Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Review: Mirror Shot: Conclusion

By 12:18 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments

Final words

We won't pretdiscontinue that we completely understand the enormous popularity of low-res, large-screened phones like the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime. We can see why people would want more classy screen real estate, but it's the trade-off of a cheaper matrix for better components elsewhere (like the camera) that doesn't sit well with us.

Take the Moto G, it has a wonderful (for the price range) 720p screen, but the balance of the bill of materials means a run-of-the-mill chipset and an unspectacular camera. Samsung balanced the numbers the other way on the Galaxy Grand Prime - it has a better camera, the selfie capturing camera especially is miles ahead, and a fancy 64-bit chipset.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime key test findings

  • Solid build quality, even if materials are not top grade
  • The non-IPS classy screen looks quite good, though it's a bit dim and lacks toughened glass
  • Samsung has really slimmed down TouchWiz, perhaps a bit too much
  • The recent Central Processing Units (CPU) cores do okay, but the GPU is not up to bar; web browsing could have been better too
  • The loudspeaker is rather quiet
  • Audio quality proved good
  • No Samsung music player means you miss out on the fine proprietary features; Video player is fine but lacks both wired TV Out and DLNA
  • Not the best 8MP camera, better 1080p video capture
  • Selfie capturing camera does a remarkable job and is deservedly a highlight
  • The software package is a mix of TouchWiz/Google/AOSP, not very rich out of the box but if you utilize 3rd party apps that won't matter

Okay, so the 64-bit processor isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Things might change if Samsung updates the phone to Android 5.0 Lollipop, but that's a pretty gigantic if. While at it, we think that Samsung is listening to consumers, but is yet to find the correct balance.

TouchWiz is no longer the behemoth it once was (fine thing since there's only 8GB of built-in storage), but Samsung slit out some of the fine parts of its proprietary enhancements along with the bad. The TouchWiz music player is among the best (but is missing entirely from the Grand Prime), while the capturing camera app lost some of its useful features (HDR), most of the fun ones too.

However, as the Nexus line and Motorola's handsets have emphatically shown, the bundle of pre-installed apps doesn't matter much when there's a vibrant app store, full of top notch choices.

As for the hardware, the display is actually better than the specs suggest. The resolution is far from premium, but functionality isn't much harmed. Even viewing angles are better than we expected out of a non-IPS screen, though a touch higher brightness and some Gorilla Glass would have been great.

The exterior is not the most pleasant to see at or to touch, but the phone feels like it can hold a fine deal of abutilize before it gives up the ghost.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime comes in both single and dual-SIM flavors, aimed at mid-range markets in East Asia. In China it even has LTE.

In terms of competition, the HTC Desire 620 dual sim is very similar to the Galaxy Grand Prime, though it ups the ante with a 5" 720p screen, stereo speakers on the front and LTE on all models. Other than that it has the same capturing camera department - 8MP/5MP, both shooting 1080p - and same Snapdragon 410 chipset. There's also the Desire 620G dual sim, a 3G-only version with an octa-core MediaTek chipset due to arrive this month.

HTC Desire 620 dual sim • HTC Desire 620G dual sim

The Asus Zenfone 5 also has a 5" 720p IPS screen, but the front-facing capturing camera is limited to 2MP/720p (the one on the back is a match, 8MP/1080p). The Zenfone 5 is a dual-SIM phone based on an Intel chipset.

The ZTE Blade Vec 3G is similar, but it does have a 5MP selfie capturing camera and a more traditional quad-core Cortex-A7 processor. The 5" 720p classy screen is a TFT though (and we've not had a chance to test it yet), but the Blade Vec 3G is more compact than the Samsung.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia M2 does not have much of a selfie camera, but otherwise gets within striking distance of the Galaxy Grand Prime (4.8" qHD screen, quad-core Cortex-A7, 8MP/1080p main camera). The Xperia M2 Aqua version deserves special attention as it has an IP68 rating, meaning it can survive under a meter and a half of water for 30 minutes.

The LG L Bello goes even lower with its 5" display - 480 x 854 - though the incompatibility in pixel density isn't huge. Unlike the Xperia and the Galaxy, it has LG's compact genes and unique (or annoying, you decide) button setup on the back.

Asus Zenfone 5 • ZTE Blade Vec 3G • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua • LG L Bello

If you are really willing to sacrifice the capturing camera department, the 8MP capturing camera of the Motorola Moto G (2014) is limited to 720p and the front-facing capturing camera is just a 2MP unit. On the upside, it's already running Lollipop and has basic water resistance and stereo speakers.

For tighter budgets, the Microsoft Lumia 535 builds on the 5" qHD classy screen formula with an IPS matrix and Gorilla Glass 3, plus it has a 5MP selfie capturing camera on its face. There's a 5MP shooter on the back, but both are only fine for stills - 480p video is the best the Lumia 535 can do. Still, Windows Phone 8.1 is snappy even on this hardware and the price incompatibility between the Lumia 535 and the Galaxy Grand Prime is substantial.

Motorola Moto G (2014) • Microsoft Lumia 535

As you can see, most phones in this class are geared toward a better classy screen and perks like stereo speakers, most of the time at the expense of the capturing camera department. Still, there's some room to go up or down the price ladder if the feature mix of the Grand Prime (or its exterior) are not to your liking.

While the Galaxy Grand Prime is no Galaxy S4, for a casual user (with less than perfect eyesight) the incompatibility in price isn't proportionate to the incompatibility in experience. Samsung could have put a small more heart in making the phone, but it's a fine device for this day, taracquire market and price.



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