Samsung has managed to bring up quite a challenger in the mid-range segment, Galaxy Grand with dual sim support and some premium functionalities. Though the earlier grand was very successful, it also received criticism about the display. Samsung this time launched Grand 2 with 720p display and a quad core processor and a decent spec sheet showing some improvement over the earlier grand. Let us see what it has got to take out the competition and where it ends up in the segment.
Design & Display:
The phone looks similar to most of the traditional Samsung phones and doesn’t have anything new to offer when it comes to looks except for the backpanel. The backpanel is the same leather like texture seen in Note 3; it adds a better look and also offers a good grip. However build quality is well improved than the original Grand and the phone is also slimmer. Further, the phone is quite bigger in size compared to the other smartphones in the segment and this could be an advantage or a disadvantage based on your choice. The phone has a 5.2 inch 720p display with 280 ppi compared to the 5 inch screen with mediocre screen quality in the earlier Grand. But this is not the AMOLED display we see in premium Samsung phones, but a TFT display. However the quality of the display is quite decent and viewing angles are pretty wide. Even the colors look quite natural and sharp compared to the other phones in the segment with a TFT display.
The device comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz sitting on top of it. Users can also upgrade to 4.4.2 KitKat via software update. Samsung has put a lot of tweaks, apps and included various options for customization and TouchWiz seems improved well from its predecessor. Most of the UI including widgets, icons, homescreen setup and notification panel seems quite similar to the ones we have seen in S4 and Note 3. So if you’ve seen the interface in those phones, this one wouldn’t make much difference. Overall the UI is buttery smooth and we hardly noticed any lags at all.
The device comes with an 8 MP Auto focus camera with LED flash at the back and a 1.9MP cam at the front. The camera interface is pretty neat and in this case too, it is similar to the ones we have seen in S4 and Note 3. Focusing is not as good as expected but shutter lag is minimal. Image quality is quite decent and the camera managed to take some good pictures in day light. There is plenty of detail in the images captured and the colors look natural and crisp as well. But when it comes to lowlight photography, the same performance is not observed; the low light images looked quite dull with a bit of noise. Samsung has loaded a bunch of scene modes, options and tweaks to experiment on the picture. The loudspeaker present at the back is not as loud as expected but the output with headphones is much better.
Connectivity & Additional features:
The device supports dual sim – dual standby feature where in you can use two micro sim cards. Network reception is good and we didn’t face any issues with call clarity but the loudspeaker could have been a bit more louder. The device also supports Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, FM Radio and GPS. Internal memory is of 8GB out of which we only get around 5GB. However the device also supports micro SD cards upto 64GB, so storage space shouldn’t be an issue.
Performance & Battery:
The device runs on Snapdragon 400 quad core processor at 1.2 GHz along with 1.5GB RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. The performance is quite impressive and we didn’t see any sluggishness while operating. Most of the heavy apps ran well even with multi-tasking. Gaming performance is also good and heavy games like Asphalt 8 didn’t show much lag and the game play is pretty smooth. The device scored well in the benchmark tests with around 17k in Antutu and 8.5k in Quadrant. Battery capacity is of 2600 mAh, which easily lasts more than a day under normal usage. Even with rigorous gaming, the battery stayed enough time while beating most of its competitors. Battery is another plus point for Grand 2.
Decent battery life
Same old traditional Samsung design
Slightly reflective screen
Less inbuilt storage
Rivals offer similar hardware and performance at lesser price
So far, the Grand 2 is quite an impressive improvement over the original Grand and it has a lot of plus points to attract you. Ofcourse the rivals offers almost similar performance to Grand 2 and they are a bit cheaper. However, they don’t possess such a big screen as that of Grand 2. Moto G, Xiaomi Mi3 (if you can get it!) offer the same experience as that of Grand 2 for a considerable lower price. Anyway, if you’re okay with the shortcomings of Grand 2 and if you’re looking for a bigger screen mobile, Grand 2 makes a good choice and you won’t be disappointed with it.