ZTE Grand S gets official as the most disappointing 5″ 1080p smartphone (also world’s thinnest)
The rumors were right. ZTE has been working on the Grand S to present to the world outside of China as its new flagship Android device. The five-incher has just been officially introduced at CES in Las Vegas as the world’s thinnest 5″ Full HD phone. Just how thin is it? 6.9 mm. That’s within half a millimeter of what is the thinnest smartphone of them all, regardless of size – the newly announced Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra. Impressive, then. But all this thinness may come at a giant cost – read on to find out what that is.
The ZTE Grand S has the now-standard-for-high-end-phones 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen. It also sports the once-again-standard-for-high-end-phones Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, only in this case it’s clocked at 1.7 GHz (200 MHz more than in all of the competitors to the Grand S).
Image via PocketNow
The device comes with a 13 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-facing snapper, both of which can record 1080p video. 2 GB of RAM are in there, and 16 GB of built-in storage alongside a very welcome microSD card slot. LTE support is offered too.
The Grand S runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will be available in China before the end of the first quarter of the year. Other regions should, we assume, get it at some point after that.
So what then, you wonder, is so disappointing here?
Well, first of all ZTE’s current strategy makes absolutely no sense to me. ZTE is a relatively unknown brand in the ‘developed world’, but very well known in China. So when the company decides to create a new smartphone sub-brand (Nubia), where does it launch that? China only. The funny thing? Nubia devices don’t have any ZTE branding on them. None. So wouldn’t that have made a lot more sense in ‘developed markets’? I think so, but ZTE clearly doesn’t.
And speaking of the Nubia Z5, ZTE’s first announced 5-inch 1080p phablet. That device looks incredibly well. In fact, it was designed by a well known designer. Of things. And it shows. Personally, I think it looks ten times better than the Grand S. So why isn’t the Nubia Z5 going to be sold outside of China? What’s the point of all this?
Finally, the real kicker. The ZTE Grand S, with its huge 1080p screen, LTE connectivity, and 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU, comes with a 1,780 mAh battery. I still hope this is a typo (and it very well may be, since while it’s been reported as such by every blog under the sun, the official press release stays mum on the issue).
But if it’s not a typo, then it’s certainly insane. That’s almost half the capacity of the battery that Chinese competitor Huawei stuck into its 5″ 1080p device, the Ascend D2.
And it’s unacceptable in this day and age. That won’t get you through a day no matter how ‘mild’ your use is. OK, so if you don’t use any of your smartphone’s ‘smart’ features, it may last you one whole day. Then why buy it in the first place?
I say don’t. Don’t buy a 5″ device with a Full HD screen, LTE, and quad-core processor with such a battery. It’s just not worth it, no matter how thin it may be.