This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas played host to not one, but three brand new smartphones all toting 5-inch displays each featuring Full HD resolution. Sony offered up what was questionably the biggest mobile announcement of the show in the form of the Sony Xperia Z, whilst ZTE’s leading Chinese rival Huawei produced the Ascend D2, but ZTE entered the fray with the Grand S: possibly the company’s first truly competitive premium Android smartphone.
The Grand Series represents ZTE’s flagship line with the last member to hit the UK being the less than impressive Grand X; which approached consumers by offering up Nvidia Tegra graphics (it made use of a Tegra 2 dual-core processor) and an HD display for under £200. The Grand S signifies a change in tact for ZTE, by heading full steam ahead into the premium market, aiming to take on the more established Sony, not to mention whatever Samsung and HTC are planning on cooking up in the coming months.
The Grand S is a veritable beast which, on paper, pins it above the current competition. As we’ve already mentioned there’s a full 1080p HD 5-inch display, which is said to offer great viewing angles and punchy colours and capacitive keys can be found under the display, producing a long vertical appearance. The phone’s body is matt plastic in construction and feels reminiscent of the HTC One X, albeit with a more squared polycarbonate unibody design.
Hardware-wise, the beefy display is supported by a 1.7-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, twinned to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, with room for expandability via microSD up to 32GBs. On the Grand S’s back sits a 13-megapixel camera capable of 1080p HD video at 30fps and there’s a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for good measure.
Despite our preconceptions, if ZTE are able to sort out a respectable price point, this could be one of the most popular phones of the coming months. With that killer display, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a faster processor than any of the current competition and the fact that it’s the thinnest Full HD phone around, the Grand S has the potential to make consumers take notice of ZTE, we’re starting to see them in a new light, but now we need to get up close and personal with the device to see if it’s going to follow through.