Samsung Galaxy Y Duos Review : Design, Strengths, Limitations, Features, Verdict

Considering its slightly jacked up specs and improved hardware, perhaps we can already consider the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos as a successor to the highly successful Samsung Galaxy Y.

In hindsight, the previous Galaxy Y is a bestseller mainly because of its ultra-affordable price tag of PhP 5,700. The next generation Galaxy Y Duos has a more expensive price point of PhP 8,990. But its main selling proposition is that it is the first Samsung Android smartphone to have dual-SIM capabilities. TechPinas received a review unit and I would like to share to all TP friends my experience using it. In a summary, these are the strengths and limitations of the new model --

  • Solid build quality
  • Impressive battery life
  • Responsiveness
  • Excellent phone call reception
  • Ease of transitioning from 1 SIM to another
  • Pinch to Zoom Enabled
  • Value for money
  • Screen Resolution
  • Camera
  • No Camera Flash
  • No Adobe Flash

Let's discuss SGYDuos' key features in detail:

Design and Build Quality

The full touch screen smartphone has an exterior construction that uses a solid metal frame surrounding the front and has rounded corners. It fits comfortably in one’s hand. The detachable shiny plastic back cover encloses the battery, SIM card slots and Micro SD. The phone has the following ports and control buttons:

samsung galaxy y duos
In front, you'll find the touchscreen, the earpiece, the physical home button at the bottom flanked by two capacitive keys, (back and menu). Similar to the previous Galaxy Y, the capacitive keys are not backlit.

The Samsung Galaxy Y Duos features a slightly larger screen size (3.14 inches) compared to its predecessor, Samsung Galaxy Y (3.0 inches) although with a lower screen resolution, 127ppi to 133ppi respectively.

samsung galaxy y duos
At the right, we have the power button

samsung galaxy y duos
At the left side, the volume control.

samsung galaxy y duos
We'll find the 3.5mm audio jack at the top.

samsung galaxy y duos
Nothing at the rear but the microphone pinhole and the microUSB 2.0 port.

samsung galaxy y duos
Finally, at the back, we can find the 3.15 MegaPixel fixed focus camera with no flash.

User Interface and Functionality

The Samsung Galaxy Y Duos uses the standard Touchwiz UI overlay on Android version 2.3.6 Gingerbread. It is an easy-to-learn Android 'experience', really. The home screen is navigated using a side-swiping gesture. Overall, I find the scrolling and transitions to be surprisingly smooth, considering that this is an entry-level Android. The phone also supports multi-touch gestures when navigating through the panels.


The onscreen keys of the device are moderately responsive. I recommend texting on the Galaxy Y Duos in the landscape orientation to be able to use the larger QWERTY keys.

Dual SIM capability

Switching from one SIM to another for calling and texting is quick and easy; It is just a 2 step procedure. First, swipe the top portion of the screen downwards to access the drop down menu. Second, from the menu, select the SIM card (SIM 1 or SIM 2) you are going to use. Easy as that. One will also find that calls or texts are labelled as 1 or 2 accordingly so the user would not be confused.

samsung galaxy y duos

Phonecall Reception

The Galaxy Y Duos is surprisingly excellent for phone calls. I’ve used the phone for sending and receiving calls for several days. The voice from the other line sounded clear and audible. The speaker on the other end also told me that I had loud and clear voice output.

Internet Browsing

Internet browsing on the Galaxy Y Duos is satisfactory. When using a stable internet connection, the phone loads websites quickly. The phone doesn’t support Adobe Flash, but fortunately, accessing an embedded Youtube video on a website redirects me to the mobile version of Youtube. One good feature of the phone is the ability to pinch-to-zoom while using the browser. One would find it especially useful because the unit is only equipped with a low-resolution screen.

Apps and Games

The user of the Galaxy Y Duos can be assured of smooth gameplay on the most popular mobile games such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Drag Racing, etc. But I could not seem to find Blood and Glory in the market. Android Market seems to screen out specs intensive games and apps for entry-level handsets.


The phone uses the standard Samsung Music Player, which categorizes the music into Artists, Albums, Songs, and Playslists. The phone has decent speaker loudness and clarity.


The camera is one department where SGYDuos can be deemed underwhelming, which is understandable considering that this is an entry level smartphone. The unit is only equipped with a 3.15MP camera and does not have an LED flash. The picture samples that I’ve taken are slightly noisy and not sharp. The colors are also not vibrant. On the plus side, the camera features a fast shutter speed, allowing the user to shoot quick snapshots. Here are sample pictures from the phone.

Shooting videos is quite decent with its camera. Although the videos lack detail and vibrancy, the video output does not have many stutters. The Galaxy Y Duos captures QVGA video at 24 fps. Here is a sample:

Battery Life

The Galaxy Y Duos presents an impressive battery life. The unit lasted one day and a half with moderate use. That’s approximately using the phone for calls and texts the entire day, and about 1.5 hours for internet browsing and social networking.


The Samsung Galaxy Y Duos is priced at Php 8,990. It's still an entry-level Android handset considering its below 10K price.


Although the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos is about Php 3,000 more expensive than the original, I think it is well worth the price. The Samsung Galaxy Y Duos does not intend to compete with the ultra-budget phone category where the Galaxy Y obviously reigns, but rather targets a different market profile: the dual-SIM users who want to upgrade to the Samsung Android experience.

There are different ways to take advantage of the handsets dual SIM capabilities. Here are the different uses I can think of:
  • Budget-conscious people can use it to take advantage of unlimited promos.
  • Maintaining 2 separate lines for business and personal use.
  • For OFWs who can maintain a local SIM to keep in touch with family and friends in the Philippines and another for overseas use.
  • For unlimited mobile data SIM card on one slot, another for call and text. Unlimited smartphone use for a lot cheaper rates.
This is the first dual-SIM Samsung Android phone in the Philippines. Although there are other dual-SIM brands that are slightly cheaper, the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos features a better build quality, faster performance and ease of use.

Samsung Galaxy Y Duos Specs

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange (Entry-level Android)
Dimensions109.8 x 60 x 12 mm
Weight 109 g
Available Colors Black
Operating System Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
Display 240 x 320 pixels, 3.14 inches (~127 ppi pixel density)
Processor 832 MHz
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048x1536 pixels, Geo-tagging,
Video Capture QVGA@24fps
Audio and Video Playback - MP4/WMV/H.264 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, v3.0 with A2DP
Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 HSDPA 900 / 2100 - GT-S6102 HSDPA 850 / 2100 - GT-S6102B
Memory 512 MB ROM, 384 MB RAM
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1300 mAh
Uptime Standby of Up to 360 Talktime of Up to 9 hours
Value-Added Features Dual SIM, SNS Integration, Google Services Suite
Announcement Feb 2012
Availability Feb 2012
Price P8,990

TP Contributing Writer Profile: Mon Arguelles is a graduate of Environmental Management, a joint program of the Ateneo De Manila University and University of San Francisco. He’s currently taking up his MBA. He is a part-time professor and environmental researcher but considers being updated about the latest technological trends to be one of his favorite pastimes.

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