Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Grand review

Note in size, but not overly impressive

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

We've not got anything approaching a price or the markets the Samsung Galaxy Grand is coming to, but if it's the good ones at a low price, some users could certainly be attracted.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10.16 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 800 x 480
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Large screen
  • Advanced features
  • Jelly Bean


  • Low-res display
  • No NFC
  • Availability low

The Samsung Galaxy Grand is the phone that promises to bring the best of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 in a more affordable smartphone, while not skimping too much on the specs.

Well, actually that's a little misleading, since the specs on the Grand are nowhere near those on the flagship range, but it does strike a nice design balance between the two top-end marvels.

The Galaxy Grand comes with a 5-inch screen, for instance, which means users who are fans of the larger screen size will find something to love here. Let's hope they haven't clocked one of the aforementioned higher-res Galaxy models though, as the Grand has a shockingly low WVGA resolution on offer.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

You might wonder why we're so shocked; well, at the larger 5-inch screen size, those pixels are getting pretty stretched indeed, leading to a 187ppi resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

This might not matter to some who just love a larger screen on the go, but if you see most of the new (admittedly more expensive) phones emerging at the moment, you'll struggle to not feel like you're getting a last-gen model.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

However, further under the hood things really start to pick up, spec-wise. For instance, there's a 1.2GHz dual-core processer with 1GB of RAM, and this keeps the Galaxy Grand ticking along nicely no matter what we threw at it. There are a bunch of new widgets to play with as well, which make it somewhat more of a desirable proposition.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

The camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Grand is an 8MP affair, and with an LED flash, a 2MP camera on the front and the ability to record in 1080p at 30fps, there's not a lot we can fault here. The speed of the shutter was impressively quick too, and as you can see the front-facing camera takes excellent pictures.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

We couldn't see a hint of NFC on the model we were checking out, which was odd for a device of this calibre, and especially given Samsung's intent on making everything tappable. However, there could be multiple variants of the device, so we won't mark it down on that front just yet.

The model we checked out also had space for a double SIM combination. This means that it could be foisted on the emerging markets, or for the user who doesn't want to spend a fortune to have a phone with two phone lines on one device.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

The Samsung Galaxy Grand sadly doesn't come with an S Pen to call its own, but given there's no 'Note' in the nomenclature, it's hardly surprising. You can sketch around with your finger on the larger display, but in reality we can't see you ever doing such.

Samsung Galaxy Grand review

Mappers will be pleased to note that the phone comes with GLONASS support to back up the GPS onboard, meaning faster locking on the go - we couldn't try that out in the packed conference centre, but it's good to see it popping up on the spec sheet.

We were impressed with the web browsing ability of the Samsung Galaxy Grand, although only by the speed rather than the quality of the pages being served up. Like others in the Galaxy range, the Grand struggles with a low pixel count and subsequently doesn't give the best video playback or website rendering, especially when zoomed out.

Early verdict

A lot of the verdict we give the Samsung Galaxy Grand depends on the price the phone will debut at, and we don't have that yet. If it does fall somewhere between the middle and low ranges of the market, Samsung could have a hit on its hands. If it's any higher than that, then that screen will be a real letdown.

Holding it to your head doesn't make you feel like you're holding a comedy phone, though that could be because we're all used to larger handsets now - it certainly feels better than the Galaxy Note 2.

We've not got anything approaching a price or the markets the Samsung Galaxy Grand is coming to, but if it's the good ones at a low price, some users could certainly be attracted.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.24 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedYes
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Grand
Cellular Generation3.9G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported2
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time10.16 Hour
Product ModelGT-I9082
Screen Size12.7 cm (5")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)161 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerARM
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density187 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height143.5 mm
Width76.8 mm
Depth9.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time440 Hour
Product NameGalaxy Grand GT-I9082 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Product LineGalaxy Grand
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I9082EWAINU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

12.7cm Large Screen

GALAXY Grand is outfitted with a deluxe large display to meet your needs. Everything from larger font size to immersive viewing, brilliant visuals are guaranteed. Enjoy exclusive viewing experience while on the go.

Portable Design

Slim design ensures portability of GALAXY Grand for those who want to have a large screen without compromising portability.

Jelly Bean OS

Powered by Android™ 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), the latest version of the world's most popular smartphone operating system. Jelly Bean has fast, fluid and smooth graphics along with a new Google Search™ experience featuring Google Now™, which brings you just the right information, before you ask.

Limited Warranty2 Year