One of the top ten mobile manufacturers in the world, ZTE (Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment) is known but not popular in India. Looking at Xiaomi's recent success though, the company is planning to make its presence felt in India with its two handsets Nubia Z9 Mini and Grand S II. Quite a creative name as it combines Samsung's popular products such as GALAXY S II and Grand. Out of the two, the Grand S II is expected to hit the Indian market next week. So let's find out what it has to offer.
Design Introduced at the CES 2014, the ZTE Grand S II sells for around Rs 16,500 in China. Assuming that the phone will be priced under Rs 20,000 in India, the construction is strictly OK. The plastic used for making the handset is feels cheap to touch.
There's nothing to write home about in terms of design either. The front looks like any other Android phone in its category. The partial metal finish on the back is reminiscent of the HTC Radar.
Display The Grand S II sports a Full HD 5.5-inch IPS screen. At this resolution, it offers pixel density of 400 ppi. Its viewing angles are quite wide. The screen is fairly bright. However, the colours look a bit dull compared to other IPS panels.
Key Specs Processing power is the highlight of this device. The phone packs-in Snapdragon 801 chipset clocked at 2.3 GHz. Other Android phones backed by this SoC (System on Chip) are Moto X and Xperia Z3. We all know expensive those phones are. To handle multitasking, you get 2 GB RAM. For shutter bugs, there's a 13 megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash. For Selfies, you get a 2 megapixel front-facing snapper. The Grand S II comes with 16 GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot, and 2500 mAh battery.
Software The Grand S II runs Android 4.2 jelly Bean out-of-the-box. The biggest bummer is that the company has no plans to upgrade it to newer version of the OS in the near future. This one issue is going to deter a lot of Android fans from buying this phone. All is not lost though, as during whatever time we got to spend with the device, there was no sign of a stutter or lag. Compared to stock Android, ZTE's customisation try to bring uniformity to design by adding square outline around the icons. However, it's not that the interface is good looking. The software design is laced with plenty of cheesy animations and transition effects.
The ZTE Grand S II is expected to hit the market next week. It does pack-in a lot of firepower, but we are not impressed by the design. We will hold back the verdict though, and wait for the company to announce its pricing first.