Hands-on and Initial Review: Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos is a surprisingly pleasant phablet. I initially dismissed it when I heard about it (Samsung launches so many phones these days) but I was finally able to get my hands on a unit earlier tonight and as far as initial impressions go we can say that it’s well worth a closer look. Called by tech pundits as the “Galaxy Note without an S Pen”, the Grand Duos sports a 5-inch screen, packs a dual-core processor, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. Cool eh? SRP is also not waaaay beyond reach as it’s priced at Php16,990. Anyway, here’s a full rundown of the specifications:
Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz ARM7 CPU Broadcom BCM28155 chipset
- VideoCore IV GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via microSD
- 5-inch PLS display, 800 x 480 resolution (187 pixels per inch)
- 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
- Can record 1080p video @30 fps
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera
- Dual SIM, dual standby
- HSPA+, 3G, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 2100mAh battery
- Android Jelly Bean 4.1
Read on for our initial impressions.
Chasis: Looks like a Galaxy Note
When it comes to the design of the body it literally looks like a Samsung Galaxy Note! The only thing missing really is the S Pen slot at the lower back. The dimensions are close but the Galaxy Note (5.3-inches) and Galaxy Note 2 (5.5-inches) are actually bigger than the Grand Duos. Usual Samsung materials like the glossy plastic and the chrome band are present.
Here are some photos in different POVs:
When it comes to the aesthetics it really boils down to personal preference. Some people abhor and detest the plastic builds of Samsung while some people actually love it because the product is very thing and light. In other words, if you’ve never liked Samsung products because of the materials then don’t bother with this one. It’s from the same mold.
Software: Very responsive, packs Samsung’s Goodies
When we were playing around with the Grand Duos we were amazed at how smooth, responsive, and fast the transitions and animations were! You wouldn’t think that it just packed a dual-core processor. After giving it some thought it looks like Project Butter of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the 1GB hefty serving of RAM is the one responsible for the lag-free user experience.
To get a better idea of how smooth it is, here’s the video of our latest podcast. Alora, our co-host, plays with the Grand Duos at around 15:10 in the video (just fast forward directly to it if you don’t want to watch the entire ep).
What’s puzzling though is the Antutu Benchmark results. Despite what seems to be a very strong showing in responsiveness and graphics capability, the Grand Duos still ranked below the Galaxy S II.
Samsung also injected their trademark features into TouchWiz. The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos has Multi-view, Smart Stay, and all the other Jelly Bean customizations of Samsung. The one you’ll probably like using is Multi-view. Back with the Note 2 we used this quite often especially when we were watching a movie and suddenly get the urge to tweet, hehe.
Initial Impressions: Has a lot of potential, we want to review one!
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos is a solid alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini if you’re in the market more for a “phablet” and not your usual phone. If you think about it the price difference is just Php2,000. The S3 Mini retails for Php14,990 while the Grand Duos goes for Php16,990. Not a bad deal.
The Galaxy Grand Duos has a lot of potential and we’d love to review it more if we get the chance to do so. 🙂
Demo unit from Alora Guerrero of TechLokal