Samsung Galaxy Grand GT-I9082 Review: Complete In-depth Hands-on
If you’ve always desired the SIII or the Note II but did not have enough moolah, the Samsung Galaxy Grand will more than suffice your needs
Packaging, hardware, display, OS
The Galaxy Grand comes in a white cuboid box, the layout of which is reserved for the Samsung mid-range Android phones. Open the box and you’ll find the Grand body along with the battery and all white accessories including the USB cable with the USB wall charging adapter, a pair of earphones with three pairs of extra earbuds of different sizes and the manuals – pretty standard box content really although we always like the extra earbuds.
Design and Built
The Grand looks pretty much like a hybrid of the S3 and the Note 2 – more towards Note 2 side! Our white review sample has a marble white bezel and a very cool pearl white honeycomb texture backside. The chrome ring around the body adds to the classiness. The phone is great to hold and the 5-inch screen fits just right, specifically for those who found the Note series to be a little too large. Also we found the back is flatter than that on the S3 and Note 2 rather than convex – adding an extra comfort while holding the phone. The back-flap, although plastic – feels premium.
Inside you’ll have two full size SIM slots along with the microSD card slot. The 1st SIM and the microSD slot need the battery to be removed.
Front: 5-inch TFT LCD screen, earpiece, LED notification lamp, proximity sensor, 2mp front camera, home hard button, menu and back soft-keys
Back: 8mp rear camera, LED flash, speaker
Left: Volume rocker
Right: Lock/power button
Below: microUSB port
Top: 3.5mm jack
The 5-inch 480 x 800 PX display is probably the weakest link in the phone, and the poor 186ppi doesnot help the cause. You get a display with slightly pixelated icons and your videos will become little softer. This won’t affect the lighter colours as much as darker so your movies’ night scenes might become a little less black. Note that most of the times you won’t even notice it until you have a higher resolution device to compare it with.
The great thing is that this doesnot reduce the viewing angle which remains excellent at about 30-degrees from the horizon.
Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
The Jelly Bean with TouchWiz on the Grand has a look and feel of the top end smartphones from Sammy like the Note 2 (sans the S Pen features obviously) for example. You have the familiar Swipe lock screen with various widgets and ripple unlock, same home page environment and app drawer arranged along with the widgets gallery. Notification bar is same as well with the additional dual-SIM management option. It supports smart dual SIM technology so you’ll receive calls of the second SIM as waiting while on call on SIM 1.
The UI is absolutely seamless thanks to Project Butter which makes all animations run at a constant speed of 60fps.
Again, you mostly have the latest apps that are there with the latest Samsung Jelly Bean Smartphones, including the Goggle native Android apps (Chrome, Gmail, Google+, Messenger+, Google settings, maps, local, navigation, play store, talk and YouTube) and the In-house Samsung apps (Chat On, game hub, group play, my files, S memo, S planner, S suggest, S voice, Samsung apps) along with a brand new service called My services that collaborates the My music and my movies (came with the S Duos) and added a few more services in one app). For a limited time you get Rs.8000 worth of content free.
Contact and messaging
The dialler is similar to what we’ve seen on the S Duos with both SIM call buttons on the dialler. You have the logs, favourites and contact list.
Messaging supports threaded view and you can attach images, videos, audios, s planner and s memo items, location files and contacts. No surprises on the mail app as well.
The browser on the Grand is desktop-grade and doesnot change much from the stock Android browser. You have the same force desktop view but no enable Flash button as Jelly Bean doesnot support Flash anymore, but you can play YouTube content right out of the browser with almost no lag. No floating touch support from Samsung. The browser renders the mobile version of site by default and beautifully so.
Camera and Video recording
The camera has a maximum aperture of F/2.6 which allows for decent low-light results. It has almost the identical camera system of that of the Galaxy S3 with the same max aperture. We’ve taken photos where minimal light was present and the normal mode could not handle it – but the low-light mode brought in enough light. At ISO 800 grains start appearing and the low-light mode shoots the ISO to 2,500 which brings in a lot of grains, but it also significantly brightens up the image.
Under enough light, the Galaxy Grand clicks pictures with deep colors and deeper blacks. Even under harsh light the photos don’t go too soft. There is no HDR option mind you.
The full HD video recording is crisp enough with a little fuzziness at the far end. You have continuous auto-focus although it’s slow at the far end.
Let’s start with the gallery. Clicking on a stack will take you to the images inside but will keep the stacks on the left side for quick reference – like explore mode of your PC. Do long press on any image thumbnail to select multiple images. The gallery has plenty of modification to delight you.
The music app is not much different from that on the S3 or Note 2. You have the music square here as well. The sound output is slightly lower on bass than the one on the S3, and you can search the folders from inside the app. The earphones provided are of very good quality and keep the noise out to a great level.
Video playback in full HD is seamless with absolutely no loss in frame-rate. It supports pop-up play and you can now resize the popped up video with pinching in and out, single click to pause and come out from there.
The FM radio reception is good even in the 1st level of basement. It only works with your earphones plugged-in though.
Connectivity, battery life, benchmarking, verdict
Not much surprises with the S Planner with the two-finger swipe to pull out the viewing type tab. The calculator turns to scientific mode on landscape mode as usual.
Dual-SIM is always a bonus and the fact that you can use HSPA+ connectivity from any of the SIM is cool. You also have Wi-Fi, WI-Fi Direct, BT 4.0, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack and Internet calling – usual.
We were pleasantly surprised by the battery life of the Galaxy Grand. We expected less battery life owing to the dual-SIM operation and the LCD screen, but it gave us more than 1.5 days’ worth of juice on one charge (negate 8 hrs. of sleep). We had Wi-Fi running constantly and 3G for about an hour, talked for about an hour, browsed, what sapped, played FIFA 2012 for about 35mins etc. GPS was not on. We think it has to do a lot with the less resolution of the screen, but who’s complaining!
The Grand fares pretty well in Benchmarking too. Check out the decks below.
If you’ve always desired the SIII or the Note II but did not have enough moolah, the Samsung Galaxy Grand will more than suffice your needs.