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Read Samsung Galaxy Grand Complete Review

Samsung Galaxy Grand

Samsung Galaxy Grand - Looks Good, Sells Better

The Galaxy Grand is Samsung’s effort to woo those who do not have enough money for a top-end device like the Galaxy Note II. It costs £260 which is roughly twice as costly as its low-cost adversaries, but it is the most reasonably priced option if you’re looking for a gadget from a tier 1 brand. At present, the Galaxy Grand doesn’t face any contest from other tier 1 brands, but you may want to know how much better it is than the low-cost handsets that offer comparable specifications. Here’s a breakdown of the specifications to give you an idea how it matches up against with the closest competition.
 

Design

The Galaxy Grand DUOS looks like little larger Galaxy S III, or a bit smaller Note II, whichever you prefer. Samsung is making just about everything nowadays, big and small, with the distinctive rounded corner design that is straight away familiar because of its blockbuster handset, the Samsung Galaxy S3.

The Grand DUOS bears more resemblance to the Note II, actually, with the faux metal rim on the sides, and the tapered back makes is fairly comfortable to hold with one hand, considering the screen size, but it cannot be operated with just your thumb, of course. The phone is somewhat hefty for today's standards at 5.71 oz (162 g), but considering the screen size it does not feel thick and bulky like it should. In fact, it feels right at home in the palm of your hand.
 

OS – Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

Very few current generation budget Android "phablets" come running out of the box with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean; in fact, most of them come with Android ICS -however, you get the OS in the unchanged structure. The Galaxy Grand runs Jelly Bean out of the box and not to mention, it has got swanky features found in the high end Galaxy handsets, such as Smart Stay, Pop up Play and Direct Call.
 

Cellular Network – Dual SIM GSM and 3G

The Galaxy Grand is the first "phablet "from a tier 1 brand to offer dual-SIM facility in this particular price band. Quad-band 2G is supported by both the SIM card slots, whereas 3G connectivity is supported only in the SIM1 slot.

Display – 5-inch WVGA

An HD display would have made the Galaxy Grand a killer deal requiring no further thoughts, but unluckily, it sports a 5-inch WVGA display that has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. This needed to be done, however to keep the price from crossing the affordable range. The pixel density of Galaxy Grand’s display is 187 ppi. That doesn’t mean it is bad; there is ample open space for viewing web pages and documents at ease and videos are greatly enjoyable on the large 5-inch display.

Form Factor & Weight – A Shade Lighter Than The Note II

Weighing in at 162 grams, Galaxy Grand is 20 grams lighter than Note II, which should please those who prefer a little anonymity in their pockets. It is also a few millimetres smaller in height and width, but the Note II is slimmer than the Grand by a fraction of a millimetre.

Wi-Fi – Dual-band, 802.11 ‘n’

Similar to the Nokia Lumia 620, the Galaxy Grand is one of those few handsets in its category to feature dual-band Wi-Fi ‘n’. So, if your router does hold up the 5GHz wireless band, you can connect with much faster connectivity from your Galaxy Grand.

SoC

This is a grey area yet and we can only give you a clear picture as soon as we get our hands on the device. We contacted Samsung for exact details of the SoC this device uses, but we did not get any answer. For now, the only thing that can be said for certain is that it’s powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. According to well placed sources who captured a glimpse of the Galaxy Grand at the Broadcom booth at the CES 2013, it’s quite apparent that it’s powered by the Broadcom BCM28155 SoC. It consists of a pair of ARM Cortex-A9 cores and Broadcom’s own VideoCore-IV graphics engine for 2D and 3D acceleration.

Storage – 8GB Expandable up to 64GB

Here, Galaxy Grand has an higher hand over the competition. Firstly, Galaxy Grand set 8GB of built-in storage, which is about twice as much as the other phones in this segment. And secondly, in contrast to microSD expansion of maximum up to 32GB in other phones, Galaxy Grand can take up to a 64GB microSD card.

Primary camera – 8MP with LED flash

The 8MP primary camera characteristic of the Galaxy Grand has the identical resolution as the one featured in Note II. There is LED flash and digital image stabilisation to enable you to take clear shots in low light. Videos can be recorded at 1080p at 30fps. Other phones too feature cameras with LED flash, but only our hands-on tests will disclose which of these take better photos. Also, the secondary front camera in the Galaxy Grand is a 2MP camera with excellent picture quality, as far as the world of front cameras goes.

Sensors – Gyro, Compass & More

The Galaxy Grand comes packed with sensors that will be of good use to the end user—accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass. The list rule out barometer, but it’s reasonable for an entry-level phablet, don’t you think?

Battery – Li-ion 2100mAh

The Galaxy Grand features a hefty 2100 Li-ion mAh battery to provide decent amount of talk time in addition to fuelling other tasks such as media playback, web browsing, gaming and so on. The Note II packs a 3100 mAh battery and it easily worked for around two days without any charge. It also played a 720p video in loop for over 12 hours without any issue.
 

Update

Less than 5 days ago Samsung announced a game changing update on their Galaxy Grand bringing it closer to the brethren of its bigger brothers, the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It has been given an unexpected refresh in the form of a quad core processor which will work at 1.4 GHz in contrast to its processor according to earlier specs, which would have been a dual core, clocking in a maximum if 1GHz.

An additional feature of the upgraded model is Near Field Communications (NFC) support with S Beam and Android Beam compatibility, allowing the handset to almost instantly transfer information to other NFC-equipped smartphones, tablets  or, in countries where it is enabled, to carry out contactless payments.

The Bottom Line

Off late, we’ve seen many low-cost Android phablets featuring a dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage and at least a 5 megapixel camera—you can buy one for around £130. Cough up another few pounds and you can buy a more feature rich device from a slightly unknown brand. However, if you’re reluctant to consider a low tier brand and don’t want to look anywhere but top tier brands, the Galaxy Grand is for you. The specifications look good on paper, and the price point is sweet!

Samsung may have compromised on certain of its flagship features such as the Super AMOLED screen and given you an LCD instead, but after all, that is what you can expect in a budget smartphone, right? They cannot give you everything and then keep it in budget as well. For those out there who do not wish to break the bank, this a wonderful option that the Koreans have brought out for you.