50, though Verizon says it’s available for “free” with a mail-in rebate. It won’t be offered through prepaid plans.

The Galaxy Stellar will join the ranks of smartphones like the recently launched Pantech Marauder, which also offers Standard and Starter modes for consumers who are just making the jump to smartphones and may be intimidated by the user interfaces.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, LG Electronics also teased a dual-solution VMware smartphone that would run two Android operating systems on a single device — one for work and one geared toward personal use — though we haven’t seen that one hit the market yet.

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