When ZTE officially unveiled the Grand S earlier this month we let you know in no uncertain terms that it was by far the most disappointing 5-inch smartphone with a 1080p screen announced up until that point. It still is today, in fact.
Sure, the Grand S may come with all the hardware bells and whistles that you’d expect from an early 2013 flagship device. The aforementioned touchscreen, the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (even clocked 200 MHz higher than in its competitors), the two gigs of RAM, the 13 MP rear camera, LTE support, and so many other things are in there alright.
But none of that matters. This high-end device comes with a 1,780 mAh battery. Which is non-removable. This is a joke. A very, very sick joke, but a joke nonetheless. This then can only be a phone tailor-made for those who buy high-end gear just to show off, but never actually use their devices for more than a few minutes of calls or Web browsing each day.
Perhaps in order to further prove the point about what the addressable market for this device is, ZTE has gone all-out insane with its pricing. As you can see in the image above, if you’re in China you can get one for 4,799 yuan. Just how much is that, you wonder? $772 or €573. This in the same country that gave ‘birth’ to the Oppo Find 5 which will retail internationally for $499. And it has basically the same specs as the Grand S, yet with an almost-decent battery.
Let’s not even mention ZTE’s own Nubia Z5, which looks ten times better than the Grand S and can be yours for just 3,456 yuan (that’s around $556 or €413). And, once again, comes with the same specs alongside a much bigger battery.
Or consider the Ascend D2 from ZTE’s main competitor in China and across the world – Huawei. That comes with a 3,000 mAh battery for specs that are incredibly similar to the Grand S (basically the main difference is that Huawei is using an own-design quad-core processor and not the Qualcomm part). That’s almost twice the size of the battery in the Grand S.
But what do all of these better-endowed competitors lack? That’s right – the 6.9 mm thinness that the Grand S can boast to all the people who consider that to be more important than their ability to actually use their mobile phones while being, you know… mobile. And not tethered to a power socket.
Let’s quickly recap ZTE’s strange, odd, and even absurd behavior of late. The company wants to shed its image as a maker of cheap wares. For that it creates a new brand altogether – Nubia. But then only releases the first phone under that brand in China (where everybody knows what ZTE is already). Then the company launches the ZTE-branded Grand S and makes it $200+ more expensive than the ‘premium’ brand device – for basically the same specs. And ZTE certainly seems to think that it’s perfectly fine to release a top of the line smartphone with a sub-1,800 mAh battery in this day and age. After all, you aren’t actually thinking of buying a Grand S in order to use it, are you? Come on.
The truth is you simply shouldn’t be considering buying one at all. Plainly put, it’s an insulting creation.
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- ZTE Nubia Z5 now official: Android Jelly Bean, 1080p screen. Price: $555
- ZTE V987 goes on sale in China as a cheaper Grand S. Quad-core, 5″ screen, bigger battery, $273