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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Camera

The 8-megapixel main camera captures sharp images that look good in most conditions, but sometimes get colors wrong. 1080p video recording is also sharp and very smooth.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 features an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with a single LED flash, as well as a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The 8-megapixel main shooter captures 4:3 images and uses lens with an f/2.4 aperture. The camera app starts quickly, revealing an interface typical for Samsung, with shooting modes like Panorama, Night, and Sports, as well as plentiful manual settings including ISO and white balance adjustments (those, however, are a bit too deep in the menus, which makes quick adjustments a pain).

Images captured on the main camera look fairly detailed and mostly good in terms of colors, but if we had to pick the nits, we'd say there were also a few instances where it miscalculated colors, shooting colder pictures that did not look that good. On the whole, though, the images captured on the Grand 2 are definitely above the average for this price class, looking sharp, vivid and generally noise-free. Indoors, in lower light scenarios, we are also pleased with the Grand 2 camera. It preserves colors close to their natural hues, and while noise understandably starts getting noticeable at higher ISOs, it’s managed well.

We should note that the focus is rather sluggish – in a perfect case, it takes about 1 second to lock, which is fine. Depending on the situation, it may take 2 or even 3 seconds, which feels rather slow. It is also rather tricky – when you press the shutter key, the Grand 2 will snap a photo no matter if the focus is locked or not. This allows you to snap images extremely quickly, which is useful when you want to capture something instantly, but is a double-edged sword.Instead of just tapping the shutter and waiting for the phone to focus and snap a photo on its own, you will have to pay attention when it locks the focus (this happens when a little square appears on the screen and turns from white to green) and just then press the shutter. Otherwise, you will end up with an out-of-focus shot, which happened to us a few times.

The camera also has an HDR shooting mode that would come in handy when you want more dynamics in an image (for example, when shooting an object against the sun or other very bright background), but capturing an HDR shot is slow and requires a steady hand.

The 2-megapixel front camera is a fairly good tool for your selfie addiction. Samsung is also including a beauty mode that will add an unnatural smoothening to your skin that will eventually hide any imperfections like wrinkles by blurring them.


Image size:
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 3
5
416
366
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 3.5
6.5
333
253
View all

The camera can also record video with up to 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second. Recorded footage looks pleasingly smooth and sharp, and there’s little to dislike about it. This little, however, includes the lack of continuous auto-focus (you have to manually tap to re-focus), and no optical image stabilization (OIS). Sound recording in videos is decent and on par with your average expectations, but does not stand out in any way.


Multimedia

The Grand 2 lacks support for some codecs, but is otherwise, its large display is a great asset for watching movies on the go.

The large 5.25-inch display on the Grand 2 is great for watching video on the go or browsing through photos. Samsung's Gallery app neatly categorizes your pictures in folders, and in each folder you have the handy option to resize the image thumbnails. The Grand 2 ships with a video player that runs some common video formats, but we could not get it to play Xvid and DivX-encoded clips out of the box. You can easily fix this by downloading a free video player like MXPlayer from the Google Play Store, though.

For music you have both Samsung’s custom player and Google Play music. Both are good enough, categorizing your music collection neatly, and displaying large and impressive album art. In terms of settings, Samsung’s solution offers a bit more flexibility with support for per-folder music playback, but apart from that, both are practically equally capable. Sound output via the loudspeaker is loud and sufficiently clear, without being outstanding in any way.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 0.53
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 0.31
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 87
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 77
View all


20 Comments
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posted on 08 May 2014, 10:14 5

1. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


A friend of mine bought this yesterday. She's truly happy with it. it's a very good affordable device, it's fast and the screen is sharp.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:43 7

2. sipha (Posts: 325; Member since: 12 May 2012)


Its also looks better than the S5

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:29 1

4. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


yes looks like s5 maybe new design team will manage design good looking phones...

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:29 2

5. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


True

The S5 looks like the S1

posted on 09 May 2014, 00:15 1

13. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Lmaooooo. S1? Where do u live? Antartica?

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:03 2

8. Peeyushmalik96 (Posts: 67; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)


I live in India and all my friends who have either bought it or experienced it say that the phone is somewhat laggy and often hangs. Is it actually like this?

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:07

9. CyberFalcon (Posts: 172; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


my friend's GG 2 lags somewhat but not like GG 1...

posted on 09 May 2014, 00:14 1

12. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Nope it truly fast and smooth, either your friends bought a chinese copy or dont know what they did to the phone :/

posted on 09 May 2014, 03:13 1

16. Adithya7184 (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


yeah..my roommate have this phone, and he didn't experienced a single lag till now

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:16 5

3. hafini_27 (Posts: 307; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


Nice mid-range. Kudos to Samsung.

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:30 1

6. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Yeah it surely looks nice

This should be the S5

posted on 08 May 2014, 18:19 3

10. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3024; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Yeah, and you should be home...you're drunk!

posted on 27 Jun 2014, 08:16

21. aroulis235 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Jun 2014)


No. The S5 is really sh*tty. This should be the S5. Leather back, not like a band-aid.

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:42 1

7. csoulr666 (Posts: 94; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)


A real good device IMO, but I'm really surprised there is no noise cancelling microphone..............Not a deal breaker though

posted on 08 May 2014, 22:29

11. DannyJr (Posts: 8; Member since: 08 May 2014)


How does it compare with former flagship Galaxy phones? I can get off-contract Note2 and S3 for almost the same price, S4 Active for about $50 more, S4 regular for $75 more. Being former flagships, these still have pretty good, though dated, specs.

I'm leaning towards the Note2 myself. I don't need the latest and greatest but I do like well-built phones.

posted on 09 May 2014, 00:23

15. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Get a note 2. It has more support, its faster and has sbeam spen and plenty of other stuff, i have handled both but if you can get a note 2, get it.

posted on 09 May 2014, 04:05

17. alexvv (Posts: 101; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)


i would prefer an ips panel for viewing angles and probably a slighlty smaller display 5.1" for instance for greater ppi (it would also be even more pocketable than the grand) and a higher clocked s400 maybe 1.4ghz. but other than that a very satisfying midranger, almost as good as the note 2

posted on 13 May 2014, 00:18

18. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2866; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Nice review Victor.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 02:50

19. teknoprice (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Jun 2014)


keren banget nih samsung galaxy grand 2... puas walaupun agak mahal sedikit

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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.3
view full specs
Display5.2 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (280 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8226, Quad core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
1536 MB RAM
Size5.78 x 2.96 x 0.35 inches
(146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm)
5.75 oz  (163 g)
Battery2600 mAh, 17 hours talk time

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