By now, it’s pretty evident that 2013 will be the year of 5-inch 1080 displays on all flagship Android phones. HTC kicked off the trend a few months ago with the HTC J Butterfly and Droid DNA, and now ZTE and every other OEM has followed suit. The ZTE Grand S may not have stolen the mobile limelight at CES, but the handset’s flagship specs and unique design have made ZTE a strong contender in the mobile space.
While at CES, we had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the ZTE Grand S. The handset’s unibody shell gives the device a premium feel, though we were a bit surprised by how light the phone is. Based on what we saw at ZTE’s booth, the Grand S will be available in nearly a half-dozen colors which include white, gray, black, pink, teal and red with a variety of different finishes. The white ZTE Grand S looks to similar to the HTC One X, but once you hold the other colors, it’s clear that ZTE has come up with a design that’s beautiful and completely unique from any device that’s currently on the market.
Those hoping for stock Android will be disappointed to hear that the ZTE Grand S will ship with a custom skin on top of Android Jelly Bean. The graphical elements of ZTE’s custom skin is quite impressive, but the company’s software engineers have quite a bit of work ahead of them to smooth things out before launch. During our time with the Grand S, we found that the phone was extremely slow and unresponsive. Launching applications took 3-4 attempts and we even had a hard time when trying to unlock the phone. Fortunately, things fared a lot better when we installed an alternate launcher on the Grand S.
What are your thoughts on the ZTE Grand S? Do you think ZTE has what it takes to complete directly with Sony, Samsung, HTC and Motorola.
ZTE Grand S spec highlights
- quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
- 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080p ful HD display
- 2GB of RAM
- Android Jelly Bean
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- 13 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera