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Interface and Functionality

With Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and yesteryear’s version of TouchWiz, we feel in the past with the Galaxy Grand 2 interface. Still, it runs fine and gets the job done well.

The Galaxy Grand 2 ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s usual TouchWiz skin on top. In our modern days of the KitKat sugary treat being the freshest offering from the Android cookery, it’s disappointing to see a dated version of Google’s operating system on board, but we remain hopeful that Samsung will update the phone to Android 4.4 in the near future.

The TouchWiz here is the same old cartoony colorful user interface that we know so well from the pre-Galaxy S5 days. That is to say that we don’t have the latest version of TouchWiz either. Still, it’s worth saying that signature functions from Samsung’s skin like Multi Window are on board, adding up to the experience.

In terms of apps, you get the usual set of both Samsung apps with the S prefix (S Planner, S Voice, and S Translator), and other first-party apps and widgets like the weather app and file manager.

Needless to say, basic functionality is well covered on the Galaxy Grand 2 with a rich in functionality phone book with the typical for Samsung quick dialing and texting swipe gestures (swipe rigth on a contact to call, or swipe left to text). Typing out text messages on the large display is also a pleasure and you quickly get used to churning away lols, lmaos, rofls, and other emotionally-infused communiques and replies to your friends.

Processor and Memory

The Snapdragon 400 system chip is a huge improvement, delivering mostly smooth performance throughout. It will run even the latest games, maybe just not at maximum detail.

The Galaxy Grand 2 is a mid-range phone that does not feel underpowered at all. It runs on the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 system chip, a surprisingly capable piece of silicon that handles the Android daily grind with virtually no lag or slowdown.

We’re looking at four Cortex-A7-based cores running at up to 1.2GHz, along with a generous 1.5GB of RAM, and the usual for the class Adreno 305 graphics chip (running at up to 450MHz). The MSM8226 chip here is built on the 28nm LP technology. In fact, this is the same chipset that powers devices like the Moto G, LG G2 mini, and the Nokia Lumia 630, and those are all fairly speedy mid-range phones.

With such a large display, the Grand 2 is also a device that will certainly appeal to gamers. Good news is that it is capable of running the latest games, including even heavier titles from the Google Play Store. It is not as future proof as high-end phones of course, and some games won’t run at maximum detail, but if you are not particularly picky about that, the Grand 2 can also be used as an affordable gamers’ phone.

There is one caveat, though: with internal storage of just 8GB, of which only around 5GB are available to the end user, you would definitely need a microSD card. Luckily, memory expansion is supported, and you can pop in cards of up to 64 gigs.

Quadrant Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 8398.3
Samsung Galaxy Grand 3728
HTC Desire 816 13176.6
Motorola Moto G 8512
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 17199
HTC Desire 816 20934
Motorola Moto G 17014
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 532.3
HTC Desire 816 669
Motorola Moto G 499
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 1887.6
HTC Desire 816 1423.3
Motorola Moto G 1933
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 1776.8
HTC Desire 816 1116.4
Motorola Moto G 1223.8

Internet and Connectivity

Browsing the web looks good on such a large display, and the silicon muscle allows for mostly smooth browsing.

The Galaxy Grand 2 gives you the choice of a Samsung-made custom Android-browser and Google Chrome for surfing the web. Both get the job done swiftly and efficiently. Samsung’s solution, however, offers an immersive full-screen mode that makes best use of space, while Google’s Chrome has its cross-device syncing capabilities and slightly better interface on its side. Scrolling around and zooming in and out is a relatively smooth process on both browsers, with only an occasional stutter.

In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Grand 2 ships in three different versions: model G7100 is the single SIM version with only HSPA mobile data, model G7102 is a dual SIM version, again with HSPA connectivity, and finally, G7105 is a single SIM version with HSPA and 4G LTE on board, supporting downloads of up to 100Mbps. We’ve got the single-SIM HSPA version for review here, but the other models should look nearly identical with prices not differing much between each other.

Neatly, the Grand 2 also comes with dual-channel Wi-Fi, as well as the more traditional other connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.0 and A-GPS, but there is no NFC.

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