Samsung Galaxy Grand is one device that was made to provide some “premium features”at a low price. At 5 inches, the device has the same size display with the Galaxy S 4 which is the most premium device from Samsung so far. The Galaxy grand has quite a bundle of features only found in high end devices from Samsung, but the focus is to have the mid-range users access these, slight compromises like screen technology and storage were made.
See the Galaxy Grand specifications below:
- 5 inch WVGA TFT LCD Screen
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
- 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor
- 8MP rear Autofocus with LED flash, 2MP HD front camera
- 3G upto 21MBps
- A-GPS, GLONASS
- Bluetooth 4.0
- USB 2.1, WiFi (2.5GHz), DLNA
- Accelerometer, Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro
- 8GB Internal storage with microSD support, upto 64GB
- 1GB RAM
- 77 x 143.7 x 9.6 mm, 162 g
- 2100 mAh Li-ion Battery
As you can see most specifications are high end, the Android version is what most high end devices have, 2100mAh battery, an 8MP camera with a 2MP HD front camera, a 1.2GHz processor, Dual-Core and 3G speeds of upto 21Mbps. Compromises are the screen technology, LCD which is considered inferior to LED screens, the Galaxy S 4 has a Super AMOLED screen which has brighter colour. The Galaxy Grand screen also is WVGA and the pixel density is low. But don’t worry, unless you area graphics freak, you won’t even notice this. Let’s see why I call this device a great deal.
The device is made to feel like another Galaxy Note II without the stylus. Of-course the screen is smaller since the Galaxy Note II has some 5.5 inches of awesomeness, but remember the Grand is just that Grand, not a Note descendant. The one I have here for review is a white version with some feel like it was moving to become White Frost as seen on the Galaxy S 4. The thickness is 9.6 mm which you will actually notice, particularly if you hold it together with high end device; the other dimensions are 77 by 143.7 mm. It dons the standard home key below the screen and on each side there are capacitive controls, the menu and back controls. At the top we have the usual sensors, camera and earpiece. If it’s the dual-SIM version you will have the Duos icon and text on the top right.
Sound mic and microUSB are slotted at the bottom while on the left we have the volume rocker, power button is the loner on the right while sound jack resides at the top. At the back we have the camera flanked by LED flash on the left and speaker on the right. The camera smoothly bulges out of the phone. Inside the back cover we have the two SIM slots, one is hot-swappable at the bottom while the other is on top just below the flash. MicroSD is accessible when you remove the battery at the bottom. The battery is also removable. Samsung’s legacy of plastic goes on, the chassis is plastic, including the back cover and sides.
Features and performance
The Galaxy Grand Duos is built for the person who wishes to have dual-SIM functionality while at the same time having high end specifications. Actually, this is the most high end device from Samsung with dual-SIM capabilities. You get ability to manage what SIM does data at any single time. The other remains always on at your choice.
How would this come in handy?
Take for example, some one who does short trips abroad. If you are not comfortable with roaming rates, you can always get a local SIM card for the place you are destined, opt for it to be the data line to make it easy for you, you can also call back people who call you with the local like, that way none of you will be roaming, it will just be an international call.
Rongai people Naturally, even when home you get to utilise better deals from mobile carriers when you have options.
The Galaxy Grand does come with features on-board not available on your usual Android phone, motion control. The Galaxy Grand does have more sensors than your average droid, features like direct call, smart alert, double tap to go to top, tilt to zoom, pan to move icon, pan to browse images, palm swipe to capture and palm touch to mute.
We had all these features from the advent of the Galaxy S 3 and seeing all these trickle down to this device is great. With these you are able to do fancy things like holding an image in the photo gallery and tilting it to zoom or pan it to see around a zoomed out image. Samsung made screen shot taking and muting calls/music the easiest. To take a screenshot all you do is take a karate chop on the phone and viola! Musing music is even easier, just place the palm of your hand on the screen and you have your phone quiet, obedient right?
Then since the screen is super-large at 5 inches, you are able to select single-handed operation for several applications like the calculator, unlock pattern on the screen lock, dial keypad and the keyboard if you are using the Samsung keyboard.
Samsung cameras have the best macros in my opinion, and the Galaxy Grand sure does take nice macros photos with wide view, see an example of photos here on Google Plus. The device does take photos you would take from a Galaxy S 3 which also has 8MP camera.
Camera features like continuous shot, face detection, panorama, share-shot and buddy photo share are bundled in to give options on how you want your photos output or shared. Image resolutions of upto 3264 x 2448 can be realized, not billboard quality but the average user photos will be crisp and clear. For advanced users, you will be able to control the lighting and image finish by metering, white balance and ISO controls.
Battery performance is one of the key strong-points of the Galaxy Grand. It can do a long day, even on two SIM cards and data access quite comfortably. The 2100 mAh holds it quite well, assisted by the lower resolution screen you have your day catered for. One would assume that the dual-SIM always on feature wears it out but it does indeed come out strongly, making the phone an ideal mainstream smartphone.
You do get battery saving features within the phone that you can use to squeeze out more battery life but you don’t really need it on a normal day. In the notifications section you have screen lighting adjustment that you can set to auto hence relying on the smartphone’s time to get you the best optimal lighting. Manually you can lower this to use less power and adjust to your comfort levels.
This is one device I have been saying severally to be the device you take to your mother. Well, not really, only girls are taken to your mother, but you get the grip. It gives you most of the premium features you need in a a phone at a budget price of Kshs 35,000 ($412). When you have more money to spend you will of-course go to higher end devices, but you won’t get what this phone offers anywhere.
The dual-SIM at that specifications level doesn’t come anywhere else I know, maybe in future but currently I don’t know of any. The downsides are weight, bulk and accessories. When using it, you will feel the bulkiness of the phone, the weight but coming from using higher end devices like I have, I would be biased in this judgement. So far I haven’t seen accessories for the device in shops, but I would assume this is due to the fact that it’s not so old into the Kenyan market.
It’s a good device if you love reading and can be an alternative to your novel for those who love e-books, the reading experience is great with the 5 inch screen, websites loading is also fast and gives one full web pages if you load the web version of websites. There is reader mode embedded to the stock browser that makes it easier, although that does not scale into other browsers for example if you choose to make Google Chrome your default browser. But you can always choose the browser to load websites with, if one requires that reader feature that comes with Samsung phones, you have an option.
All in all it’s value for money, particularly for those who love options when it comes to mobile carrier choice.