Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos, the mid-range wannabe phablet from the South Korean multinational conglomerate company. Priced at 21,500 INR the smart phone features a dual-core processor with a gig of RAM and eight gigs of internal memory running Android on a five inch display. The device has been in the news before its launch since December last year because of its low cost factor. But we think it is a little less for the price. Want to know why? Let’s look at the complete review below.
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos comes in a retail package which have been seen earlier kinda like what it was with the Galaxy R. The retail package consists of the USB power adapter, one USB cable which serves both for charging and syncronisation, the earbuds with 3 adjustable options, the handset obviously and the 2100 mAH battery. Along with this there is a free complementory flip cover worth Rs. 1000 with this.
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos meaures 143.5 x 76.9 x 9.6 mm (5.65 x 3.03 x 0.38 in) in dimensions and 162 gms in weight. Unsurprisingly the Grand Duos has a plasticky build alike every other Samsung smart phone. Samsung surely loves the silver lining on the edges no matter if it’s plastic or metal. The same can be found on this device too. I must say the back cover feels stronger when compared with that of SIII’s in terms of strength.
On the front, starting from the top we have the earpiece along with the proximity sensor, secondary camera and Samsung and Duos branding just below. Then the 5-inch display and two capacitive buttons and a typical center button as seen on every Samsung device just beneath the screen.
At the back we have the 8 megapixel camera in the center, the loudspeaker grill and LED flash on other side.
The 3.5mm audio output jack and the micro-usb port along with microphone is observed on top and bottom edges respectively.
The left edge houses the volume rockr whereas the power/standby button is on the right.
Taking hardware into consideration, the dual sim smart phone packs a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM (out of which 800 mb is available for use) which is capable to do most of tasks one expects from an Android. Though the device has 8GB inbuilt memory but it eventually comes out to be 3.74 GB for actual usage. We tried playing NFS Most Wanted and we were quite impressed with the gameplay. We will be uploading a gameplay video soon so that you can see it yourself. The only problem we faced after installing the game was with the memory left. This can be resolved by using the external memory card option and Android hacks to load the game on microSD card – the power of Android, eh?
The 5-inch LCD screen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution around ~187 ppi pixel density is the only con according to us in this device. The display uses the technology which makes this device usable else I too don’t know how anyone could bear with this resolution.
Though it supports two SIM card at a time it does not mean that you can receive calls from both of them at the same time. Suppose when SIM 1 is engaged with a call and there’s a call on SIM 2 it will show on the device but actually it has been forwarded to SIM 1 which if received will eventually end up being charged as call forwarding service is not free and secondly one sim supports data services at a time which is pretty obvious and self explainatory but the good part is that both SIM 1 and SIM 2 support data services.
Other connectivity options include HSDPA 21 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band with Wi-Fi hotspot facility, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, LE and EDR and microUSB v2.0. We found the WiFi adapter on this device to be weak as compared to that of Note II and SIII. It loses connection up to a range where some of the other smart phones work at ease, which we found to be a drawback for the device.
The 2100 mAH battery drives it for a day, nothing special. The battery standby time may differ according to the usage. In our testing period we used pretty much every aspect of the device and it successfully ran for a day.
Below are the benchmark results from various application available on the Play Store.
The 8 meagpixel CMOS sensor rear camera clicks decent pictures in daylight. Even in low-light, the pictures are not that bad. It has couple of shooting modes such as panorama, burst shot etc. Obviously we aren’t expecting this to compete with Lumia 920. The front-facing 2 megapixel CMOS sensor camera is also good enough for video-chat and calling etc.
The 8MP camera can shoot videos upto 1080p @30fps. By default it shoots in 720p but it can be changed to full HD that is 1080p.
Here is a sample video and few clicks in low-light and daylight
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos runs on Android 4.1.2 as the mobile operating system with TouchWiz UI and made for humans UX alike what we saw on Galaxy SIII. The touchwiz UI works pretty smooth because of the project butter that is the Jelly Bean. Some of the applications like S-Suggest, S-Voice, S-Planner etc are bundled along with the usual phone dialer, messaging, contacts etc. Flipboard, Google Maps, Google+, Play Music are also included.
One of the unique application for Dual SIM smart phones is the SIM card manager. The SIM card manager is the tool to manage dual SIM card activities such as data services, call forwarding to other number and receiving calls from both the SIM.
Here are few screenshots attached which will give you a basic idea of how it the operating system looks.
We have tested the Galaxy Grand for a month before writing this review, thanks to Samsung for the review unit. Our final verdict – Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos is the budget wannabe phablet having decent specifications. That pretty much summarizes it all.
We were quite impressed with its hardware performance. The gaming experience was too good. As mentioned above the display is the only cons for the device but the TFT technology makes it bearable for those who were not into Super AMOLED’s or any high res earlier. The 5-inch is the upper limit for the screen size of a smart phone. Anything beyond this would have taken it to the phablet category. Thereby agreeing with our fact “the wannabe phablet”.
Galaxy Grand Duos is flying in the markets even with this price tag and will continue to do so because its Samsung. Hope that Samsung continues to support this product in future for the growing user base and hope even developers at XDA gain some interests into its development.
[easyreview title=”Install or Not Scorecard” cat1title=”Hardware” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Performance” cat2detail=”” cat2rating=”4.0″ cat3title=”Design” cat3detail=”” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Value for money” cat4detail=”” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=””]