Sunday, May 12, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos Review

Latest review: Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos

Samsung Galaxy Grand is a mid-range smartphone with high-end ambitions. Its 5-inch screen and Galaxy Note-like aesthetic gives it premium looks. The smartphones packs in lots of good features – like a better camera, bigger screen, and faster processor –for those who really need the convenience of one device while still using two numbers.

In samsung Grand you also get multi-window, Pop-up play, Smart Stay, S Voice and gesture features just like on any other high-end smartphones. There is a 2MP front facing camera along with an 8MP rear camera onboard. It also has Android Jelly Bean operating system onboard along with a dual-core processor and a 2100 mAh battery. Let’s take a detailed review of the phone’s specifications:


In terms of build quality, Samsung never leaves any room for complaint. The Samsung Galaxy Grand has a shiny body, which adds to its look and is not too slippery either. There is a solid metal strip, which surrounds the phone on all sides and can easily withstand a few falls. The back panel is a bit plasticky, and that made me nervous sometimes while opening it to insert my SIM cards. It is so thin that it feels like it might break.

There is no gap between the back panel and the inner hardware, which makes the device solid. At 161 grams, it feels a bit heavy. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Grand is just 9.6 mm thin, but it does not feel like that. All in all, it is a decent device vis-à-vis build quality and looks. The placement of the volume rocker (on the top left side), the power button (on the right hand top), a 3.5 mm jack and micro USB port (both on the top) are well planned.


The Samsung Galaxy Grand has a 5 inch screen similar to the Micromax Canvas HD. However, it has only 480 x 800 (WVGA) pixel resolution against 1280 x 720 pixel resolution of the Micromax handset. The figures are definitely against the Galaxy Grand. However, in actual life, the results are completely in favour of the device. I had reviewed the Canvas HD as well, which you can read here. 

However, pictures and videos were just so amazing on the Galaxy Grand that we forgot that it has only WVGA resolution. In some instances, we found the Galaxy Grand's display even better than the Canvas HD's screen. The touchscreen of Galaxy Grand operated flawlessly.

User Interface
This is where the Samsung Galaxy Grand beats all its competitors hands down. I would not hesitate to name it the junior Galaxy SIII as it has many features of the latter. As you turn on the power, you can see the notification bar on the top, which you can pull down to make adjustments without even unlocking the handset. There are three shortcut menus on the screen as well, to which you can go directly as you unlock the phone. You can change the shortcut menus from the settings page but you can keep a maximum of three shortcut menus. You can also keep news and weather bars on the lock screen, so you don't have to lock the phone to check them. There are several screen lock options as well. Unlike many other devices, its face unlock feature also works great and recognizes even in low light.

The settings menu can be accessed from the notification bar of from the capacitive buttons, which are situated just below the screen. Anyway, there is a settings app, which you can place on the home page itself. There are several innovative features in the Galaxy Grand like Blocking mode, which you can activate to block all incoming notifications and calls while making a few exceptions. You can also set the time during which this blocking mode will be activated. There is a Multi Window feature as well, which brings a notification bar like thing on the left hand side, that you can use to access various apps like Gmail, message, Gallery and Facebook while doing any other task, including gaming. It also has the famous Video Pop up, S Voice and Stay Awake features. All in all, the Galaxy Grand is a well equipped handset and can be said to be the most user friendly phone in this price category.

The Galaxy Grand comes with an 8 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera. There is an LED flash beside the rear camera. The 8 megapixel camera can record 1920 x 1080 pixel video at 30 frames per second. 

We have no qualms whatsoever regarding the camera of the Samsung Galaxy Grand. The rear camera is exceptional at close quarters as it has a good ability to focus. You just need to touch the area you need to focus on and the camera will do the rest. Colours are reproduced as they are. The darker areas seem to be even more dark, but that could be changed a bit if you increase the exposure.

Samsung Galaxy Grand has a normal 2100 mAh battery, which, officially, provides 610 minutes (10 hours) of talktime over 2G/3G networks; while the standby time is 440 hours. It gets charged fully from scratch within one hour, but can hold on to that charge for a very long time. Unlike any other smartphone, we had kept the WiFi hotspot on for around 4 hours and played games for another 45 minutes. 

Still the phone lasted for another 12 hours. This is incredible for a smartphone. With normal usage, involving 2-3 hours of music, an hour of WiFi/mobile data usage and another hour of gaming, the Galaxy Grand can hold on to the charge comfortably for a day or more.

The Galaxy Grand has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, which is supported by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and 1 GB RAM. The combination is decent but not ultimate. The phone managed to play games easily, and without much hiccup, but if you open 2-3 apps at a time, then the phone shows some sluggishness, which should not happen considering that it has a 1 GB RAM. We did not face the same situation in Canvas HD, but if you keep a tab on running applications, and close them when they are not in use, then you won't feel a pinch at all.


There is 8 GB internal storage in the Galaxy Grand, which also has a slot for up to a 64 GB micro SD card. Out of 8 GB around 4 GB is available for storage. Hence, we give full marks to the Samsung Galaxy Grand vis-à-vis storage facility.


In terms of connectivity, too, Samsung Galaxy Grand has many options. Not only does it come with dual SIM facility, it has micro USB 2.0, WiFi with hotspot capability, WiFi Direct, and Bluetooth. It has A-GPS and Glonass support too. Besides, the phone has an accelerometer, and geo-magnetic, gyro and proximity sensors.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand is a well-equipped handset and is perhaps among the few at this price range that look complete with all requisite features. It is impressive with its user interface and battery life, while its display and camera quality were also good. There is enough storage in the Galaxy Grand; its performance is good, but not extraordinary. Although for Rs 20,000 there are many good handsets available in the market. For instance, the LG Optimus Vu, which comes with a 1.5 GHz quad core processor. You can also consider the Sony Xperia P and LG Optimus L9, which are available for a couple of thousands less than Galaxy Grand, but have almost the same features. There is of course the Micromax Canvas HD, which is good, but is currently not available in the market.

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