Mobiles & Tablets

Starlet in the Galaxy lineup

Mahananda Bohidar | Updated on February 13, 2014

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An upgrade to the super popular Samsung Galaxy Grand is here. But, is it tempting enough for us to want to buy it?



In more ways than one, Samsung seems to be the exact opposite of a company like Apple. But I’ll pick on one specific aspect for now. Apple is known to launch exactly one iPhone every year since its inception in 2007, with the exception of 2013 when it introduced both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. That, I’m presuming, is a whole lot of phone for Apple. Samsung on the other hand, while following the same pattern of upgrading an existing model every year, somehow ends up launching more phones than you can count on one hand every year. Some consumers find it confusing, but I’m guessing most others enjoy having a panoply of models to choose from.

One of the most popular handsets from Samsung launched last year, the Galaxy Grand Duos, has just been upgraded, and we tried it out to see whether it’s significant bump up.

At first look, it’s very difficult to distinguish between the older Grand Duos and the Grand Duos 2. The profile is pretty much the same, with maybe a couple of millimetres shaved off the new smartphone. The back panel that houses the battery as well as the dual-SIM card slot, on the other hand, looks exactly like the rear of the Galaxy Note 3. It has the same leather-like plastic back panel.



Mutimedia

The screen size is the same for all practical purposes – a 5 mm increase hardly counts as significant by any measure. So, you have the same 5-inch screen to do all your web browsing and movie bingeing on. Only this time, everything is better defined with a full-HD display, which the earlier Grand Duos lacked. A high-res display coupled with a decently-sized screen makes the Grand Duos 2 a delight to read on. I could easily read back-to-back features that I’d saved on my Pocket reading app, without wanting to put the phone down.

The rear camera on the Galaxy Grand 2 is an 8-megapixel one which gave us results as decent as we had on the Grand (same camera). The pics are reasonably clear and grain-free and you get the best shots only in well-lit conditions. The Grand 2 however comes with a 1.9MP HD Front Camera which is good news for all the compulsive selfie snappers. When you turn the front cam on, it automatically switches to Beauty Mode and I for one am not complaining about the results.



Performance

If you’re keeping an eye on the power specs, the Galaxy Grand 2 is powered by a 1.2 Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (same as the Grand) but has been upgraded to a 1.5 GB RAM. While this time around we didn’t notice any significant lag, there were times where the smarpthone would take a couple of seconds to execute a function. This happened rarely enough for us not to be seriously worried about the phone’s performance. On our usual Quadrant Standard test, the Grand 2 clocked in at 7,768 points hovering above the likes of LG Optimus G and the HTC One X+.

We weren’t too happy about the battery life on the Grand Duos but its successor is an improvement. The capacity has been increased to 2,600 mAh and we used the smartphone for a full working day and a little more before it gave out.



Final Word

If you’re going in for your first smartphone or upgrading from a budget smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 might seem appealing. But as a successor to the Grand, the Grand 2 doesn’t bring in enough upgrades to the table to convince customers to make the switch.

[ Love - Good screen, decent camera, battery life

] Hate – Predictable design, occasional lags

Published on February 12, 2014

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