ZTE invited us to meet up in central London for the unveiling of their next major handset earlier today. Although we had been teased by the presence of an innocuous tweet from the company’s official Twitter feed just last week, we were still in the dark as to the name and hardware lurking behind this mysterious device, which ZTE had dubbed as “one of the most advanced gaming smartphones” to grace the market.
It didn’t take us long to figure out its name, as the venue was covered in banners marked with by ‘ZTE Grand X’. Once the unveil took place we were then treated to a device designed to strengthen ZTE’s presence in markets like the UK, whilst maintaining the company’s current brand values. The recently announced ZTE Kis caught the attention of consumers with its low-cost, low-end Android smartphone chops and now the ZTE Grand X is stepping to fill the upper tier market with the same sense of ZTE value.
The Grand X is the company’s first Tegra smartphone making it to market. In comparison to other manufactures’s flagship devices the Grand X may seem insignificant, but for a company who pride themselves on low-cost smartphones, this device is set to be an affordable powerhouse. The Grand X sports a 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, along with 512MB of RAM, which in real world use, translates as a surprisingly smooth and fluid experience, proving Tegra 3 isn’t the only chip still worth taking note of. Aside from being the first Tegra powered ZTE, it also makes use of NVIDIA’s new modem technology which makes it the first consumer device to market to do so.
The other hardware is more akin to the likes of other mid-range devices it’s compared to with 1.5GB of user-accessible storage as well as a 2GB microSD card, which looks to be bundled with the device. On the back, the Grand X utilises a 5-megapixel autofocus camera and on the front features a 0.3-megapixel front-facing shooter, positioned above a 4.3-inch qHD display. Although many flagships now are opting for an integrated battery, the ZTE opts for a removable back panel which provides access to the microSD slot, removable battery and full size SIM tray.
Using the ZTE Grand X surprised us, with its solid user experience bolstered in part by what appears to be untouched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the difference being the onscreen navigation keys have been switched out for four cap active keys, typically found on older devices. The ZTE Grand X is set to arrive in August, available from Virgin Media and Phones4U and this is where it aims to stand out. By offering the handset for a sub £200 price-tag, ZTE have made the Grand X one of the most affordable Tegra devices on the market. Main tariff pricing on Virgin Media is as follows:
Starter 24 month
- £24 per month
- 200 minutes
- 500 texts
- 500MB data
- Existing Virgin Media customers will pay £19 rather than £24 a month and receive unlimited calls and texts to other Virgin mobiles as well as inclusive insurance with a 24 hour replacement service
Essential 24 month
- £29 per month
- 600 minutes
- Unlimited texts
- 1GB data
- Existing Virgin Media customers will pay £24 rather than £29 a month and receive unlimited calls and texts to other Virgin mobiles as well as inclusive insurance with a 24 hour replacement service
Premiere 24 month
- £32 per month
- 2500 minutes
- Unlimited texts
- Unlimited data
- Unlimited calls to UK landlines
- Existing Virgin Media customers will pay £27 rather than £32 a month and receive unlimited calls and texts to other Virgin mobiles as well as inclusive insurance with a 24 hour replacement service
We also went video hands-on with the ZTE Grand X, check it out: