Samsung has announced a mid-range phone, the Galaxy Express, which is essentially just a slightly lower-specced Galaxy Grand with LTE support. The Galaxy Express is not to be confused with the Galaxy Grand’s LTE-ready twin, which was announced for South Korea last week.

The 4G LTE Galaxy Express has a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with WVGA resolution, which is the same display that was used in the 2011 flagship Galaxy S2. There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash, which is disappointing at a time when Samsung’s other mid-range offerings have shooters that boast of 8 megapixel sensors. On the front, there’s a 1.3 megapixel camera, which should suffice for voice calls but may not deliver outstanding self-shots.

The Samsung Galaxy Express

The Samsung Galaxy Express

The Galaxy Express is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM; it may well have the same processor that ticks under the Galaxy Grand. But that coupled with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean should ensure a smooth experience. It has 8GB of internal storage space with a microSD expansion slot that supports cards up to 32GB. The battery is mid-range at 2,000mAh and should ideally offer decent battery life and last you through the day with moderate usage.

The phone also has the usual complement of accelerometer, gyro sensors and digital compass. GPS includes both Glonass and A-GPS, while connectivity encompasses Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, MHL, and NFC. There’s also a Micro USB 2.0 port for charging, PC connections and display mirroring.

The phone comes with the usual Samsung features such as ChatOn, S Beam and All Share. Of course, there is a good chance that an update will deliver more homegrown features such as Smart Alert and Smart Call. All in all, it has the makings of a decent mid-range handset.

But someone has to pull Samsung up for taking the easy road in terms of design. The Galaxy Express has the same jaded design that Samsung has chosen for a bunch of its handsets released this past year, including the Galaxy Grand.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand in India last week. It brings similar specs to the table, except for a better camera, but lacks NFC and of course, the LTE-compatibility. The Galaxy Grand has an 8 megapixel camera on the back and is priced at Rs 21,500. However, the Galaxy Express looks to be a US-only smartphone with AT&T already selling it under its roster. The handset is priced at $449 (approx Rs 24,000) without a contract, but worldwide availability and pricing is expected to be revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, later this month.

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