At the start of the year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand and thereby kickstarted a new segment of phablets that were intended to offer features normally seen on the popular Galaxy Note products but at a lower price. Samsung claims that this segment has been highly successful for the company and today it launched the Galaxy Grand’s successor called the Galaxy Grand 2. The new device is an improvement over its predecessor in nearly all aspects and will arrive at stores early next month. We went hands on with the product, and here are our first impressions of the phablet. Also Read - Samsung now lets you make an appointment to shop at its stores, book demo via WhatsApp
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At first glance, the Galaxy Grand 2 looks quite similar to its predecessor in terms of its form factor. But look closely and you fill find the differences. The back of the device now boasts the pleather finish first introduced on the flagship Galaxy Note 3, and in truth gives the device a premium look. The sides have a frame made of chrome, which looks good and shiny when you buy it, but might chip after extended use. Overall the phone is very light and feels good to hold.
One of the disappointments on the Galaxy Grand was that despite the 5-inch screen, Samsung had only given it a WVGA resolution display. It seems the company has heard the buyer’s feedback and has now crammed in a 720p display on a slightly bigger 5.25-inch screen. The display is much sharper than before and color reproduction and contrast are good.
The phablet is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, paired with 1.5GB of RAM and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean wrapped under Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX. It also has 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 64GB using a microSD card. This is plenty for daily use and during the little time we got to spend with the device, everything from navigating the UI, using multi-window to opening and shutting apps was quite smooth.
On the photography front, the device features the same cameras— 8-megapixel on the rear and 2-megapixel on the front— as its predecessor. Under ambient lighting conditions at the conference hall, the camera was quite decent. But this by no means a test of how good the camera is, and we will wait till our detailed review before we can pass our judgment.
It features a 2,600mAh battery, which the company claims is good enough to survive up to 17 hours of talktime. We’ll put the device through its paces in our review to see if the battery can last for that long in real world. Lastly, Connectivity options include dual-SIM card slots, 3G (HSPA+) support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS.
To conclude then, the Galaxy Grand 2 looks like a decent phablet and has a lot going for it like the Samsung branding and sub-Rs 25,000 pricing, though it could face some tough competition from the likes of the Huawei Ascend Mate. It could also face some competition from its very own (though slightly older) Galaxy Note II, which can be bought for just Rs 2,000 more. Watch this space for more on the Galaxy Grand 2 when we return with a full detailed review.