After having a chance to play with the ZTE Grand Memo yesterday, I was a bit perplexed. It was kind of slow. Actually, it was really slow - I haven't seen UI lag like that on a top-tier smartphone in over a year. It was terrible switching between tasks, and while ZTE's hilariously overwrought UI is likely slowing it down a fair bit, something just didn't feel right for a phone allegedly running on the very latest Snapdragon chip.
Update: Looks like ZTE may be fibbing a bit on the specs of this device, at least in what it's showing off as the "Grand Memo" at MWC...
Say hello to the newest entrant into the bigger-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet arena: ZTE's Grand Memo. It's a massive 5.7" device with a resolution of 1280x720, Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, and a 13MP camera, running Android 4.1. While a 1080p display would've been a nice addition, there's no denying that the Grand Memo is quite a powerful device.
While NVIDIA may have just announced the Tegra 4 at CES back in January, that isn't stopping ZTE from promising to deliver the first "superphone" to use the powerhouse chip by the end of Q2 2013. Although the company is being scant on exact device specifications, we do know that it will not only use the T4 chip, but also NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem.
For those who may have missed everything the T4 has to offer, here's a quick rundown:
- 4-PLUS-1 architecture, just like the Tegra 3
- 72 GPU Cores
- A15 architecture
- Optional LTE modem via the i500
Judging by the wording in the press release, ZTE isn't working on just one Tegra 4-powered phone, either.
The ZTE Blade III has been available outside of the UK since September of last year, but it's only just making its official appearance on British shores now, as a Virgin Media exclusive, for now at least.
The budget smartphone, which comes with a 4-inch capacitive display, 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and 2.5GB of internal storage, is available for just £79.99 through Virgin Media on pay-as-you-go. If you'd prefer to be on a monthly contract, prices start at £18 for non-Virgin customers, whilst those who have an existing Virgin Media package can get it for £13 a month.
A couple of small OTA updates - both of which are primarily bug-fixers - are making their way to the Flash and Epic 4G Touch on Sprint this morning.
Flash owners, you can expect LED blink timing improvements, camera enhancements, better text input with Swype, and a tweak to the information provided in Settings > Applications > Running applications.
The list is actually shorter for the Epic 4G Touch, with only two things in the OTA: it adds Sprint's Connection Optimizer, and brings some security updates.
Fancy a new 5" superphone? ZTE may have something to pique your interest - if you live in China. The company's latest high-end device, the Grand S, was unveiled yesterday prior to CES, and we got some hands-on time earlier today. It hits all the right points: 5" 1080p display, 13MP rear camera, 1.7GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1, LTE connectivity, and is a fairly stunning 6.9mm in profile.
But, ZTE wasn't shy about discussing market availability: China.
It seems like every month we get a new world's thinnest smartphone, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE knows that's a mug's game. They've decided to go for broke with the Grand S, which sports a 5-inch 1080p screen (like all the cool kids do) and still manages to fit into a case that's just 6.9mm thin at the thickest point. For what it's worth, that makes the Grand S the thinnest 5-inch, 1080p phone out there.
If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).
Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.
Amazon just did some price slashing on a scale we rarely see, cutting costs for all sorts of new smartphones across the board. Hit up the list to see what's up for grabs. All of these deals are for both new customers and upgrades.
One X+ (AT&T) - $139.99 ($70 savings)
What more can you say about the One X+ than it's a One X but better? 64GB of internal storage, LTE, and Android 4.1, all on the most beautiful smartphone display I've ever seen.
Considering the multitude of leaks surrounding the device,, you probably already know basically everything there is to know about the ZTE Flash for Sprint. And now, The Now Network has made this mid-ranger official. The device features some pretty modest specs, along with a very Galaxy Nexus-esque form factor: