Hands-on: ZTE Grand S with quad-core S4, 1080p full HD display, 2GB RAM [VIDEO]


Leaked weeks before CES, ZTE has finally taken the wraps off their latest high-end smartphone: the ZTE Grand S. If you read my previous post, you guys already know how excited I’ve been to get my hands on this device. Packing everything a spec whore could want in a phone, the ZTE Grand S officially packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 5-inch 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear — 2MP front facing cameras, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and 4G LTE radios. ZTE touts the device as the world’s thinnest 5-inch smartphone, something we were able to experience for ourselves in our brief hands-on with the device. Watch on.

The device looked just as good as was leaked a few weeks ago. As a display enthusiast, I absolutely fell in love with the device’s 5-inch 1080p full HD display. Colors were bright and vivid, blacks were deep, viewing angles were superb, images appeared to be floating off the screen entirely. The Grand S gives the HTC Droid DNA’s SLCD3 display a run for its money — it was that good.

Also noteworthy was the device’s 13MP camera. We fired off shots nice and quick, with resulting pics that were well detailed, brought to life by the device’s full HD display. What really surprised us was the quality of the 2MP front facing camera, on par with many device’s rear facing shooters. ZTE really went balls to the wall on the hardware with the Grand S and it shows.

Keeping in mind the Grand S is running on extremely early software and in no way representative of the final product, we were a little discouraged to find the manufacturer’s custom UI (pretty much mandatory these days) was extremely choppy and not Project Butter nor the 1.7GHz quad-core processor could save it. After downloading and installing Nova Launcher, this were fast and fluid. While I can’t say ZTE’s UI tops out my list for “best manufacturer UI’s” (I think LG did it best), maybe we’ll see something different if/when this device hits stateside.

For the finicky buyer, the ZTE Grand S comes in a wide variety of color options and finishes. Everything from glossy, to matte, pearl, and soft touch, ZTE really went out of their way to make sure the Grand S was tailored to suit just about everyone’s tastes. Due out by Q1 of this year, the device will be made available online from ZTE. Hopefully US carriers will be as impressed as we were and will begin offering the superphone here in the states in the coming months. Official press release below.

ZTE Announces World Debut of the Thinnest 5.0 FHD Quad-core Smartphone Grand S at CES 2013

Introducing more High-end Smartphones with Power and Style in 2013

LAS VEGAS, N.V. – January 8, 2012 – From the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, today announced the world debut of the ZTE Grand S – 5.0 FHD LTE. As the flagship handset in ZTE’s high-end Grand Series line of products, the ZTE Grand S is the company’s first FHD smartphone and the world’s thinnest within 5 inch FHD quad-core smartphones, enabled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. Developed by ZTE, the ultrathin body and high definition display of the ZTE Grand S offer consumers the latest in style, quality and functionality.

From the full-website display which enables optimal content browsing, to the 4G LTE high-speed network which powers a world-class multimedia experience, the ZTE Grand S offers cutting-edge features for even the most discerning smartphone user. The blazingly fast 4G LTE network allows for top-speed downloading and establishes the handset as a premier gaming and movie-viewing portal. Furthermore, the ZTE Grand S offers smartphone photography mavens advanced functions for more vivid self-photography and video calling effects. With face recognition, anti-shake and a panoramic camera, the ZTE Grand S truly presents a high-quality multimedia option for today’s smartphone audience.

The introduction of the ZTE Grand S completes the new Grand Series, which also includes the Grand Era and Grand X. In the series, the ZTE Grand X is for consumers with a passion for high tech, the ZTE Grand Era is for the most advanced smartphone user and the ZTE Grand S is the flagship handset offering the perfect combination of art and technology. The ZTE Grand S represents the company’s latest entry in a new era of smartphone design, which will continue in 2013 with the introduction of additional high-end smartphones.

“The ZTE Grand S gives our customers the latest in technology, functionality and style. We understand that today’s consumers call for advanced features and state-of-the-art multimedia options in their handsets, and the ZTE Grand S confidently addresses those demands,” said Mr. Kan Yulun, Corporate Vice President of ZTE Corporation and CTO of the ZTE Mobile Device Division. “It is fitting that we can announce the world debut of the ZTE Grand S at CES 2013, the world’s largest annual innovation event.”

Key features of the ZTE Grand S include:

4G LTE –Customers can expect fast download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 50 Mbps in 4G LTE Mobile Broadband coverage areas
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 1.7GHz quad-core CPU
Android Jelly Bean operating system
13M AF camera with Flash and 2M FF 1080P video
Expert hardware and software safety protection standard – Palm Manager helps users manage mobile phone software, optimize electricity use and protect private information
5 inch FHD screen capable of full-website display
Dolby Digital surround sound
Memory: 2GB RAM + 16GB EMMC
Dimensions: 142*69*6.9mm

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. I’ll say it again, ZTE = New(old) HTC

  2. I don’t see anything about a sd slot, :(

    1. We showed it off in the video. Don’t worry, it’s there :)

      1. Whoops! Thanks for the heads up!

    2. oh boy. soon you will have no choice. SD slots will be a thing of the past

      1. Great, as long as unlimited and affordable data plans become more common (in Canada at least).

  3. oh wasup girl… lol nice phone there :)

    1. What phone? (JK)

    2. that was hilarious !!

  4. 5 inch hi def color accurate display-check
    apparently top of the line front and rear cameras-check
    good amount of internal memory-check
    expandable memory-check
    top of the line processor-check
    lack of butt ugly space wasting on-screen buttons-double check
    =get out of my way and tell me where I swipe my credit card

  5. Dammit the only bad feature is the 1780mah which I don’t think was mentioned here, other than that its a beautiful phone. This was gonna be my next phone but I’m sure battery life will not be good especially since its a 5″ 1080p….

    1. My Nexus 4 battery life is only decent (2100mah). Now imagine a 1080p screen and the more powerful processor it takes to power that screen. I only get 4 hours screen time (Not horrible, but not as good as I’ve had)

  6. Stunning front facing camera there.

  7. ~1,800mah unremovable battery with a 1080p screen and 1.7ghz clock kind of kills this phone, annorexic is not the way to go.

    1. I think she looks very healthy, and damn fine.

    2. Shes just skinny, come on

  8. This is worst then HTC DNA and its 2020mAh battery….just to make the damn device that thin they sacrifice the battery size…what a shame…It does looks nice though and the cameras seem to be great…

  9. i’d take the girl lol thanks

  10. This better come with the Nectar Mobile Power things you guys talked about. That’s such a tiny battery.

  11. yet another potentially great phone hampered by weak sauce battery, next!

  12. Sup giiiiirl!

  13. ZTE with the LTE makes VZW HAP-E

  14. Look, it’s Wall-E’s gf!

    1. The white one looks like Eva, huh? XD

  15. I’m surprised no one’s commemted “I’d like to get hands-on with that model hehe.” Or maybe that’s my perverted mind. Yeah, prolly the latter

  16. you should just do a post of all the models that hold up phones and stand near washers/dryers, etc.

  17. the front camera amazing

  18. If i get that girl. I promise i’ll order 100 of that device! She is beautiful, Sweet Mother Of Odin!

  19. LoL!! “Spec whore”? That completely caught me off guard.

  20. Hey guys just a heads up, ZTE has plans to launch this in the U.S.:


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