A lot of new devices that have been unveiled this year are powered by the Snapdragon 600 processor, which sits right in the middle of Qualcomm’s new line of processors. But most people have been waiting to see the most powerful of the series – the Snapdragon 800 – make an appearance, and ZTE’s Grand Memo is the first Android smartphone to be powered by one.
The Grand Memo is also the largest phablet device yet unveiled by any manufacturer – its display is 5.7-inches diagonally, though at a disappointing 720p resolution which makes for a pixel density of only 258ppi. That’s not necessarily bad, but with 1080p displays seemingly becoming the norm on high-end devices these days, there’s nothing “grand” about the Grand Memo’s display, especially when you take the display’s size into account.
But the powerful 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, with an Adreno 330 graphics chip providing double the performance of the Adreno 320 found in the Snapdragon S600 and Snapdragon S4 Pro, is something that will compensate for the not so impressive display. Performance should be amazing considering the chipset doesn’t have to push as many pixels as 1080p smartphones.
The Grand Memo’s feature list is rounded off by a 13 megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p videos, 1 megapixel front camera, 1GB RAM, Dolby Digital technology, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean heavily modified by ZTE’s UI overlay. ZTE has managed to cram a 3,200 mAh battery in the 8.5mm thin device, which should provide adequate juice for the hardware running on the Grand Memo.
Oh, and to make things a bit easy with the gargantuan display, the Grand Memo can place the keyboard and number pad slightly more to the left or right, making typing with one hand more comfortable. This feature is already found on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, and it’s nice to see ZTE taking a leaf out of the Korean manufacturer’s book in this case.
The ZTE Grand Memo will launch in China in March, followed by Europe and the US sometime in Q2 2013. There’s no word on pricing, but the combination of a top-end processor and otherwise uninspiring specs should ensure the Grand Memo is priced accordingly.
Update: According to Engadget, the LTE-enabled variant of the Grand Memo will sport a 1080p display, which should make the device quite a bit more exciting.
ZTE Grand Memo Specifications
- 1.7GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5.7-inch 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) display
- 13 megapixel rear camera, 1080p video recording
- 1 megapixel front-facing camera
- 16GB built-in storage
- Wi-Fi with 802.11ac, HSPA, LTE Cat 3
- 3,200 mAh battery
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean