More and more Indians are buying smartphones and Samsung with 45% share of the Smartphone pie is aiming to grab 60% share this year. With numbers around eight million units in 2011 to around projected 18-19 million units in 2012, it is a fast growing, lucrative market no handset maker can miss out. Samsung with its vast array of Galaxy range of smartphones has its scheme marked out and entry level Android smartphone models like Galaxy Y plays a crucial role in the number game. Riding on the success of single SIM Galaxy Y, Samsung has launched Galaxy Y duos, the double SIM variant.
There are many who juggle two phone connections, for some to separate the work calls from personal ones, while some make use of best of two network operators. Hey XYZ tel offers better call plans while ABC tel offers better data plans! Life becomes simplified when you have a Dual SIM phone. Galaxy Y duos is aimed at this segment and to those who wants a valued branded phone on a limited budget. With a 3.14″ display, a 3 MP camera and a larger capacity battery to support the dual SIM, Galaxy Y duos has a slightly better spec configuration than its single SIM sibling.
On the back is a plastic panel like in most Samsung phones but it looks durable and it feels good while holding. The texture of the panel also provides good grip. You also find on top of the back a 3.15 MP camera and alongside a loudspeaker grille to its right. And then beneath them, the obvious Samsung logo.
Removing the back panel is quiet an easy job and being a dual SIM. I have noticed many of the dual SIM mobile users keep changing atleast one of the SIM quiet often and so an easy-to-open backpanel is a good addition.
Inside nests a 1300mAh Li-Ion battery. Samsung assures a healthy battery life of 360 hours of stand-by and up to 17.5 hours of talk time in 2G and 9 hours of calls in 3G. Even our testing showed a very healthy battery with both SIM on and fairly good usage and on standby.
On top above the place where the battery nests and to the left of the camera, you can find the slot for memory card.
And beneath the battery, you will find the slots for two SIMs.
Talking about the dimensions of the phone. Duos with 109.8 x 60 x 12 mm figures is marginally larger than Galaxy Y and also its 3.14″ TFT display with a resolution of 240 x 320 is also marginally bigger than Galaxy Y’s 3″ display.
Below the screen is the physical home button flanked by two capacitive keys one each for menu and back key. A long press of the home button also opens up the task manager.
Like all other samsung phones, on top on the right side you find the power on/lock button and on the top left side you have the volume rocker and a lanyard eyelet. On the top of the phone you have the 3.5 mm headphone jack which can be used to plugin the earphone that comes in the package or any of your favourite standard headphone.
Gently slide down the notification area on the touchscreen you can fiddle with the various settings: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sound and Auto rotation of the display. Below the top run of the above mentioned settings are the true indicators of the dual SIM Duos, where it allows to toggle quickly between SIM1 and SIM2 and also indicates the network carrier.
Dual SIM card management and features in Galaxy Y Duos:
As mentioned in the above image, from notification one can toggle quickly between SIM 1 and SIM 2.
Further settings can be made in the ‘SIM card manager’ that can be accessed in the settings menu.
In case you have to swith on and off individually your SIMs, go to settings > “SIM card manager” which can also help save battery at times when you are squeezing out the last bit of the remaining battery and want to conserve a little longer.
Also you can choose which SIM you want to set for data usage. Dp note that only one SIM can be used at a time for data usage. So you can wisely choose which carrier gives you the best data plan and set that SIM for data.
By default, while the data usage is under process, the other SIM gets inactive for incoming calls, though there is a an option to receive incoming calls via other SIM card while using data service that you can find in the SIM card manager. Enabling it might marginally slow down the transmission, though not that much.
The call log is integrated and shows the dialed, received and missed calls of both the numbers. Each call entry has a small number icon in blue color background that shows the SIM used. There is also an option to view the call logs by any one particular SIM.
Messaging, Email, Apps and Social integration in Galaxy Y duos
Messaging is pretty neat and easy. The keys are comfortable to type and even though the 3.14″ screen is bit small still it is decent enough a space to fiddle around with the keys. The messages are threaded and you also get a message application specific search to dig into your message box. Rest of the message setting and usability are pretty straight forward.
Just like the call log, each message in a thread has a numbered icon in blue that indicating the SIM used to send and receive the message.
For email, you have a gmail app where you can integrate all your gmail ids. For non-gmail emails, the other email set up comes into use and supports multiple POP or IMAP inboxes.
Like all other Galaxy models and in Android phones in general, Galaxy Y duos comes pre-installed with google apps like google maps, Gtalk, google search, youtube etc
You also has Samsung’s Social hub which simplifies your communication pattern and preferences and give you a one point real time access to your various social networking and to access multiple email accounts. Social networking and communication simplified.
Then there is Google Play store, where you can download both free and paid apps but then with the limited screen size and specification of the device, don’t expect all the apps to work fluently on the device but then you still have a pretty huge number of apps to keep you engaged.
You also has pretty good pre-installed utility apps like calendar, Notes, calculator, alarm clock and voice recorder.
Then there is Samsung apps for more app search.
The phone comes pre-installed with polaris Office viewer. So you can view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and view PDFs too. Its only a view-only version and you cannot edit the files, unless you opt to register and pay for a fuller version with Polaris.
Not to mention you have Google maps and navigation in case you missed out your directions.
Camera and Audio performance of Galaxy Y duos
Galaxy Y Duos sports a slightly better 3.15 MP camera than its single SIM sibling, Galaxy Y. Sadly, it does not sport a flash either. You also have to get used to lack of physical camera key. For an average consumer, the captured images are decent enough to store their memories. There are also camera features like smile shot, preset scenes, geotagging, effects, on-screen guidelines and panorama mode.
If the still images are decent enough to manage with, that cannot be said about the video though. Stuck at a QVGA resolution, if you have any inclination to post your videos to youtube, sorry.
Browsing in Galaxy Y Duos
Yes, the website opens pretty well and in rich color as show in the picture below. But then remember, the screen size with its low resolution pretty much limits the browsing experience. But then you have the zoom option which is pretty easy through multi-pinch zooming or double tapping or I don’t know who will require this but you also get a dedicated zoom key option. So browsing would require pretty much of zooming to read.
Tech specification and key features of Galaxy Y Duos
3.14″ TFT display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels
109.80 x 60.00 x 11.95mm and weighs 109 g
Android Gingerbread 2.3.6
Dual-SIM (dual stand-by)
832MHz ARMv6 processor
290MB of RAM
160 MB internal memory
1,300mAh Li-Ion battery
Expandable memory upto 32 GB, 2 GB memory card included
3.15 MP fixed-focus camera with geotagging
Stereo FM radio
3.5mm audio jack
Polaris Office viewer pre-installed
Connectivity includes bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, AGPS, microUSB,WAP
Talk time: 360 hours of stand-by and up to 17.5 hours of talk time in 2G and 9 hours of calls in 3G
What I like in Galaxy Y Duos
Neat SIM card management and Dual SIM notifier
Affordable dual SIM Android phone
Compactness and build quality.
Impressive battery life and talk time.
And for the brand conscious buyers, it’s Samsung – currently the world’s numero uno smartphone maker.
What I did not like about Galaxy Y duos
Low screen resolution
lack of Adobe flash support, though you can watch youtube videos through installed youtube app.