With devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, Samsung has been an integral part of the push towards bigger screens on smartphones. But traditionally these larger, higher-resolution devices have been aimed towards the high-end, carrying expectedly high-tier price tags. Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we saw a device that aims to defy that convention.
The Galaxy Grand is a mid-range smartphone with high-end ambitions. Its 5-inch screen and Galaxy Note-like aesthetic give it the appearance of a premium handset, though like most Samsung smartphones it’s bright, white shiny and plasticky. There’s no ‘S-Pen’ stylus to be found, but aside from that the Grand offers a fairly complete Samsung software experience. You’re getting the latest version of the company’s TouchWiz UI, which runs on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The software package even includes newer additions like multi-window support -- Samsung’s method for running more than one app on-screen at a time.
The hardware, while not as cutting-edge as Samsung’s high-end products, are will be sufficient for most smartphone users. During our brief time with the Galaxy Grand it seemed every bit as responsive as Samsung’s higher-end phones. There’s a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU inside, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megalpixel rear shooter and a WVGA (480x800) display. Despite the lower resolution, the display doesn’t look terrible -- in fact, the colors appeared bright and vivid to us. That said, you’re obviously looking at significantly fewer pixels than on a premium 5-incher like the Droid DNA.
We’re expecting the Galaxy Grand to be offered mainly in emerging markets, as opposed to Samsung’s more established stomping grounds. Online pre-order prices currently stand at around €350. Check out our hands-on video and photo gallery down below.