For its price, the first Samsung Galaxy Grand was a disappointment given its low-resolution screen without scratch-resistant glass, an underwhelming processor, and poor battery life. Can its successor bring some success?
Quick Tech Specs: 5.2-inch display (1280×720 pixels, 280 ppi) | 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor | 1.5GB RAM | 8GB storage + microSD slot (up to 64GB) | 8MP rear camera (1080p FullHD video), 1.9MP front camera (1080p FullHD video) | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Di, Bluetooth 4.0 | GPS with A-GPS | 2600mAh battery | Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
Design: Samsung has managed to fit a slightly larger screen in the Galaxy Grand 2 while maintaining the same overall profile as the original Galaxy Grand. That extra screen space isn’t immediately noticeable, but the smaller bezels do look good. The disappointment is that it’s gone back to the “plastic-y” roots. With the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung introduced a new faux leather finish on the back that makes the phones feel a bit premium. And while the Grand 2 looks the same from a distance, it doesn’t feel like leather at all—it’s just textured plastic. The only thing in it’s favour is that it’s matte and not glossy plastic.
Screen: The 5.2-inch screen of the Grand 2 sports 1280×720 pixels or HD resolution. Now, there are plenty of screens at this size and price which boast FullHD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution, but in my opinion, HD is good enough. While there is an easily noticeable difference between the 800×480 px resolution of Grand and the HD screen of the Grand 2, that’s not the case when it comes to the Grand 2 and other screens with a FullHD display. That said, there is one disappointing aspect of the Grand 2—extremely poor sunlight legibility. Also, Corning does not list the Grand 2 among the devices with a Gorilla Glass surface. However, there is definitely some sort of scratch-resistant glass on the device (perhaps the less common Dragontail) and it did a good job of protecting the screen in our tests, which included a drop and carrying it in pockets with keys and open pen drives.
Performance: In a significant step up from its predecessor, the Galaxy Grand 2’s processor and RAM have been boosted for performance that won’t leave you wanting in any aspect. The device received an update in the middle of our review process. Before the update, it would lag at times and be sluggish when multi-tasking between heavy apps. After the update, it’s been buttery smooth and will serve any power user well.
Memory: The 8GB of internal memory takes up about 2.4GB for preloaded apps and the TouchWiz UI, but the rest is still available to you. And you can pop in a microSD card continued…