Samsung’s announcement early this morning of its new Galaxy Grand, an Android 4.1.2 (Jellybean) smartphone with an 8MP rear-facing autofocus camera and a 2 megapixel HD front-facing camera suggests more questions than it answers.
A lot more.
This is especially true in wake of XDA-Developer news yesterday that most smartphones using the Exynos 44-series late model quad core processors have a security hole. According to the XDA-Developer group, an exploit shows data in RAM is potentially accessible to any malware or malevolents who knows how to get in.
And the user would never know it.
Just hours after its release, the previously hotly-awaited Galaxy Grand is meeting with some disappointment among those in the Android world. They were expecting a quad-core Samsung Exynos-powered device.
Now, before this news yesterday, the Samsung Grand had the words “perfect holiday gift” written all over it. Available at some time reps won’t yet define, it’ll come in at least two models — a dual and single SIM version — this 1.2GHz gadget is all about the photos.
Pricing, availability and downsizing of the CPU aside, certainly, its photo specs are decent enough. Its built in BSI sensor, which it claims will allow for better low-light quality pic-taking, no visible shutter lag and rapid camera startup, is a nice feature. There’s a built-in 1080p video camera.
Here are the specs as Samsung presented them this a.m. More issues regarding the Qualcomm swap with the Samsung Exynos below that.
Why not ship it now? Well, they’re going to have to back things up to replace the Exynos with the Qualcomm. Return merchandise. Replace chips and firmware probably. And backpedal with marketing and legal while doing it. Informed guesses.
As of this writing, Samsung has yet to issue a fix. An XDA-developer member has a fix I wrote about in CNET’s Tech Republic yesterday. But it involves rooting — and in the rooting, the disabling of the camera and, of course, a void warranty.
That’s not a huge deal for a lot of us. But going forward?
Look at this announcement and you’ll see how urgently Samsung needs to fix this at a deeper level. It will but it won’t be this month.
Samsung hasn’t denied the issue except to say it is looking into it. And it isn’t releasing pricing or availability details on the Samsung Galaxy Grand models either – in Europe, Asia or the United States. It only says the double SIM model, presumably the more expensive one, will come out first.
We’ll reach out to Samsung reps again to find out what’s going on here.
Find the full specs here on the Samsung Galaxy Grand at samsung.com.
Image of the 1930s-era Samsung Noodles logo above: Wikimedia Commons