Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Review: Released in 2014, the Galaxy Grand Neo was an off-shoot to the original Galaxy Grand which was released in 2012. This was an interesting segway from the main Galaxy S series of flagships. Whilst the name Grand may imply some kind of top range spec, in fact this was not. However with all large screen phones coming at a premium, Samsung saw a market whereby they could offer the large screen experience at a lower price.
The original Grand thus had a 5.0 inch screen – this was not the largest (for instance the Galaxy Note 2 was 5.5 inches), but notably, it would be larger than the vast majority of other phones. The main corners cut were in the quality of the screen, camera and general construction – it was still a mid-range device. The Grand 2, released in 2013 increased this screen size to 5.25 inches and came at an increased resolution and quad-core processors.
The Grand Neo is an odd step backward and reverts back to the old resolution although the processor is maintained at quad-core design. Perhaps the reasoning for this is that improving on the Grand 2 would simply make the phone too similar to what was already out there. All the rest of the bells and whistles such as Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS are seen here. Whilst this was still expensive relative to budget phones, it was still cheaper than the flagships of the day.
This was a niche handset and given the little improvement over the original Galaxy Grand, may have disappointed the market somewhat. The next phone in this series was released the same year. The Galaxy Grand Prime corrected some of the complaints and offered a sharper resolution screen and restored the 8MP camera. However, with large screen phones rapidly becoming nothing special, this series of phones ended up being absorbed into new ranges.
Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Review Pros:
- The phone featured a large screen at 5.0 inches. At the time this was one of the few options for those wanting this size at a cheaper price point unless you were willing to take a chance with the Chinese manufacturers.
- Processing power was much increased over the previous grand, going from a dual-core to quad-core processing.
- The phone had the same features as any other top-range phone – Wi-Fi, GPS, microSD, and Bluetooth 4.0.
- Pricing of the phone was the biggest attraction; typically much cheaper than the flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note.
Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Review Cons:
- The phone display had a very poor resolution of 480 x 800 by the standards of the time. This was the same as the 2010 Samsung Galaxy S, and compounded was on a 5.0 inch screen.
- Imaging was stripped back and the previous 8MP camera became 5MP. The front facing camera was also a low 0.3MP.
- The design was also fairly rudimentary; it weighed 163g which compared unfavourably to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (130g but with the same size screen).
- Value for money was dubious; although cheaper than the flagships there was a lot of competition in the mid-range which offered similar spec just with slightly smaller screens. The Apple iPhone 5C was also targeted to those who were budget-sensitive and was a better spec.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects:
This phone was pretty niche. Those who wanted the big screen bad enough generally would just pay for the better specced-phones. Nevertheless, the phones still have some use today and so will have some residual interest.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.