ZTE launched its mega-powerful and supremely slender five-inch Grand S LTE at a rather cramped CES 2013 press conference. The mighty 1.7GHz quad-core smartphone is one of the most powerful around, yet still manages to keep a slim 6.9mm body, making it thinner than Sony and Huawei’s five-inchers (the Xperia Z and the Ascend D2). Check out our hands-on preview for our initial thoughts.
ZTE revealed the Grand S in a rather unique way. First, the box held only a lightbulb...
And then, alakazam! It's a smartphone. Clever stuff.
The 3.14mm frame around the screen is also surprisingly thin, so the screen dominates the front, and the overall curvy unibody design (apparently influenced by a water droplet) looks slick. The colour was influenced by traditional Chinese ink paintings, but it comes in a wide variety of designs including red, blue and green so you’re bound to find one you’ll like.
The Grand S LTE supports 4G LTE as the name suggests, so you can download media and browse the web at blazing speeds. The quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor should handle apps, games and anything else you chuck at it with no slowdown, proving as fast as the HTC One X+ and other top-range mobiles. ZTE has also packed in 2GB of RAM, along with 16GB of storage space.
Another big talking point is the ZTE Grand S LTE’s five-inch Full HD screen, with its impressively sharp resolution. This should prove perfect for enjoying movies on the go, and we’re looking forward to stacking it up against Sony’s Xperia Z and Huawei’s Ascend D2, which also pack FHD screens. In terms of resolution it’s 440 pixels per inch, a mere 3 ppi behind the Sony Xperia Z and Huawei Ascend D2. It’s a ‘floating screen’ which means the 0.55mm Gorilla Glass panel is raised from the body, while not adding much width.
The Grand S LTE runs Android Jelly Bean, and also crams in a 13MP rear-facing camera (capable of capturing 1080p video) and 2MP front-facing lens for video chats. It’s packed with features including panorama mode and plenty of editing options, while extra options such as Drive Mode allows you to fully use your Grand S LTE while driving.
So far, availability has only been confirmed for China (release end of Q1) followed by the US, but expect to see it hitting the UK by the end of the year. Pricing is yet to be revealed. We've had a play around with the demo units, so check out our full hands-on write-up.