Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo review: Size me up

GSMArena team, 12 February 2014.
Pages: 12345678910

Tags: Samsung, Android

Introduction

Samsung's Grand lineup, in its short history, has been all about two things: screen size and dual SIM support on a shoestring budget. With screen real estate getting cheaper all the time, Grand phones are targeting fans of big screens who aren't looking to break the bank to have one.

The latest installment in the lineup, the Neo, brings the Galaxy Grand to an even more competitive price point, although understandably, that required a few sacrifices.


Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo official photos

But just how good is a Neo going to be when it comes to the Grand concept? Let's take a closer look at the specs, and how they're different from the original Galaxy Grand.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; dual-band 3G with HSPA
  • 5" 16M-color WVGA capacitive touchscreen; 186ppi
  • Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz (3G) Cortex-A7 CPU, VideoCore IV GPU; Broadcom BCM23550 chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 720p video recording @ 30fps, continuous autofocus
  • 0.3 MP front-facing camera, VGA video recording
  • 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 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • 2,100 mAh battery; user replaceable

Main disadvantages

  • Not competitively priced (€250 at the time of writing)
  • Only 4GB user available internal storage
  • Tired and exhausted design, no differentiation whatsoever
  • No USB On-The-Go

The big screen aside, the Grand Neo is decidedly an entry-level device, even more so than its predecessor used to be at launch. As you can expect at this screen size, the WVGA resolution is stretched rather thin resulting in a paltry pixel density of just 186 ppi.

The phone has a Broadcom chipset similar to the ones Samsung has been putting into its lower tier of devices, except this time it's of the quad-core variety. It's the first time we're dealing with a quad-core Broadcom CPU in a Samsung, so we're curious to see how it fares when stacked up to its dual-core counterpart in the original Galaxy Grand. Keep in mind that on the Neo we have a Cortex-A7 vs. the Cortex-A9 on the original.

The processor is where the upgrades end compared to the Galaxy Grand. In fact, moving to the camera department you're greeted by a 5MP primary shooter capable of 720p video, and a VGA front-facer that's even less impressive. This is a marked step down from the 8MP fullHD shooter on the original Grand.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo from our studio

Keep in mind that our review unit is of the single SIM variety, but the differences between the two versions of the Neo is marginal boils down to a slight difference in battery life due to the two active radios in the Dual SIM variety.

Up next we'll take a closer look at the hardware features of the Galaxy Grand Neo.

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