Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo PreviewSamsung Galaxy Grand Neo
Samsung Nature UX features on an older Android Jelly Bean version
Our preproduction unit of the Galaxy Grand Neo is loaded with Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX on top of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Samsung's mum on if and when will KitKat hit the phone. With NatureUX, however, the most apparent visual differences that KitKat brings, like a transparent status bar and full-screen wallpaper, are present in the overlay, and the Grand Neo is no exception.
We are also getting most staple features of Samsung's homemade interface overlay, like Smart Stay, which keeps the screen on while you are looking at it, and the multi-window mode that can run two different apps on a split screen. The Air View and Air Gestures that are present on Samsung's more upscale handsets, are missing from the Grand Neo.
Typing on the largish display with one hand gets dicey when you have to reach for the upper left or right corner of the keyboard, depending on the side. It's advisable that you enable the Swype-like functionality that traces your finger from a letter to a letter, and inputs the word for you, instead of pecking at each individual key with your stretched out thumb. Samsung also includes a way to scooch the keyboard, dialer or calculator to the left or to the right, so that you can type with one hand without the risk of dropping your handset.
Basic quad-core Broadcom chipset
The Grand Neo comes with a 1.2 GHz Broadcom BCM23550 processor with four Cortex-A7 cores, while last year's Grand came with a dual-core version of this processor. That's one of the few differences between the two phones, though it's unlikely to translate into much benchmark and performance superiority for the Neo. Samsung lists the phone with 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage, expandable via a microSD slot.
Internet and connectivity
Samsung's TouchWiz browser looks a bit dated with its squarish interface elements, but it's proven to be one of the fastest renderers, plus at Android Jelly Bean it still sports Adobe Flash support out of the box. The Galaxy Grand Neo offers plenty of connectivity radios, such as Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, DLNA and FM.
Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Preview - Interface and Functionality