Friday, August 9, 2013

The candidate for the elite. Overview of Android-smartphone ZTE Grand S - BBC News

Chinese smartphone makers are determined to give up the image of companies that produce a product in the category of “cheap and cheerful”. On the test machine came to Vestyam.Haytek ZTE Grand S, which is the second after the ZTE Nubia flagship device in the current line of Android-Chinese company. Grand S quite drawn to the modern leader not only in performance but also in design. We tried to find out whether another candidate to the elite of the smartphone market to other flagship solution in the main – the convenience of daily use.

Appearance, ergonomics

Home design idea ZTE Grand S – a record low thickness. The manufacturer claims it as 6.9 mm, but this figure does not take into account the protrusion on the back cover, in which the camera is located. Because of this, the title of “the thinnest smartphone with a screen Full HD” Grand S could boast long – just before the Lenovo K900, which has 6.9 mm “honest”, the whole area of ??the body.

housing ZTE Grand S monolith (battery, respectively, fixed) was made of opaque polycarbonate such as, for example, last year HTC One X. The material is pleasant, there is a “high-tech” and despite the white color, not very easily soiled. In fact, many colors, and very interesting and stylish – bright green, yellow, blue, black – but for some reason they brought Russia until only white. The smartphone is not only thin, but also quite narrow, the result is one of the most convenient one-handed Android-smartphone with a screen Full HD. Dimensions of the device – 69 x 142 x 6,9 mm, weight – 120 grams.

On the left edge of the device contacts the dock (that’s just where she dock? neither complete, nor even on sale in Russia it is not) and closing hinged plug connector for a standard full-size SIM-cards . On the right – “rocker” volume and slot microSD (support for cards up to 32 GB), “home button” – power / lock – on the top, reach for it has quite a long way. There’s also a headphone jack. At the bottom end – microUSB connector for charging and syncing.

for the device with a 5-inch screen ZTE Grand S handy. Without hitting any exceptional imagination futuristic design, while it looks quite stylish and “at”. That is correct, “cover” for picky buyers from Europe and North America in the ZTE have learned to do, even got some not very well-known award in the field of industrial design. Unfortunately, the contents of the case until the situation is worse.

screen, multimedia

In ZTE Grand S used Full HD screen diagonal of 5 inches of good quality, the density of points – 441 ppi. The maximum brightness is not sufficient in order to use it in bright sunlight as comfortable as indoors. But the contrast and good color rendering, video, photos and games on display looked a winner. The screen is certainly not as good as the leader among current Android-champions for this indicator, HTC One, but certainly better than like a faded display Sony Xperia Z. The surface is protected from scratches (not fully protected, as the practice) glass Gorilla Glass.

main camera in the ZTE Grand S 13-megapixel. As in most other similar devices, the sensor is a production of Sony. The quality of images, however, depends on the software of data processing algorithms with a photosensor, no less than from the sensor, and then ZTE Grand S boasts nothing special. That is, the pictures are not terrible, they’re just mediocre – the unit will focus in macro mode not found, the sky Relight and make some awkward color. At Samsung Galaxy S4, yes and Xperia Z provides better picture. The front camera is 2 MP does its job (self-portraits, video chat) is acceptable, provided good coverage.

a smartphone audio capabilities are good, loud speaker, but the bass and mid-range to output the sound is not enough.

Toppings, performance, battery

“Iron” inside ZTE Grand S has been at the forefront of innovation at the end of last year – a similar “system-on-a-chip” Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) working Sony Xperia Z, HTC Butterfly, Nexus 4 and a number of other devices. They have already been overtaken by using more advanced Snapdragon 600 or the latest version of Exynos flagship HTC and Samsung, but on its own platform guarantees (as it turns out, only in the right hands) on the excellent performance tonight, with a margin of at least another year or two.

addition to the powerful quad-core processor, clocked at up to 1.5 GHz with Adreno 320 graphics, with ZTE Grand S within 2 GB of RAM and a built-in flash support for 16 GB. Are available to the user for almost 11 GB – an excellent result compared with other devices, many users do not even need a map microSD.

‘s just working it’s not ideal. Benchmarks show the results, at best, at the level of 2012 flagship devices like the HTC One X on the Nvidia Tegra 3 chip. The fact that ZTE Grand S lags behind the smart phones on the same processor, or says about the use of cheaper components in other systems, apparatus, or a lack of Android optimized for a specific hardware.

In smartphone also not ideal – turning screens, launching and switching apps, even scrolling in the browser sometimes become a little “antsy” animation “freezes” for a split second, enough so that the user, who gave a smartphone for quite “flagship” amount, felt discomfort. Here would be “pure” Android, but ZTE has decided to keep up with competitors, has built its own shell program with “environmentally friendly” blue-green design – as a result of all the brakes from time to time.

gameplay in RealRacing 3 – one of the most demanding CPU and graphics of today’s mobile gaming devices – generally occurs smoothly, but sometimes there are pictures hang on for a split second. They are unobtrusive, absolutely not interfere with play, but they are on the ZTE Grand S, while on the other contemporary flagship devices on Android does not. Result in Epic Citadel – the average frame rate at the level of 42.2 inches. Again, it looks like everything is smooth, but not always, sometimes for a split second image “freezes”, the frame rate drops. Built-in memory runs at an average speed – a file with a single episode of the series in HD 720p resolution copied to the device for about two minutes.

Finally, another sad discovery – the miracle did not happen, and battery capacity of 1780 mAh (no longer fits because of the thin body, because the smartphone had to be at least somewhat “most- most “) sits down very quickly. Active user of the mobile Internet and social networks, and, especially, a lover of TV shows or watch a game on the subway, on a regular basis will be provided for certain days of the discharged unit. In the standby mode when turned off Wi-Fi and mobile internet, by the way, the battery goes down slowly – from Friday evening to Monday morning, lying in the office, the test apparatus is discharged only by 25%.

But should enter the screen or mobile data, and the interest charge start melting before our eyes. View the 45-minute episode of the show is “worth” about 30% of the battery, just the same autonomy given to me to test the device for video playback (HD 720P) at maximum brightness was 2:00 21 minute. That’s too bad – the majority of devices with similar hardware are living in such a mode of 3.5-4 hours, and some – and 5-6. In fact, the active user with ZTE Grand S will almost certainly have to buy a laptop battery to recharge devaysa afternoon.

Buy, conclusions

Now in Moscow ZTE Grand S can be purchased from 16 000 rubles services, a device with a manufacturer’s warranty. Another question is whether. Paying extra couple of thousand, you can take the Sony Xperia ZL – no less stylish product from the manufacturer of the first tier, with Full HD screen and, unlike the Grand S, which has a more capacious battery, and takes full advantage of the quad-core Qualcomm. And if you are not afraid of a little larger and a processor Intel Atom – a steel Lenovo K900, turned out to be based on the results of our testing, perhaps the best pure Chinese smartphone today, will cost well in the 17-18 000. Finally, the other flagship devices in case of purchase of “gray” phone without the manufacturer’s warranty approach 18000th milestone.

On the other hand, is a little-known Chinese producers (one can not envy the optimism of the people trying to sell phones in Russia under the brand Zopo) offer smart phones with Full HD-screens in the region of 10 000. Compared to the Grand S or other devices under 20,000 – a huge savings, but, of course, and a “pig in a poke.” In short, from my point of view, ZTE Grand S still does not justify its high price. Trying to sell these phones for almost the same price as analogues of Sony or HTC, the Chinese company is not necessary – you can ruin standing reputation of the brand.

general activities of ZTE in Russia in respect of smartphones is still strange. Company representatives at the presentation aids ZTE Grand S Grand Memo, and in early June, promised that earns about a Russian site, but understandable non-English speaking users of version has not appeared. With that translate into Russian grocery site for a company of this size and with such financial resources as ZTE – maximum deal of the month to check if it’s the work of the contractor with the greatest care. And not moved – it turns out, do not care? Prices for the new smart phones also tried to set closer to the A-brands than the Chinese “colleagues”, then they quickly pshli down.

for 13-14 thousand rubles sure many would be willing to put up with the shortcomings ZTE Grand S – loses to “iron” and the price of smartphones performance, low battery and interface shell controversial aesthetic advantages. Especially since the design of the ZTE came out very nice, and the display is good. But at the current price of 16 000 – 17 000 rubles (and started selling at a 22,000 – for the money you can take the Galaxy S4) the chances of the unit a bit.

So, let’s sum up.


  • Design
  • Good screen

Cons :

  • Atypically low for this “iron” performance
  • Weak battery
  • a bit too high, given the above shortcomings, the price

Full characteristics of the device manufacturer’s website (English)

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