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ZTE Grand S hands-on (video)

Brad Molen
January 8, 2013
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ZTE didn't wait for its official press event to take the official wraps off its latest flagship release, the Grand S: the company is previewing it in its booth. And in a rare match of marketing garble and specs, this grandiose moniker actually befits the hardware to which it's attached. For starters, the handset's decked out with a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 13MP rear-facing camera and 2MP front-facing cam, 2GB RAM and Android Jelly Bean 4.1 pre-installed. But, its signature claim to mobile fame is its 6.9mm thickness -- a slim silhouette the company's billing as a "world's first." If you find that last bit hard to swallow, take note, that self-appointed distinction refers to its place in the 1080p smartphone space. We had a chance to spend some quality time with the device, so follow along after the break for our initial impressions, and check out some photos of the new phone below.

Gallery: ZTE Grand S hands-on | 27 Photos

If you remember our review of the HTC Droid DNA, Verizon's version of the Butterfly, we were pretty happy to find that the phone was not only beautiful to behold visually, it was actually quite easy to grip without experiencing feelings of awkwardness. The Grand S is very similar in this sense: the back of the phone curves in much the same way, lending us a more natural feel as we hold it. In a respect, it's even more comfortable to hold than the Droid DNA, thanks to its 6.9mm profile (at its thinnest point). Most folks that are already used to a 4.7- or 4.8-incher won't see much of a difference. And it's likely to be a pretty durable device, as its unibody frame is crafted of polycarbonate.

The Grand S, which will be coming first to China sometime this quarter, will be available in six different colors. The devices on-hand were white and a turquoise blue; the former had a matte finish on the back, while the colors use a glossy (and fingerprint-friendly) material. In terms of US availability, ZTE didn't mention any operator commitments at this time, but we can expect to at least be able to purchase one through an online retailer. Pricing hasn't been revealed.

Lastly, the screen was every bit as gorgeous as we were hoping. And with a 1080p resolution translating into 440ppi, this shouldn't come as any bit of surprise. Pixels? None. Bright and beautiful colors? Tons. Overall, the Grand S has a lot on the spec sheet to love, and our first impressions show a pretty solid and high-performing device; we can't wait to spend more quality time with it to solidify those feelings. In the meantime, take a look at our vid below.

Joseph Volpe contributed to this post.

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