Although I’d owned a Samsung before and didn’t have a great experience, I thought I’d give them another chance. In the middle of 2016, I bought the Samsung Grand Prime in South America (where I was living at the time). Previously, I had been using a HTC One Mini and was very happy with its performance. This time, I chose the Samsung Grand Prime (in grey) because its lightweight (156g, 5.50 oz), has a large screen and is an Android device. Admittedly, I was looking for another HTC but these weren’t sold where I was living at the time. For the price, the Grand Prime seemed like good value. In 2016, I paid about USD150. While this phone is functional and durable, it is severely lacking in the areas of space and thus performance.
BATTERY LIFE & CHARGING
Usually takes six hours to charge the device from empty to full using the supplied one amp charger. Probably quicker using a higher amp charger.
I usually leave the device on charge overnight so it’s always full by the morning and will last me the whole day. I will actively use it all day (apps, camera, web browsing). Internet connection/mobile data use is about 50/50. I’m very consistent with closing previously opened apps and processes to reduce battery use. Also, using the intelligent administrator, I have optimized it so that apps are not running if they haven’t been used for three days.
My daily usage includes listening music most of the day and using it at work to show multimedia. If I am listening to music consistently all day, the battery won’t last me. Also, it will rapidly decrease if Bluetooth is constantly switched on (but I have found this with most mobile devices anyway).
PERFORMANCE, FUNCTIONALITY & DESIGN
The most frustrating thing about this device is the lack of any storage. This device doesn’t even come with enough storage to cope with its own installed apps and processes. Apart from the persistent, annoying notification telling you there isn’t any space, this issue affects performance. It prevents certain processes from running, won’t permit app updates or email synchronization, and blocks you from taking or even viewing photos.
This phone can also be temperamental. Some days it will run very slow and freeze on the home screen. I’ve had old phones do this before but as I’ve had the phone for less than a year, I’m not impressed that this is happening. It usually runs fine after switching it on and off.
STRENGTH & DURABILITY
While I haven’t had to take it back for any repairs, I am quite clumsy and this device has survived half a dozen drops – with a plastic cover (for the back) and a glass screen protector. I have had to replace the screen protector once but, from my perspective, this is usual wear and tear.
The phone has got one mark on the top right corner from when I dropped it (without the case on) however, this is very minor and hasn’t affected the performance of the device – only aesthetically damaged.
While this performance of this smartphone is lacking it does have some good features: lightweight, navigation and battery saving mode.
Large screen and lightweight
The Grand Prime is very lightweight and comfortable to hold. It has a large screen which makes internet navigation and social media use easy and clear.
Navigating between apps
This device is clear and hassle free when navigating to apps on the home screens as well as between the apps that you are using. It’s easy to copy and paste content between apps too.
Battery saving mode
While I was travelling I was using my phone a lot for social media and camera use. I often used the did engage the battery saving mode when I knew I would be unable to recharge in rural areas. I found this function was very efficient.
Unfortunately, the Grand prime’s lack of inbuilt space is too big a flaw to get past.
Space and storage
The Grand Prime comes with only 8 GB storage and 1.5GB RAM. The 8GB provided is simply not enough and the device struggles to cope with this for the system’s own processes and default apps. Daily reminder notifications that you have insufficient space are irritating and certain functions simply cannot run because of this. You cannot refresh your email inbox, take more than a handful of photos or install more than about 10 apps. And no, clearing cache data, removing browsing history and the usual maintenance procedures don’t help, neither does moving apps and files to a 29 GB memory card.
Delete button on keyboard
I noticed right from the start how the backspace/delete button on the keyboard is frequently unresponsive. I often end up hitting the send button (right below it) by accident. It behaves as though it hasn’t been calibrated properly.
Trying to merge contacts is a nightmare. It has the functionality but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Even after merging, you can’t easily edit the contact information: deleting previous contact data is near impossible.
While it is an attractive looking phone with a large screen, it’s just not practical. As a user, you need to factor in time to your daily schedule to manage the device. It’s simply frustrating.
In my recent efforts to resolve this space issue, I backed up all my content and deleted files – photos, downloaded docs. I even went to the point of deleting apps that I could live without having on my phone (though needed). In the end, it was a difficult process just to understand the storage system of the phone. I navigated in the phone itself using its management system and connected it to the computer to manage it this way as well. In the end, it happened that I removed certain info that was necessary to keep certain apps connected (like Whatsapp, which was connected to a previous number I had and I wanted to keep).
Now, for someone who is tech savvy, I found this whole process unnecessary for a smartphone. It is simply too labour intensive for a user. The device doesn’t even provide you with a straightforward way to manage the small space you’re provided with.
I can’t get past the storage issue to see how this phone would be practical for anyone. If you’re a loyal Samsung user, consider checking out the reviews for the Galaxy Core Prime or the Samsung s7 instead.
OVERALL RATING 3/10