Samsung Galaxy S Duos Review

Samsung Galaxy S Duos was launched in India in September. At first look the device looks like the Samsung Galaxy S3. But once you hold the device or give it a closer look you will find that it has smaller screen and more thickness than the Galaxy S3. The handset is targeted at the users who want to reduce carrier bills but combining plans of two different networks but at the same time does not want to carry two mobiles.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos front

Galaxy S Duos is available in India at a best buy price of Rs 17,000.With this device Samsung is trying to capture the mid range Dual SIM smartphone market. Recently we did the unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy S Duos and here is the complete review of the device.

Display & Design

The phone has a 4.0 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixels resolution. The phone is made up of Plastic body with metal finish on the edges. The phone has a 121.5 x 63.1 x 10.5 mm dimension and weighs just 120 grams.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos

Above the display you have earpiece, proximity sensor and a front facing VGA camera for video calling. In many mid range android smartphones you would find the front camera missing but not in case of Galaxy S Duos. So if you are looking for a dual SIM android smartphone with front facing camera for video calling then give S duos a plus point.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos above disply

Below the display you have a physical home key along with menu and back touch buttons. This is bit different from usual smartphones as in most cases the manufacturer provides all touch buttons instead of any physical keys. After using all the smartphones with just the touch buttons we had a different feeling while using the Galaxy S Duos smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos below display button

On the left side you have a volume rocker and a hole for lanyard cable. You would also find a small notch above the volume rocker to open the back panel in order to insert the battery and SIMs.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos volume rocker

On the right side you have a power/lock key and a microSD slot. There is no dedicated camera key on the right side.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos right

Samsung Galaxy S Duos microSD slot

At the top of the device you have a 3.5mm audio jack.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos top

At the bottom of the device you have a micro USB slot for data transfer and charging your phone. You also have a microphone hole present at the bottom of the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos bottom

At the back of the phone you have a 5 megapixel auto focus camera, LED flash and a speaker grill.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos back

Overall the phone has a decent design and build quality. The metal finish provided on the edges adds to the beauty of the device.

Hardware & Performance

Samsung Galaxy S Duos is powered by a 1 GHz Cortex-A5 processor on a Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon S1 chip and adreno 200 GPU. The phone comes with 768 MB RAM and 4Gb internal storage. You can also expand the storage using the microSD slot provided in the phone. The RAM is quite good for playing majority of the games present on the android market and it also provides smooth navigation within the device. We performed a gaming test on the device where we played some of the most famous games like temple run, death trigger etc on the device. You can watch the below video to find out how did the device performed in the gaming test :

Talking about the connectivity features, the phone supports Wi-fi, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, RDS, GPS and 3G. Overall, the phone has quite good specs for a mid range smartphone and it would run quite smoothly for majority of the applications. You might notice some lag while running high end games. But as far as day to day tasks and applications are considered you would have a smooth and lag free experience.

Dual SIM Feature

The main feature of the device is its dual SIM functionality. You won’t find many dual SIM android smartphones in the market. So when a user want to buy a dual SIM smartphone he/she is left with limited options. But believe me this device is one of the best option you have among those few dual SIM handsets.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos dual sim card slot

You just need to remove the back cover in order to insert both the SIM cards. Though the SIM card slots are present above the battery and you don’t need to take out the battery in order to insert the SIM but these are not Hot swappable and you need to restart you phone once you insert a new SIM card. There are plenty of options present in the phone to control the two SIM cards. You can simply slide down the top notification bar and switch between the SIM cards according to your preferences.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (10)

For more advance options regarding the SIM cards you can open the SIM card manager present in the settings.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (13)

One of the best features present in the SIM card manager is the Smart Dual SIM feature which allows you to forward the calls from other SIM 2 in case you are on a call on SIM 1 and vice versa.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (14)

Galaxy s duos screenshot (16)

The keypad has been modified so that after entering the required number you can directly make a call using any of the SIM cards. You can press the first button to make the call via SIM 1 and 2nd button in case you want to make the call via SIM 2. You also get a 3rd option to start a video call.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (18)

In case of message app, you also get the choice to send message from any of the two SIM cards directly from the app itself.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (19)
For more information about the Dual SIM functionality and the SIM card manager do check out our video below :

Software

Samsung Galaxy S Duos runs on android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich which would be upgradable to android 4.1. Just like other Samsung Smartphones it also comes with Touchwiz UI. You will find two signal indicators present in the top notification bar. The phone which is highlighted is currently active.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (9)

To unlock the device you just need to swipe anywhere on the screen. You can launch few applications like internet browser, camera, chaton messenger etc from the lock screen itself. You just need to drag and drop the items present at the bottom of the screen. You can even directly access your notifications from the lock screen.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (8)

The phone comes preloaded with some useful apps such as ChatOn Messenger, My Music, GameHub etc. Browsing is quite smooth on the default browser present on the Galaxy S Duos. The default browser comes with an interesting feature called the incognito mode which is usually found in the desktop browsers.

Galaxy s duos screenshot (2)

Camera

The phone comes with a 5 megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash on the back and a front facing VGA camera for video calling. The back camera is capable of capturing images at a resolution of 2592х1944 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos camera

The camera interface is quite easy to use and comes with lots of features for the user. You can even modify the camera options present on the left panel of the interface. You can easily switch between front & back camera as well between image capture and video recording modes. Unfortunately there is no dedicated camera key or the touch capture option available on the device. Here is a snapshot of the camera interface present on the device :

Galaxy s duos screenshot (5)

You can check out our review of the camera present on the Samsung Galaxy S Duos. We also explained about the camera interface and settings in the video.

The quality of the images captured using the camera on  Galaxy S duos was quite decent and here are few sample images taken with the Galaxy S Duos camera :

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The back camera also supports VGA video recording at 30FPS. Here is a sample video recorded using the back camera present on the device.

Overall the camera is capable of capturing some decent images even in the low light conditions. The camera would have been more impressive if the touch capture option was available with the camera module.

Call Quality

Being a dual SIM smartphone the phone is expected to handle lot of calls during a day. The phone has quite loud ear piece and we were able to hear the sound clearly. There is no additional mic present on the device for noise cancellation. Since it is a dual SIM smartphone and call quality is the top most priority, the company should have included the secondary mic for noise cancellation.

Battery Life

The phone comes with a 1500mAh removable battery. The phone has a rated talk time of around 13 hours on 2G and 8 Hours on 3G. With moderate usage the battery lasted for around one and a half days.

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy S Duos is one of the best dual SIM android smartphone available in the market. Featuring a 1Ghz processor and 768 MB RAM the phone has decent specs and it would be able to handle your majority of applications and tasks with ease. If you are looking for a dual SIM smartphone then it is surely a great option for you else you can easily get better Single SIM smartphones in the market within the same price range.

Pros:

  • Well Implemented Dual SIM functionality
  • Decent Battery Backup
  • Good Design

Cons:

  • No secondary mic for noise cancellation
  • Lacks HD video recording

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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