If this is the "advanced gaming smartphone" that ZTE teased a few days ago, then we can't help but feel a little miffed. It'd be fairer to describe the Grand X as the most advanced phone in ZTE's growing budget line-up, and if you look at it from that perspective then it's rather more impressive. For £190 PAYG with Virgin Mobile in the UK, you're getting a 4.3-inch qHD LCD touchscreen, dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor (no Nexus 7 guts here unfortunately), microSD expandable storage (plus 4GB built-in and 512MB RAM), 5-megapixel rear camera and VGA front-facer, sub-10mm thickness and -- ta-da! -- stock Ice Cream Sandwich, albeit accompanied by legacy Gingerbread navigation buttons. We'd have liked to see the proper, up-to-date Android 4.0 button layout, but in any case the absence of ZTE's Kanzi skin or indeed any other customization is a welcome change, because Google juice tastes fine served neat.
Now, we already did an early hands-on with this phone in June (not to mention its previous incarnation, the Mimosa X) and noted its fluid operation, solid build quality and capable display, and all of those things remain true in the retail-ready handset we've seen in the UK. The budget scene has certainly come a long way since last year, but do we expect the Grand X to have an easy ride on the market? Probably not -- at least not when a phone like the Orange San Diego are offering a more modern processor, more RAM and better pixel density for just £10 more. That said, if a pure and uncluttered version of the OS is a priority, and if you can get this phone on a great deal when it arrives at Phones4U and Virgin Media stores at the beginning of August, then the Grand X is certainly worth a look.
ZTE Grand X UK versionSee all photos
ZTE Grand X hands-onSee all photos
ZTE Grand X dual-core smartphone launches in UK
ZTE Grand X handset delivers great video and gaming with a fast dual-core chipset and large high-quality screen - available from Phones 4u and Virgin Media
18 July 2012, London, UK – ZTE Corporation ("ZTE") (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, has launched the ZTE Grand X dual-core 4.3-inch screen smartphone in the UK, bringing high-end mobile video and gaming experiences to a wider audience.
The ZTE Grand X combines an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chipset with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to deliver a rich mobile multimedia experience - a world of entertainment in one device.
The powerful processor delivers fast download speeds and video processing and, combined with the 4.3-inch 16 million colour Sharp screen (960x540) and cinematic surround-sound Dolby Mobile Sound technology, enables the Grand X to provide a compelling mobile entertainment experience.
The NVIDIA Tegra processor means games run fast and smooth, and one-touch access to the Tegra Zone gives mobile gamers quick access to the world's best mobile games.
The ZTE Grand X incorporates a variety of connection capabilities including Bluetooth, WiFi and DLNA which enable users to share content across multiple devices such as TVs and displays, printers, cameras, and other mobile and multimedia devices. The smartphone also allows users to capture, play and share content using the HD video capability.
"ZTE Grand X brings high-end mobile video and gaming within the reach of a whole new audience," said Mr. He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and head of the Terminals Division. "It provides a world of entertainment in a single device – combining high quality and a wide range of functions for a great mobile multimedia experience."
Using the NVIDIA Tegra chipset, the ZTE Grand X is able to provide consumers with best-of-class graphic quality for watching movies, browsing online and photo sharing.
Gaming on the handset delivers authentic and sharp images; the lens is dynamic, and content is rendered for a high-impact interactive experience delivering console-quality on all games.
"With ZTE's Grand X handset, buyers have the best of both worlds: an amazing, high-end user experience at a cost that will be noticeably lower than handsets with similar specifications. With the Grand X, you have all the benefits of a powerful processor combined with a large, high-quality screen and high-end design," said Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer, Phones 4u.
Jamie Heywood, director of mobile at Virgin Media said, "We're enjoying a great partnership with ZTE, having already launched two handsets with them this year, and their latest phone, the Grand X, is a fantastic addition to our extensive smartphone range. Coupled with our best ever 'Premiere' tariff* from just £27 a month and boasting unlimited data as standard and inclusive insurance at no extra cost**, Virgin Media customers can stay connected on the go all day every day without worrying about hidden costs."
Other features of the Grand X include Facetones which shows friends' latest social media updates and photos when they call; and Evernote which enables users to save voice notes, memos, photographs and music in the cloud so they are always accessible.
The ZTE Grand X is a class-leading, feature-rich handset and will be available on contract through Phones 4u and Virgin Media stores across the UK from beginning of August at highly competitive monthly tariffs. Availability will be announced near the time.
Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core (AP20 Dual Core 1GHz)
Display Size: 4.3" – 16M QHD (960 x 540)
Modem: NVIDIA i450 (HSDPA Cat14, 21Mbps)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, DLNA
Camera: Dual Camera 5MP AF Flash/0.3 MP
User Memory: 4GB + up to 32GB Micro SD
RAM: 512 MB
Storage: 4GB, expandable to 32GB (Micro SD)
OS: Android 4.0 (ICS)
Battery: 1650 mAh Li-Ion
Others: Dolby Mobile Sound / HD Voice / HD video capture and playback / Facetones / Evernote / Documents to go / Tegra Zone (Gaming Marketplace)