Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 G7102 Review

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Galaxy Grand 2
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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 G7102 was announced in Q4 last year and hit the first market India in late January. Here in Kenya it started selling last week officially and is available via the usual retail channels and Samsung partners. The device which is a follow-up to the very successful Galaxy Grand now makes the Grand a series of mid range devices.

These were specifically developed to provide a premium feel to the mid range devices. The Galaxy Grand was the first device with such specifications to have a Dual-SIM, thus effectively making it an instant appeal in the emerging markets where dual-SIM was restricted to the entry level feature phones and smartphones.

Phone Specifications

  • 5.25 inch HD TFT
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-SIM Always on support
  • 1.2 GHz Quad Core Processor, ARM Cortex A7 architecture
  • Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Memory with support of 64GB microSD
  • 8MP AF camera with LED Flash, 1.9MP front
  • USB 2.0
  • WiFI, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9mm
  • 156 grams
  • 2600mAh

Design

Grand 2 Faux Leather

Galaxy Grand 2 not only dared to up the whole specs sheet of the Galaxy Grand and still manage a similar pricing, it also went ahead and took the looks of the quite premium Galaxy Note 3. This makes it wear the looks of a serious business phone with the faux leather back and stitched design. The Grand 2 also went on a diet and dropped half a millimeter in width.

Grand 2 side

This coupled with the nice looking back and the subtle honeycomb design on the front white makes the phone quite a looker. In the end the device is not a fingerprint magnet like the predecessor was. It does retain other design elements like the Duos text on the front, metallic look design sides, camera alignment with speaker and LED flash side by side at the rear top, and the button placement. Galaxy Grand front

This is left for the volume rocker that is quite well placed for the middle finger to control and the power button on the right just within reach of the thumb. On the bottom we have the micro-USB slot and the mouth piece slightly to it’s right. At the top we have the 3.5mm sound jack. The front has the usual home key flanked by the back and menu capacitive controls. The front top has the ear piece with sensors and front camera to the right.

Galaxy Grand Dual-SIMUnder the hood, we have a 2600 mAh battery and the slots for SIM cards and microSD. The SIM card slots are not hot-swappable and you will need to remove the battery to access them, the microSD slot however is, and supports upto 64 GB of expandable storage. The three (two micro-SIM slots and one micro-SD slot) are located in the same place. The Galaxy Grand had mini-SIM and it’s worthy of note that Samsung seems to have dropped mini-SIM in favour of micro-SIM for their devices from the top of the range to the low end.

Features and Performance

Grand 2 multi window

Picking from the first Galaxy Grand, the Galaxy Grand 2 has all the features the Galaxy Grand has and adds other current ones. It does have Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box with added features lie multi-window, smart screen which has smart stay as an option, Palm motion feature which enables you to capture a screenshot by swiping the palm from either side across the screen, muting or pausing media by covering the screen and motion settings like turning the phone over to mute incoming calls or pause media. Like all devices that are 5 inches and above, the Grand 2 has one handed operation to allow you reduce the size of the keyboard and move it to a side that best suites you.

I can guarantee you that you won’t need it on this phone, it’s slim screen plays well for one handed control.

Multi window feature allows you to set up paired windows of applications that you would wish to open together in a paired screen making it easier to launch a pair of apps together anytime.

SIM card manager, just like in other dual-SIM phones allows you to preset what SIM card to run your data connection on and which one is the default one to make calls on. You can even set up that any SIM card can receive calls when the other is engaged, just like it was a single SIM card. Data settings do not allow both SIM cards to be on 3G and you will have to select one to be on 3G and the other on 2G. When you switch active SIM cards you will need to head over to data management setting and switch over the one to be on 3G and vice versa.

Grand 2 Apps

Pre-installed apps include the usual Google Apps like Gmail app, Voice Search, Google Play Games, Google Photos, Google Chrome, Play Newsstand, Play Music and Google plus app. Samsung Apps on the other hand include Group Play, Calculator, Samsung Link, S Voice, Voice Recorder, S Planner, ChatON and radio. Other apps that you might not need include Tripadvisor app, Flipboard and the deal that comes to all Galaxy Phones; Dropbox with 50GB free storage for 2 year.

Camera

Grand 2 Camera

The 8MP shooter takes quite good photos with width of depth and the outdoors are quite clear and mostly full focus.

Galaxy Gear Photo

See gallery here.

Indoor photos where the lighting is low seem a bit pixelated though, see here. In camera settings we have a max of 8 MP and a resolution of 3264 x 2448 and if you want 8 MP shots you will have to contend with 4:3 aspect ratio in your images. The camera does have 10 preset modes to allow you choose from various modes what would work best for you depending on the moment.

The modes are auto, beauty face, best photo, continuous shot, best face, sound and shot, rich tone for High dynamic range shots, panorama, sports for those super fast photos and night mode.Video recording and play is full HD.

Battery

The 2600 mAh battery is capable of giving you a full day of charge on normal use from morning till evening, around 11 hours. However on gaming you can strain out some 6 hours which is not bad when you are swiping out those strides in subway surfers. You can however turn on power saving and get almost 16 hours where the phone takes charge of the screen on time and CPU usage.

Conclusion

This is one device that you would feel quite okay walking into meetings with, tweeting off of on the streets as it’s a looker. The 5.25 inch screen gives you a lot of screen real estate to play with while at the same time not making you feel like it’s overkill. We have come to a point where 5 inch is the sweet spot for many smartphone users, and the Galaxy Grand fits there with the 5.25 inches slim screen (146.8 x 75.3 mm). The faux leather goes a long way giving the device it’s great looks and for these few days I’ve had this phone I have got curious looks and questions regarding what device this is. Many liked it.

It also has a great blend of specifications like the modem which is capable of doing 21 Mbps making it an ideal device for those of us who rely on their smartphones as their mobile internet connection, both for the device and tethering to your laptop. The dual-SIM at such a specifications set makes one find yourself not needing a secondary device where you have separate SIM cards, probably the personal and business lines.  This is a device I’d advise a friend or family to purchase as it has very few downsides and the price is also working for it at Kshs 38,000/ $440 unsubsidized. Or you could steal a deal here at Duka1 who have a aggressively priced it.

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