Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 User Review

*This is a review of a loaned product unit from Samsung Malaysia Electronics*

Awhile back before I went missing from posting regular blogpost, I got to review a good mid-range, dual SIM smartphone from one of the top Android manufacturers – the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2.

See Also : Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos User Review

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 is targeted at the young professional market, who wants a stylish, large screen smartphone, without burning a hole in their wallet with >RM 2000 flagship phones today.

To repeat myself, if you’re looking for an inexpensive dual SIM smartphone, there’s quite a number of choices in the market today. If you trust Samsung for being a reliable brand to go to, read on this quick review of this smartphone.

Just returned this Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. Review coming soon on WinnieKepala.com #galaxygrand2 #review #gadget

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

 

Hardware Overview

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

First up, here’s a quick specs overview of the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 :-

  • 5.25″ HD TFT display (1280 X 720)
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6595 processor
  • 8 GB internal storage (up to 64 GB expandable microSD) + 1.5 GB RAM
  • Powered by Android 4.3 “Jellybean” OS
  • 8 megapixel 1080p rear camera with LED flash; 1.9 megapixel front facing camera
  • 8.95 mm thin, weighing only 163 grams
  • 2,600 mAH non-removable battery (up to 19 hours of 3G talktime)
  • Connectivity : Dual SIM (regular SIM & microSIM) 3G HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Available in 3 colours : White, Black, Gold
  • Recommended Retail Price (RRP) : RM 999

For more information and specifications, check out the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 Malaysian product page HERE.

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 - Unboxing
Standards in the box packaging – device, USB cable, power adapter, standard headphones, user manual
Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - Front Back
Front and back of the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

The Galaxy Grand 2 houses a 5.25” screen with 16:9 HD ratio, which is on the larger side for screen size. For a mid-range device, you won’t get the crazy impressive Super AMOLED screens for super vivid viewing like their flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 though. Instead you get a decent screen for the average user.

See Also : Samsung Galaxy S5 User Review

Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - Hardware Overview
Ports and buttons

You see the standard ports and buttons around the 8.95mm thin smartphone. From a strategically placed Power On/Off button on the right that’s easily reachable with single hand use, to the volume rocker on the left. These placements are rather standard in most of Samsung devices of late. So, no surprises here.

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Leather like texture in removable backplate

Following the band-aid texture on the Galaxy S6 and the faux leather finishing on the Note 3 back, the Galaxy Grand 2 also carries the same premium gold leather-like back cover texture. Although, here in the Grand 2, the texture feels a lot more plasticky than the flagship Note series.

See Also : Samsung Galaxy Note 3 User Review

Considering I got the gold coloured review unit, the back is a little more glossy and striking in gold.

 

Software & Features

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Removable backplate to access dual SIM slot, microSD slot & battery

Galaxy Grand 2 is a dualSIM, mid-range smartphone. For travelers, especially those who likes to keep their home SIM active while enjoying rates of a local country SIM, a dual SIM phone is a must have. It has saved me so many times in unnecessary roaming charges.

Although it’s not too clear in the image above, the Galaxy Grand 2 houses both a regular sized and microSIM side-by-side, accessible from the removable backplate. What’s not clear is that the microSD slot is actually right below the regular sized SIM slot. No worries, the slots are quite clearly marked, and you get a nice click in place when you place the SIM or microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - TouchWiz

If you’ve used any Samsung smartphones before, you’ll be right at home here. The Galaxy Grand 2 is powered by Android 4.3 “Jellybean” OS, which unfortunately is not the latest version of Android. But for a 1.2 GHz quad core processor, it ensures the phone still runs smoothly in multi-tasking features with multiple apps running.

I wouldn’t recommend someone stress testing the phone’s multi-tasking operations on this phone though. It is still a artaher mid-range device, good for the average user. If you use your phone to check social media, occasional browsing & YouTube videos, emails, etc.

Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - Settings

While Samsung has (as usual) packed a bunch of features like Multi-Window (split screen of 2 apps running), Smart Stay (keeps display on as long as you’re still looking at it), Motions (hand gestures to answer calls etc), I would suggest you use them sparingly with the Galaxy Grand 2.

If you’re a power user and want something that can catch up with your super speed and performance lifestyle and usage pattern, then I suggest you look at high-end, flagship phones instead.

Also, I’m disappointed, once again, that Samsung has packed way too many pre-installed apps and features into this mid-range device. While some of them can be handy and cool, there really isn’t a need to impress with these bloatware on a mid-range device like this. Best to conserve the performance and power for everyday task, than nice-to-have features.

 

Camera & Image Quality

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 - rear camera
8 megapixel rear camera

Galaxy Grand 2 comes with an 8 megapixel rear shooter. This seems rather standard in smartphones today. Dare I say, even on the higher end compared to other phones in this price range.

Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - Camera

Just as Samsung never disappoints with their camera features and technologies, you get all the funky bells-and-whistles here that you’d find in their flagship devices. Features like Best Face (switch your subject faces from a series of photos), Best Photo (burst shot of a series of photo & pick the best of the lot), Continuous Shot (perfect for action photography) and Beauty Face (auto smoothing of skintone for better portraits)

While it may be overwhelming to first time users, but some of these features can be extremely handy once you get used to it. Like Beauty Face always makes me look radiant and glowing. 🙂

Here are some sample pics taken with the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. Images are not resized or edited in any way, so click to view full size, or view full album on Google+ Photos HERE.

[pe2-gallery album=”http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/109532722643475070188/albumid/6132352429260297633?alt=rss&hl=en_US&kind=photo” ]

View full gallery on Google+ Photos HERE.

 

Battery Life

The Galaxy Grand 2 houses a removable 2,600 mAH battery. Which is really, quite a healthy capacity for a smartphone with this spec.

Samsung Galaxy Grand  2 - Battery Life
Easily last a full day of use

In my review, the Grand 2 lasted easily a full day of use. As a medium to high power user, I was doing a number of emails, browsing, social media updates with the device.

It’s pleasantly surprising to me that the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 lasted a full 24-hour day use with light use, with easily 16-18 hours on normal use.

Well done, Samsung!

 

Conclusion

At a RM 999 price tag, a reliable device from a strong brand like Samsung, there really is not much faulting the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. However, depending on what you’re looking for in a smartphone, this might or might not be the right device for you.

Just a quick summary…

What I Like

  • Trusted Samsung design elements – with faux leather back texture
  • Good camera – similar Samsung high-end camera tech & features
  • Good battery life – can push to last 24 hours

What I Dislike

  • Still plasticky build quality – evident from flimsy backplate
  • Too many bloatware pre-installed apps & features
  • Just like any other Samsung device

 

Yes, yes. Samsung has been accused of gadget spam before. Meaning, they release way too many devices that looks too similar to each other, with all these funky names, that the average consumer can’t tell one from another. Honestly, I get personally confused from time to time.

I remember this Galaxy Grand 2 though. Maybe because it’s one of their better selling mid-range smartphone. And it’s the successor to the previous Galaxy Grand Duos that I’ve reviewed before.

As mentioned, this device targets a very specific audience.

If you’re a young professional, who wants a good, affordable, dual SIM Android smartphone (either for travels or to swap between different mobile plans rates) and trust the Samsung brand, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2.

However, with the flood of more competition from other global brands (eg. HTC Desire series, Lenovo smartphones) or Chinese brands (Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei, etc) this is gonna be a tougher sell for the more savvy consumer.

 

 

For more information, visit Samsung Malaysia website at http://www.samsung.com/my/ and *LIKE* the Samsung Mobile Malaysia Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/samsungmobilemalaysia

 

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