Samsung Galaxy Grand I9082 review: GrandisSIMo

GSMArena team, 5 March 2013.
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Unboxing the Galaxy Grand

The Galaxy Grand has the very basic set of accessories in the box. You'll find Samsung's white pair of stereo headphones, a microUSB cable and an AC adapter.

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Galaxy Grand's retail package

Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand 360-degree spin

The Samsung Galaxy Grand size is about halfway between the original Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S III. To silence potential alarm bells, we'd go ahead and say that the Grand feels decisively more comfortable in-hand than the first-gen Samsung phablet, and we're happy that Samsung managed to keep the thickness below 10mm.

The smartphone tips the scales at 162g, which is more than reasonable for a device this size: 143.5 x 76.9 x 9.6mm. The first generation of the Galaxy Note weighs 178g.

Design and build quality

The design is - unsurprisingly - influenced by the Galaxy S III, and the similarly sized screen means you will have a hard time telling the Grand apart from the smartphone flagship from a distance.

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The Galaxy Grand next to the Galaxy Note

The Galaxy Grand features a similar paintjob to what you get with the other post-Galaxy S III Samsung devices, but the finish is slightly different. It doesn't look quite as nice as the Galaxy Note II plastic, so we assume Samsung were after some cost-cutting too. This applies to both the white version we had for the preview and the Black one that is here for the review.

Controls and handling

The controls on the Samsung Galaxy Grand follow the same general layout as most Samsung smartphones. Below the screen we find three keys - the capacitive Menu and Back keys on either side of a hardware Home button.

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The three-button combo below the screen

The keys are well sized and spaced to allow comfortable use and the capacitive touch technology makes sure the transition between them and the screen is seamless.

Above the display you can see the earpiece, a couple of sensors and the 2 megapixel front facing camera, which can do video-calls. The duos logo is there to remind you that you can pop in two SIM cards at once, in case you ever forget, and is only present on the I9082 model.

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The usual array of sensors and the front-facing camera surround the earpiece

The top of the phone features just the 3.5mm audio jack.

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The top is where the audio jack is located

At the bottom are the microUSB port and the mouthpiece.

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The primary microphone keeps the MHL-enabled microUSB port company

On the left side of the Samsung Galaxy Grand we find the volume rocker, while the power/lock key is symmetrically placed across on the right. There's no dedicated camera shutter key.

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The power key is on the right, while the volume rocker is on the left

The 8 megapixel camera lens, a single LED flash, and the loudspeaker grille are the things to note at the back of the device.

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The 8 megapixel camera is the star backstage

The back panel is fairly easy remove, but still fits tightly in place, no wobble whatsoever.

Underneath the battery cover, you'll find the two SIM compartments, as well as the microSD card slot. The primary SIM and microSD slots are only accessible after you remove the 2100 mAh battery, which means hot-swap is out of the question. The secondary SIM (on the dual-SIM I9082 model) is in the bottom right corner and is hot-swappable.

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Taking a peak under the hood

In terms of handling, the Galaxy Grand is about what you'd expect from a 5-incher. The bezel is a bit too wide and the slippery plastic would occasionally cause problems, but if you have bigger hands (or are willing to use both of them most of the time) you will be fine.

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The Galaxy Grand plastic is more slippery than that of the Note II

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