Samsung introduced yet another Galaxy smartphone, the Galaxy Grand, on Tuesday. It follows the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III Mini and Galaxy Note II, all of which debuted this year. No one can say Samsung isn’t keeping busy. But the new phone’s biggest feature is also its biggest drawback.
The first thing you notice about the Galaxy Grand is the 5-inch TFT LCD touchscreen — you know, for those who think the Galaxy S III’s 4.8-inch display is too small and the Galaxy Note II’s 5.5-incher is too large. It’s a big screen, and a new size for the Galaxy line, but it’s got a disappointingly low resolution of just 800×480 pixels. The Grand’s massive screen doesn’t come close to the 1280×720 of the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. In an age of HD games and video, that kind of cramped resolution makes the Grand a non-starter for us.
It’s a shame too, because there are some features we appreciate. The new handset will run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is available with either one or two SIM-card slots, which is helpful for those who travel internationally and might need multiple cards to get service. The dual-SIM setup also allows you to use multiple phone numbers at the same time, on the same phone.
The Grand also sports an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera, the same setup as we saw (and liked) on the S III and Note III. Stylistically, the Galaxy Grand looks much like the S III, with its rounded, oval shape
The Grand’s internals aren’t quite flagship material, but they’re still solid. Inside, the Grand uses a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of internal storage — though there will be a microSD card slot so you can add as much as 64GB of storage. Like the Galaxy S III Mini, the Grand will run on GSM and HSPA+ networks, but so far, no LTE connectivity has been announced. Samsung has yet to announce carriers or pricing for the new handset, but this will obviously be a mid-range model whenever it goes on sale.