December 19, 2012

Samsung Announces The Grand, Critics Go Nuts

The notion of an electronics company releasing a cheaper, or “value” edition, of their popular devices isn’t anything new. The entire “Looks Like One Thing, Costs Another” market is a large one, and it only makes sense for some of tech’s big players to get in on the deal.

When Samsung released their latest Value Edition of one of their more popular devices, however, they probably should have realized just how much fun the tech press would have with its name.

Samsung announced their newest behemoth of a smartphone, complete with a face-shrinking 5-inch screen and Android’s latest version, 4.1.2 running on a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM.

The size of the screen brings comparisons to Samsung’s Galaxy Note Phablet, (Phone/Tablet) yet its name— The Galaxy Grand— is bringing about some unrealistic comparisons.

The 5-inch 800 x 480 WGVA screen will leave those looking for the Note II’s HD Super Amoled get up (with 1280 x 720 resolution) left wanting, for sure. The Note II also bests the Grand with a 1.6 GHz Exynos quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM.

Where the 2 devices are similar is in their cameras, an area of functionality where it feels Samsung is determined to catch up with and even beat Apple.

Both the Grand and the Note II have 8 MP rear shooters with 2 MP cameras in the front. To be fair, the Note II has a 1.9 MP camera in the front. Point: Grand.

The Grand also comes with 8 GB of internal memory along with an expansion slot as well as the usual connectivity modes: Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, DLNA and the still relevant HSPA+. The Grand even ships in a dual-SIM model, an increasingly popular feature for International travelers.

Just like those Galaxy devices to go before it, the Grand will also feature some of Samsung’s own software, such as Direct Call. Popup Video, Smart alert and S-Voice, Sammy’s Siri competitor.

The company has yet to mention any pricing or release date information, though it’s likely we’ll have more details during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

Though there isn’t any price involved yet, the specs suggest this new phablet is a cheaper or entry-model version. Yet, judging from the specs alone, this doesn’t seem to be a bad device. A shockingly low price tag could even make this a great device and yet, more than one tech site cannot get past the name.

The Grand might not completely live up to whatever delusions of grandeur one might have, but those preconceptions shouldn’t cause anyone to completely dismiss the device sight unseen.

The same sort of reaction is seen anytime Apple finally releases a new iPhone. Though the rumors are becoming increasingly more accurate, the press and public don’t know for sure what a new phone will hold until the executives take the stage.

Whenever a phone with an “S” in the title is released from Apple, many begin to immediately cry foul based on specs alone, faulting Apple for no longer innovating and releasing a phone with a meager speed increase. These reviews will run up until Apple ships test units or these reviewers get their hands on these new phones when they’re actually released. Every year, like clockwork, once these reviewers get these phones in their hands, they have a different story to tell.

The Samsung Grand could be a fantastic phone. It could fall flatly on its face. As it stands, we have a spec sheet and a name.

One would think that wouldn’t be enough to begin panning the phone.

Image Credit: Samsung

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