If I could I wouldn’t even own the only smartphone I do. The incessant need to be in touch, obsessesively checking for emails, Facebook status updates and new tweets just gets to me after a point. However, the only people who possibly have a harder time than I do are those who can’t help but juggle between two numbers. It’s one of the simplest tricks in the book to demarcate your personal and professional lives, digitally. And it almost always entails carrying two phones around, using only the GPRS on one, connecting via Wi-Fi on another and making sure both are fully charged every time you travel. What’s worse, more and more people find themselves falling prey to this double trouble by the day. So to make things simpler, a couple of tech companies have been introducing dual-SIM phone into the market. Earlier your options would have been limited to budget dual-SIM phones by the likes of Nokia and Samsung, restricted screen size and specs. But one of the recent launches offers something more than just a squint-to-see screen and a sub-standard camera. We’re talking about the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos.

Experience

For a mid-range phone, the Galaxy Grand Duos sports a massive screen, about 5 inches wide. Needless to say, this offers ample space for browsing the web and reading e-books on the smartphone. The all-white plastic body adorning the Grand Duos is quintessentially Samsung, and as always we were a little worried about how fragile it feels in the hand. The dual-SIM card slots are placed on opposite ends of the battery in the back panel. The smartphone barely took any time to register both SIMS cards once slotted in.

The handset is the equivalent of a dual-SIM active phone, which basically means you can receive calls on either number at any given point in time. You don’t have to manually switch between the two to use the numbers. However, when it comes to using the mobile internet network, you’ll have to choose one and activate it.

In case you’re on a holiday or spending a weekend away, you have the option of switching off one of the two SIMs that you have loaded on to your phone.

The sync feature on the Galaxy Grand Duos works deeply, connecting Facebook and both your SIM cards when it comes to contacts. So basically, your Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook contacts can all be merged into one entry. You can merge up to five contacts together to make sure there are no unnecessary repeats on your list. Clicking on any name, gives you the option on calling, SMSing or video-calling that person. So, those used to one-touch calling will have to get used to always picking from these options, whenever they want to get in touch with someone.

The only problem I faced with the handset was that at times it would slow down while switching between applications or for example launching the camera app right after I was browsing the web. Apart from these slight delays, there seemed to be no problems whatsoever in running various apps. We tried applications ranging from the Simpsons’ starrer game Tapped Out to Flipboard and Instagram everyday and in about a week, the handset froze on us about 2-3 times.

The camera on the Galaxy Grand Duos is a 8-megger which gave us pretty decent results most of the time. Pics snapped outdoors or in otherwise well-lit conditions turned out to be the best.

The call quality on the smartphone was never an issue. While in crowded or noisy spaces, I could switch on the volume booster option to hear the person at the end of the line better.

Verdict

With the Galaxy Grand Duos, Samsung tries to pack in features – such as a better camera, bigger screen, and faster processor – that you would otherwise find only on higher-end smartphones. For those who really need the convenience of one device while still using two numbers, this is a pretty decent option to go for, despite the occasional lags.

Rs 21,500

Love – Big, vivid screen, call quality

Hate – Battery life, occasional lags

mahananda.bohidar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 12, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.