Galaxy Grand was a runaway success for Samsung. Although Samsung doesn’t provide sales number of its devices, Galaxy Grand sold in decent numbers in the Indian market, thanks to constant push from Samsung through discounts and schemes. Galaxy Grand 2 was announced late last year and India is one of the first countries to get the latest mid-range device. But can it replicate the success of its predecessor? We take a look.
Here’s the video review of the Galaxy Grand 2 or you can read the rest of the review below.
Samsung follows the same design language for all its devices after the launch of its flagship device. And since the Galaxy Grand 2 came after the Galaxy Note 3, it follows the design of the top-end Samsung device.
On the front, you’ll find a large display along with the earpiece, sensors and front-facing camera while two capacitive menu and back buttons and a physical home button at the bottom. The right side has a power/lock button, left hand side has the volume rocker button while the top features a 3.5mm headphone jack and bottom, a microUSB port and microphone. The 8MP camera, LED flash and loudspeaker are placed at the back.
The back however, features one major change. It also has a Galaxy Note 3-like faux leather battery cover along with the stitch design. The design certainly gives a premium look compared to the plastic back that Samsung integrates in many of its devices. However, the one thing that could work against the new back cover is the possibility of attracting dirt, especially with a white cover.
Overall, the design is a bit refreshing considering the all-plastic criticism that Samsung generally gets.
Hardware and Performance:
Samsung has upgraded quite a few things in the hardware department. First and foremost is the display that has got bigger in size and resolution. Compared to Galaxy Grand’s 5-inch WVGA 800×480 display, the Galaxy Grand 2 comes with a 5.25-inch display and a 720p (1280×720) resolution. The screen is TFT LCD, which understandably isn’t as superior as AMOLED but the screen on Galaxy Grand 2 is bright and legible under direct sunlight. The viewing angle however, is average.
The processor and RAM have also got the bump, which is now a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB RAM. Samsung had gone with a Broadcom dual-core Cortex-A9 processor in the original Galaxy Grand but this time, they’ve opted for a Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) quad-core Cortex-A7. The extra 512MB RAM also makes a difference as the CPU combined with the memory makes TouchWiz run smoothly.
On the camera side, it has an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9 megapixel on the front. Both cameras support HD video recording (1080p at the back and up to 720p on the front) and supports variety of camera modes like Continuous shot, Best Photo, Beauty face, Sound & shot, HDR, Panorama, Sports, Night and camera filters.
As for the camera quality, we would say it’s fairly decent in well lit areas but noise is quite evident in inadequate lighting scenarios.
|Galaxy Grand 2 Sample Shots|
Galaxy Grand 2 supports dual-SIM Always On connectivity with the first one supporting 3G and the second one supporting EDGE/2G. The call quality is pretty good and users can even use Sound Adapt for an improved audio experience during calls.
The Galaxy Grand 2 comes with Android 4.3 out of the box and runs Samsung’s customised user interface, better known as TouchWiz. There’s not much to talk about TouchWiz since it’s at par with the TouchWiz found on other Android 4.3 running devices but the Galaxy Grand 2 comes with enhancements found only on few Samsung devices.
First is the My Magazine app that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy Note 3. The tile-based interface of the app looks heavy but Samsung has done good work to optimise it for Galaxy Grand’s processing prowess. A swipe up from the bottom will start My Magazine which the user can use to check out news according to his interest, social media feeds and even content pulled from the phone’s Gallery, S Planner, Story Album etc. My Magazine also features a dropdown sidebar at the right that enables quick access to common functions like Calls, Camera, Messages, Google Now, Browser and App Drawer.
Another software improvisation in the Galaxy Grand 2 is the new Multi Window. The new Multi Window was also introduced in the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Grand 2 is the second smartphone from Samsung to feature it. The difference between the original and the new Multi Window is that the latter one allows to create two instances of the same app. This however, isn’t supported by many apps. The Multi Window also allows scrolling through multiple windows and even create a pair of windows so for instance, you can create a pair of Chrome and Whatsapp apps to be opened simultaneously.
Exclusive to Indian Galaxy Grand 2 is the Club Samsung app. The app is downloadable from Samsung Apps and features a single repository giving access to around half a million songs, 5000 movies, music gigs and mobile TV channels.
Club Samsung’s unique feature however, is the Discovery mode, which is a recommendation algorithm that automatically shows the content based on the mood, language, geolocation etc. All content on Club Samsung is free for three months.
Rounding off the software set is Samsung’s S Translator, Samsung Hub, Samsung Link, Story Album, Group Play, S Travel, Smart Stay.
Galaxy Grand 2 features a 2600mAh battery and though every user’s usage will vary, with an average use with calls, Wi-Fi, bit of music and videos, Galaxy Grand 2 can easily stretch to more than a day. Having two SIMs understandably will reduce the battery life further.
There’s little to complain about the device. It’s smooth, features a premium look and runs Android 4.3 along with some software enhancements on top. But the issue we feel with the device is the price. It’s priced at Rs. 22,999 on the official Samsung India store and though Galaxy Grand started selling at around the same price a year back, the market scenario during Galaxy Grand was totally different. Given how price sensitive consumers are in this segment, shaving off few thousand rupees could really bolster the second iteration of Galaxy Grand.