Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 review: Double vision

GSMArena team, 07 March 2014.
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Introduction

The Samsung Galaxy Grand was the big-screened Samsung phone for the masses last season - and one that conveniently offered an extra SIM slot. It didn't go as far as the Galaxy Mega pair, stopping instead at 5-inches sharp of screen diagonal. This year, the Galaxy Grand 2 needs to be better in every way to get the attention of those who like their phones with big screens and decent price tags.

And, by the looks of it, it does - only topped by the latest flagships in our popularity chart. The Grand 2 improves on every bit that counts. It comes with a bigger 5.25" display without adding too much body fat - this year's model is just slightly taller. The bezels have been slimmed down and the resolution has gone up from WVGA (480 x 800) to 720p, resulting in a pixel density of the much more pleasing 280ppi (over 187ppi in the original).

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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

The design has been greatly improved as well: in comes the faux stitched leather at the back, out with the gloss of the older generation. The camera remains the same but processing is more robust, ditching the Broadcom dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU for a quad-core Cortex-A7 made by Qualcomm.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band 3G with HSPA, LTE
  • Optional dual-SIM
  • 5.25" 16M-color 720p capacitive touchscreen; 280ppi
  • Android OS v4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU; Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording @ 30fps
  • 1.9MP front-facing camera
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wireless Hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 8GB of built-in storage
  • microSD card slot
  • microUSB v2.0
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Stereo FM radio
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • 2,600mAh battery; user replaceable

Main disadvantages

  • Only 5GB of inbuilt storage available to user out of box
  • No KitKat at launch
  • Overly reflective screen with poor sunlight legibility

Then there's the battery, which is probably the best improvement of all - going from 2,100mAh to 2,600mAh, which should help make up for the larger, higher-res screen and the quad-core.

As for the equally important issue of price - the Galaxy Grand 2 isn't priced too high, starting at around 250, while the Grand currently costs around 160. There's also a dual-SIM version - in fact the one we're reviewing is carrying the Duos label.

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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 live pictures

Without doubt, Samsung has done a good job of making a credible package even more desirable. This is by no means a single pony race though, the Android landscape full of potential competitors, especially in this price range. Sony has contenders of its own and HTC will want to have a say too, while Samsung itself offers plenty of choice.

The Galaxy Grand 2 seems to have what it takes to stand out but we do need a closer look before any judgment is passed. Might as well start right away, the next page deals with the design and build.

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Reviews > Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 review: Double vision