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Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos Review - A budget Phablet

samsung-galaxy-grand-duos-review---a-budget-phablet
14 Mar 2013
samsung-galaxy-grand-duos-review---a-budget-phablet

The Samsung Galaxy Grand is a good  combination of Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy SIII in aaffordable price. Looks like that wasn't quite right. We cannot compare the specs of Samsung Galaxy Grand with Samsung Galaxy SIII or Note 2 But The design of the Samsung Galaxy Grand is similar to those Android Bosses. It comes with a 5 inch screen which puts it just between the two Flagships of Samsung. People who love phones with a bigger screen in an affordable price will love it. They will have to compromise on the resolution though as Samsung Galaxy Grand has a WVGA (480 X 800) on a 5 inch display with a shockingly low 187 ppi. Galaxy Grand is a good choice if you just want a big screen wihout caring about the ppi.

Let's have a look at the key specs of Samsung Galaxy Grand.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM (SIM 1 & SIM 2) and 3G (SIM 1 only) support
  • Dual SIM stand-by
  • 21.1 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support (SIM 1 only)
  • 5.0" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution
  • Android OS 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Nature UX
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU, 1GB of RAM
  • 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash, face and smile detection, image stabilization
  • 2MP secondary camera
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps with stereo sound
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support; DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity and GLONASS; digital compass
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, microSD slot
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB v2.0 port with MHL
  • Stereo Bluetooth v4.0
  • FM radio with RDS

 

The Good

  • 5 inch bigger Display
  • Beautiful Design
  • Low Price

The Bad

  • Lower resolution screen
  • poor low light recording

 hThe Samsung Galaxy Grand Sports the same dual core chipset (Broadcom) as the newly released Samsung Galaxy SII Plus having a VideoCore IV GPU which a small let down on GPU. It may be a setback processing wise but combined with the low resolution screen it is more power efficient which means longer battery life. So if you does not aim for some hardcore gaming you will be ok with it.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand is running the latest Android OS Jelly Bean with a touchwiz makeover which means some great andvanced features software wise. The Build quality is not bad and the the battery backup is great. Let's talk about the design of the galaxy Grand.

The Design

TAs we told you before The Galaxy Grand DUOS looks like a smaller Note II and a bigger Galaxy SIII. The design looks more like Samsung Galaxy Note II because of the tapered back and the metal rim on the sides it is quite comfortable to hold with one hand despite the big size. However you cannot operate it with just your thumb. The phone weighs 162 grams which does not feel heavy considering the 5 inch big display. The first generation galaxy note weighs 178g, The device is only 9.6 mm thin which leave a good number of smartphones behind in this fielld.

The are are three buttons at the front, A hardware home button in the middle accompanied by two capacitive function keys. The keys are designed and spaced beautifuly to make confortable operation

Above the screen are a couple of sensors, an ear piece and a 2 MP front camera for video calling.

samsung-galaxy-grand-front-camera

On the top of the phone there is a 3.75 mm audio jack.

samsung-galaxy-grand-top

On the bottom of the phone there is a mouthpiece and a micro usb port, the micro usb port can also be used as an HD video out and multi-channel audio output.

samsung-galaxy-grand-bottom

There is no camera button on the phone, The volume rocker resides on the left side while on the right side of the phone there is  a power button

At the back of the phone there is an 8 MP camera, single LED flash and a speaker grill for audio output.

samsung-galaxy-grand-back-camera

The back cover is removable, Below the cover you will find two sim cards slots, and 2100 mAh battery and a memory card slot.

Display

The scrren has an advantange and a disadvantage. The advantage is that it has a 5" large display and the disadvantage is that the resolution is very low with respect to the size of the screen. It has a 480 x 800 resolution which makes roughly 187 ppi which means low picture quality. Don't loose your heart though. The display may not be sharp, but the contrast, colors and viewing angles are pretty good and it's a mid range tablet. There one concern more though and that is the visibilty in direct sunlight. You find yourself a little strugling reading on the Galaxy Grand in direct sunlight.

If you don't care about the ppi much you should go for the Galaxy Grand, if you want a better display Samsung Galaxy S2 plus may be a better choice for you.Battery Performance

samsung-galaxy-grand-display

The battery performance on the Samsung Galaxy Grand is pretty impressive. It has a 2100 mAh battery. And on dual sim mode it managed to last for 56 hour while used an hour for phone calls, an hour of video playback and an hour of web browsing per day. On non stop browsing, non stop video playback and non stop phone calls, it managed to last for 07:05 h, 08:11 h, and 12:00 h respectively.

User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy Grand comes with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box having Samsung's latest TouchWiz Launcher at top of it, called as Nature UX. The user interface of Samsung Galaxy Grand is pretty Similar to that of Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

There is a standard unlock screen which can be unlocked by tap and drag in any direction. When you tap on the screen, a beautiful water ripple is produced with a beautiful water drop sound. You can unlock the screen through different procedures like motion, face unlock, voice unlock etc.

There are FIve native shortcuts on the dock at the bottom. The right most is the App Drawer button while the others can be replaced by any App you want.

Notificaitons Area

As you can expect from a phone having a TouchWiz interface, The Samsung Galaxy Grand has a pretty rich notifications bar like many Samsung phones running TouchWiz UI. There are a lot of shorcuts at the top of the notifications bar for various settings. There are some connectivity shortcuts to easily and quickly turn certain connectivity turn on or off. Below the quick toggles there is a another nice tool, " the brightness control", you can minimize and maximize the brightness from the notifications area. there is also a powersave checkbox. There is also a shortcut to the settings. Where you can quickly jump to alter certains settings.

samsung-galaxy-grand-notifications

Jelly Bean supports expandable notifications, you can expand the notifications with a two fingers swipe.

The App Drawer

The App Drawer has three view modes. You can either choose a customizable grid (where you can freely rearrange apps according to your taste), An alphabetical grid ( which obviously arranges the apps in alphabetical order) and Alphabetical list. You can also view the downloaded apps by hitting the Downloaded Apps button. There is a widgets tab at the top as seen on all Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean devices. The widgets are resizable and will ajust itseft according to the space. Overall the The Nature UI on Samsung Galaxy Grand is great and does almost all the stuff other Samsung high end devices does with the Nature UI.

app-drawergalaxy-grand-app-drawer-image

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Grand is powered by a Broadcom chipset with two Cortex-A9 processor cores clocked at 1.2 GHz, the VideoCore IV HW GPU and 1 GB of RAM. It is not a power beast but it run Android Jelly Bean without any struggle.

Below we have some benchmark results for samsung galaxy Grand

 

Benchmark Pi

On Benchmark Pi Samsung Galaxy Grand falls just behind Samsung Galaxy SII Plus. It beats Samsung Galaxy S3 mini with a small margin

Lower is better

 

Quadrant

Samsung galaxy grand beat Samsung Galaxy SII Plus on Quadrant test with a very small margin.

Higher is Better

 

AnTuTu

Samsung Galaxy Grand failed badly on AnTuTu benchmark where it scored just behind Xcover 2, It should be noted that AnTuTu tests cpu and gpu alike.

Higher is better

samsung-galaxy-grand-antutu-benchmark-result

 

Epic Citadel

Samsung Galaxy Grand was impressive on Epic Citadel test. It's important to note that Epic Citadel renders graphics at the device's native resolution. So when comparing the Grand's 51.8 frames per second and the Xperia Z's 55.6 fps, keep in mind that the Xperia pushes 55 fps on a 1080p playing field whereas the Grand does so on a much less impressive WVGA.Higher is better

 

SunSpider

To Test the Javascript Performance of Samsung Galaxy Grand we have a result of SunSpider Benchmark in front of us. As you can see from the graph Samsung Galaxy Grand beats most of its competitors. 

Higher is Better

samsung-galaxy-grand-sun-spider-benchmark-result

 

 

Phone Book

The phonebook packs a wide range of features and  unlimited storage capacity. There are four tabs on top which includes the Phone app, Groups, Favorites and Contacts.There are various options to filter contacts by phone numbers, groups and multiple sorting. You can import/export contacts to/from the SIM card but you can't display them alongside the phone memory entries.

Samsung has include swipe control in the phonebook, which enables you to quick dial (right swipe) or send a text message (left swipe). There is also a quick contacts features, displaying, upon a tap of the contact picture, a pop up menu with shortcuts to call, text, email or Google Talk.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Contacts  galaxy grand contacts 2  galaxy grand contact detail

Dual Sim Dialing

The Samsung Galaxy Grand has a dedicated SIM Manager which allows you to configure calls and data handling on both cards. But, SIM cards on the Grand are not hot-swappable, so a reboot is always required when changing cards which is a shame.

 

Whenever you insert a new SIM card and power the device on, an interface appears which allows you to rename and even change the icon to easily identify different SIMs. This interface is accessable at any time from the settings menu.

galaxy grand dual card settings  galaxy grand dual card settings  galaxy grand dual sim card settings

The Samsung Galaxy Grand remembers the settings for any SIM you customize, which is great if you've got more than two SIM cards. Both SIM Cards on Galaxy Grand works simultaneously, so you can receive a call on one SIM even while you are on a call with the other. What happens is that calls from your other SIM are forwarded to your currently active SIM's network, which you can put on hold to answer however, it might cost you some network charges. You can put the two calls on and off hold.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Comes with a 8 MP Main camera at the back along with a single LED Flash.The camera interface on Samsung Galaxy Grand is the same as Samsung's Flagship device Samsung Galaxy S3. On the left there are Five buttons out of which four you can use as a shortcut to any camera feature while the fifth button is reserved for the settings menu.

The Camera on Samsung Galaxy Grand has a wide range of features:such as,touch focus, smile shot, continuous shot, panorama and can snap photos during video recording (but at only 720p resolution, basically a frame from the video). The Camera may been much more capable it it has A HDR mode.

Leaving the HDR mode a side the overall camera quality is great and almost identical to Galaxy S3. The colors are great and provides a good level of detail.

The interface of the Video recorder is the same as still shooter. The same customizable shortcuts on the left side. The Samsung Galaxy Grand records videos in 1080p resolution at 30 frames per seconds. The videos are smoother than most of the 1080p video recorders on smartphones. however the colors are a little bit over blown.

You can download the video sample form here

 

 

 

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