ZTE likely isn't the first brand that comes to mind when you think of premium Android handsets, and that isn't a surprise. The company's footprint is largest in Asia, and it typically releases budget handsets on this side of the Pacific. But ZTE has been working to change things, and today it's announced that two of its high-end smartphones are ready to compete in the US market - the Grand S and the Nubia 5. Lets start with the former.


This is not the first time we've heard of the Grand S. It was on display at CES back in January and went on to be exclusively available in China. Things change. The Grand S comes with Android 4.1, a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 13MP camera, a 1780mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory. At .27-inches thick, this phone is thinner than both the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, and it's the thinnest that ZTE has ever developed. I still wouldn't call it the most attractive phone out there, but I wouldn't call it cheap either. At $399.99, it's more affordable than most comparably specced phones.

The Nubia 5 is a very similar device. The screen, processor, and camera are largely the same, and both phones come with Android 4.1. The 2300mAh battery is a bit larger though, and at $449.99, so is the price.



Neither phone has been picked up by a carrier, but given that they are GSM devices, you should be fine with either AT&T or T-Mobile. Both phones will become available for pre-order on October 5th through Amazon and other stores.

ZTE’s Grand S™ Makes a Grand Entrance in the U.S.

Available for Preorder Oct 5, ZTE’s Slimmest Smartphone is Elegant, Stylish and Open

RICHARDSON, Texas, October 3, 2013 – ZTE USA, the fastest-growing smartphone provider in the United States, today announced the U.S. pricing and availability of the award-winning Grand S, a beautifully-crafted smartphone decorated with the 2013 iF International Design Award. 

First introduced globally at CES 2013, the 0.27-inch Grand S is ZTE’s slimmest smartphone available in the United States, and is compatible for use with GSM/UMTS carriers. The phone is available for preorder onSaturday, October 5 with an MSRP of $399.99, through Amazon and other channels.

With a large, eye-catching five-inch display and 13 megapixel camera, the Grand S caters to today’s design-conscious consumer by providing the perfect combination of aesthetics and technology. Its quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and use of several MiFavor applications designed by ZTE provide the brains behind the elegant uni-body design, capturing true user demands.

“For many consumers, technology and design are inseparable. Today’s higher-end smartphones must be both physically and emotionally compelling, and the Grand S offers this winning combination of form and function,” said Lixin Cheng, Chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing the Grand S to the U.S. since we announced the device at CES. Our goal is to launch more products like this in the future.”

ZTE Grand S technical specifications include:

•             OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

•             Display: 5” FHD (1920 x 1080), 440 ppi with scratch-resistant glass

•             Processor: Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM S4 Pro processor with 1.5 GHz quad-core CPUs

•             Cameras: 13 megapixels Auto Focus with Flash, and 2 megapixels Front Facing camera

•             Battery: 1780 mAH

•             Dimensions: 5.59” x 2.72” x 0.27”

•             Memory: 16GB in ROM, 2 GB in RAM

For additional information on the ZTE Grand S features, please visit www.zteusa.com/grands.html.


The ZTE nubia 5™ Packs Advanced Photography and Entertainment

Into the Palm of Your Hand

Available for Preorder Oct 5, ZTE’s nubia 5  Features Full HD Display, Dolby Digital Plus, and a 13MP Camera

RICHARDSON, Texas, October 3, 2013 – ZTE USA, the fastest-growing smartphone provider in the United States, today announces the U.S. pricing and availability of ZTE nubia 5™, a high-end smartphone packing entertainment and performance into an approachable industrial profile. The ZTE nubia 5 is compatible with GSM/UMTS carriers, and is available for preorder on Saturday, October 5 with an MSRP of $449.99, through Amazon and other channels.

Whether you’re a photo enthusiast looking to capture and edit amazing pictures using a 13 megapixel camera with a Konica-Minolta lens and intelligent stabilization, an always-on road warrior looking to stay connected via countless apps, or an audiophile looking to plug into Digital Dolby Plus audio with specially-designed earbuds, the ZTE nubia 5 packs a punch.  With a low-profile bezel, matte finish and glowing red custom fixed buttons complementing the industrial design, the ZTE nubia 5 creates a mobile experience unlike any other Android smartphone.

“As the software and apps available on today’s smartphones replace more and more of the other devices we use on a daily basis, the specifications for features like cameras, displays and speakers are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  The nubia 5 really pushes that trend further,” said Lixin Cheng, Chairman and CEO of ZTE USA.  “Moreover, the launch of the ZTE nubia 5 builds on our ongoing commitment to the U.S.  ZTE will be working closely with our customers to make devices like this available in the U.S.”

The nubia 5 offers one of the most versatile smartphone photography experiences available through three photography modes – Fun Mode, Auto Mode and Pro Mode.  Fun Mode is for taking quick snapshots and applying filters, while Auto Mode provides a step up in features, like smile recognition and HDR.  Lastly, Pro Mode brings the core functions of a professional SLR into the phone through features like 4-direction panoramic shooting, burst mode continuous shooting, and putting control of light, focus, and gradient into the user’s hands.

ZTE nubia 5 technical specifications include:

•             OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

•             Display: 5” FHD 16.7M Color 1920 x 1080, 443PPi

•             Processor: Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM S4 Pro processor with 1.5 GHz quad-core CPUs

•             Cameras: Konica-Minolta 13 MP Auto Focus with LED Flash and Sapphire Lens, and 2 MP Front Facing camera

•             Battery: 2300 mAH

•             Dimensions: 5.43” x 2.71” x 0.30”

•             Memory: 16GB in ROM, 2 GB in RAM

For additional information on the ZTE nubia 5, please visit www.zteusa.com/nubia5.html.

ZTE Grand S

ZTE Nubia 5

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • kliu0x52

    Anyone else subconsciously associate "Grand S" with "Galaxy S" and "Nubia 5" with "Nexus 5"?

    • shortbus83

      nope. I associate Nubia with the "What's a Nubian?" line from chasing amy.

    • Mike Reid

      These Chinese/super cheap phone OEMs regularly hijack names from Samsung and HTC.

      I hate going to ebay, entering GT-N7100 or whatever and seeing the list start with Mediatek chips based crap.

  • anmolm97

    I thought it was the Nexus 5 and i got excited..then i saw Nubia 5 and i was like "ehhh...."

  • jonathan3579

    I have three issues that I can see right off the bat with the phones:

    1.) Releasing with 4.1 when we are on the verge of 4.4 in a matter of (hopefully) weeks.

    2.) Those batteries.

    3.) Two generation old processors. (I get that they're "cheaper" than the competition, but they should probably be even cheaper considering how behind the times it is in comparison.)

    • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

      Nexus 7(2013) has the same CPU(I think...) and does fine job... so for OEMs like ZTE the point isn't to make the most powerful phone but make compromises in the right places to offer market cheap alternatives...

      but you're right... that battery..... damn

      • psychoace

        He didn't mention anything about cpu though

        • Colin Kealty

          "Two generation old processors."
          I think that that's a mention of the cpu...

      • jonathan3579

        The Nexus 7 (2013) has been confirmed on a few sites to have an underclocked Snapdragon 600 but because of whatever decision by Qualcomm, Google was unable to use the S600 name.

        • Colin Kealty

          Yeah it's the APQ8064–1AA which got advertised as s4 pro despite having the Krait 300 architecture as opposed to the s4 pro in the Nexus 4 which has Krait 200 (just providing more details)

          • jonathan3579

            Thank you for the specifics! You did a much better job elaborating than I did, lol.

  • John O’Connor

    Have they not learned about storage complaints from this side of the pacific? 16gb only (guessing 10gb user accessible?), no thanks, I'll pass.

  • Daniel McDermott

    Nubia is a great phone. I have the newer S5 Mini, which is just a slightly lower end model of the S5. The software is very good, nice hardware design, good firmware updates, nearly stock with just a couple very small modifications. Screen is very beautiful, battery life decent, and incredibly fast and powerful phone. It will be challenging to market the nubia name in the US, but I do think they have a good chance of success as they have built a brand that doesn't scream Chinese like phones in the ZTE line.

  • http://www.androidrookies.com/ Andy Suwito

    I hope zte will release android 4.4.2 soon

  • http://www.androidrookies.com/ Andy Suwito

    I hope ZTE will release android 4.4.2 soon

  • Ann Lazebna