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Samsung introduced its new Galaxy Grand handset on Tuesday, which looks like a large Galaxy S III, the company’s best selling smartphone to date. Until you power the Grand on that is. That’s when you might notice the large 5-inch display has a relatively low 800 x 480 resolution. But if you’re a Galaxy S III owner, then the Grand isn’t the type of phone you’d be shopping for. Instead, expect Samsung to market the Grand in regions like China where lower-priced phones are found everywhere.

Two tip-offs tell me that the Grand won’t likely come to the U.S. or any other country where high-end, expensive smartphones are considered the norm. First, the first of the two Grand models to hit retail channels will offer dual-SIM capability. Support for multiple SIM cards is typically found in phones used in Africa and Asia, although they can be found in limited use outside of those regions.

Second, the Grand was actually spotted unofficially nearly a week ago on a Japanese site, which noted that the handset had “passed the authentication of the China Industry and Information Technology, effective December 07, 2012.” While this doesn’t guarantee the phone is destined for China, it certainly lends credence to the idea. Samsung is currently the top handset maker in China, but as Reuters pointed out last week, Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo are applying pressure to gain market share.

If the Grand is aimed at regions where inexpensive phones are desirable, it should provide a solid value. While the display resolution is low and the phone skips a high-performance quad-core chip with a 1.2 GHz dual core version, other specifications aren’t bad. An 8 megapixel rear camera is supplemented with a 2 megapixel sensor on the face of the Grand. A full gigabyte of memory, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 21 Mbps HSPA+ support and Android Jelly Bean software round out the device, making for a balanced smartphone experience.


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