The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 comes in a very compact box, in line with the recent trend of using recycled paper and soy-ink print for the packaging.
The accessories in the bundle are nothing out of the usual. The A/C adapter, to be used with the supplied microUSB cable, is joined by a pair of earphones. All of the above are painted white.
At 146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9mm the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 isn't a small phone but, in retrospect, the original Galaxy Grand was about the same size - and thicker - while offering a smaller 5" display and a smaller 2,100mAh battery. Samsung increased the screen diagonal to 5.25" and put a significantly more robust 2,600mAh battery without adding much heft to the device - just a single gram more. The Galaxy Grand 2 is reasonably thin at 8.9 mm too.
With no intention whatsoever of straying far away from its comfort zone, Samsung has tried to freshen up the Grand's design. Compared to last season's model, the slender and taller Galaxy Grand 2 looks clearly superior, for which the reduced bezels can rightfully claim part of the credit.
The back has the familiar subtly curved shape but the new-found fine texture does add a quality, premium feel. It's a replica of the flagship finish, down to the faux stitching, but this time around it feels harder and less leathery.
The sides are finished smooth, unlike the Note 3's grooved edges. The buttons are glazed but still reasonably tactile.
Slimmer and less curvy, the new Grand looks decidedly more aggressive, in a good way. It's the slimmed down bezels though that make the most important difference. The bigger screen hasn't blown the dimensions up - there's just less blank space above and below the screen. Yet, all the controls and sensors of the original are comfortably accommodated: a physical Home button, two capacitive keys, the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensors.
The placement of controls around the Galaxy Grand 2 is familiar enough. Samsung hasn't made any changes to the original formula. Samsung continue to insist on a physical Home button even on tablets, so the usual arrangement is found here too, a pair of capacitive Menu and Back keys either side. With no dedicated task switcher button on Samsung phones, it's a press and hold of the Home key that does the trick.
The power/lock button is at the right side, comfortably located within reach (of your right-hand thumb or left index finger, depending on which is your holding hand).
On the left side is the volume rocker only. The top features the 3.5mm headphone jack, while at the bottom there's a microUSB 2.0 port and a microphone pinhole. The Galaxy Grand 2 doesn't have a second microphone for noise-cancellation.
At the back of the Galaxy Grand 2, there's the 8MP camera lens, LED flash and a loudspeaker grille either side.
Undoing the back panel reveals the removable battery, the two SIM card compartments and the microSD card slot.