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At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

March 05, 2014 11:37 IST

At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

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Himanshu Juneja

With a processor and camera that just about makes the cut, the Grand 2 is bound to face competition in the market from home grown brands, says Himanshu Juneja.

Samsung has come up with a refreshed Samsung Galaxy Duos mobile one year after its release. Only this time it is named Samsung Galaxy Grand 2.

With bumped up specifications and features making it a decent option, does the new avatar command the extra premium or does a price cut seems imminent? Let's take a closer look.

Specs

  • Display: 5.25 inches TFT
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad Core
  • RAM: 1.5 GB
  • Memory: 8 GB, MicroSD slot upto 64 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP Primary with LED flash, 1.9 MP secondary cam
  • Battery: 2600 mAh

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Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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Design

The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 sports the headphone jack on top, and has the power button on the right side of the phone. The volume button is located on the left side edge, and finally, the bottom portion carries the Micro USB charging port.

One glance at the Grand 2, and it seems like a throwback to the Samsung S3 phone. The familiar faux leather cover comes back with the stitching effect.

The phone's actual material is plastic and the build quality seems to be good.

There is a subtle honeycomb pattern textured into the plastic casing and can be noticed by some clever usage of ambient light.

The bezel and the centre (home) button looks a bit raised. Seems like Samsung gave it a different touch with the construction.

The real neat trick is revealed when the back panel is taken off. The SIM card slots provided are meant for micro SIMs, however a nano SIM works just fine in one of the slots which is a smart option for users and might become a regular feature.

However, lack of notification LED is just about criminal in these times and this really shouldn't have been the case with this phone.

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Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

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Operating System

The phone comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS right out of the box, which means no immediate need to update the OS version.

Samsung seems to have revamped the Touchwiz. The user gets five screens, out of which the last one is where the user's shortcuts will be placed.

The remaining panels house three big widgets, namely: Flipboard, Story Album and Samsung Hub. A swipe from bottom to top will make the My Magazine feature pop up, which carries news/feeds from different sources.

Seems like Samsung hasn't given users the luxury to make changes to the existing ones, but one can add his/her preferred choice of sources, including social media to get the feed.

One of the most impressive feature is the S-Voice.

Working much like iPhone's Siri, one needs to just tap the button to activate it, or say 'Hi Galaxy' and then follow it with the desired command.

The feature comes in pretty handy as it allows hands free initiation of services like searching web, sending text, making calls, setting notifications/reminders in calendar, or even toggling hardware based features like Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity.

As much as it sounds enticing, this feature is available only if there is access to data connection or Wi-fi Internet.

Samsung missed a trick here, as even for hardware feature toggling, Internet access is necessary, which really should have been avoided.

While Samsung has bundled some apps on the Grand 2, users can download more from Samsung Apps, a proprietary store just like Google's Play Store.

However, many of the apps on the phone and also in its store look like clones of popular apps available on the Play Store. Users must try and steer clear of the ones with bloatwares before downloading anything.

Then there is the familiar and useful feature of running selected few apps in multi-window mode, where two apps can be run side by side. There is an option to save the combo one is using the most or likely to use more often.

Overall, Samsung has packed the phone with lots of options which should keep users engaged as they look for their kind of tweak.

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Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

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Camera

The Grand 2 sports an 8 MP camera with LED flash support, something that reminds one of its Grand Duos lineage.

The camera captures pretty good outdoor shots, impressive enough to make one take it out for the next happy outing.

The camera app is populated with interesting options to fiddle around with. Users can tweak hardware based options like flash control, voice based commands, sharing option etc.

Then there is a plethora of modes like Panorama, Sports, Night, Best Face etc. Along with the modes, users can also experiment with filters by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen.

Video quality is good too with a 720p resolution shot under well-lit conditions.

However, the camera performance took a beating when ambient light conditions were not adequate.

This pulls the phone performance down a few notches as a good camera is an essential component, especially for the user segment Grand 2 is aiming for.

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Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

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Performance and features

The Grand 2 is a Dual standby mode phone. What this means is that a call coming on the SIM which is not active won't come through.

For that to happen, the phone needs to implement the Dual Active technology.

The screen is not the AMOLED type which Samsung is known for. The LCD screen though provides for adequate performance with good viewing angles. The sensor kicks in to make adjustments for outdoor viewing.

The phone comes with a 1.2Ghz dual core processor, supported by 1.5 GB worth of RAM. The normal operation of the phone and the transition effects were smooth in general.

However, users looking forward to playing a lot of Full HD vids @ 1080 videos should not keep their expectations high, as the phone stuttered and struggled to pull through when we tried to view HD videos. Disappointing this bit really.

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Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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At Rs 22k, is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 overpriced?

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Battery

The 2600 mAh battery with a TFT display meant that it was expected to last for a day, and it didn't disappoint.

Clocking in with about 17 hours of talk time means pretty good backup for people looking for moderate to heavy usage on the Samsung Grand 2.

Verdict

The Samsung Grand 2 is basically a revamped Samsung Grand Duos and makes up for a smart phone with nifty features packed inside, but it is priced a bit on the higher side.

Available for about Rs 22,000, the phone, with a processor and camera which just about makes the cut, is good enough to stake a claim in the sub Rs 20,000 category.

Samsung should really think about a price cut to make the phone more attractive. The current price is not really justified looking at its mid range features and is bound to face competition in the market from home grown brands.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Please mail us a sample of your writing at gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.comwith the subject 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Photographs: samsung.com

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