ZTE, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer recently announced the launch of their new smartphone for the Indian market, the ZTE Grand II. The Techulator team was there to cover the event and get a glimpse of the smartphone that is yet to hit the stores, or shall I say online stores!
Processor: Quad-core 2.2 GHz, Snapdragon 801 based chipset.
Display: 5.5 inch Full HD 1920 X 1080 IPS display
Storage/RAM: 16GB of internal storage (expandable upto 32GB) + 2GB RAM
Battery: 2500mAh Li-ion battery
Camera:13 Megapixel Autofocus rear facing with flash + 5 Megapixel front facing
Operating System: Android 4.2.2 with a ZTE Mifavor UI layer over it
Wireless: Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11abgn and ac
Weight/Dimensions: 120 grams, 157mm X 77mm X 7.9mm
The Good Stuff
The Grand SII looks good at the first glance, it looks metallic and has a beautiful rounded finish all around its corners. The 5.5 inch screen improves upon its overall look and gives it the premium feel one expects from most high-end phones these days.
The IPS display is crisp, crystal clear and very bright. This is a 1080p full HD display with a massive pixel per inch density of 401 ppi.
The rear facing 13 megapixel camera is auto-focus and has an LED flash just below it. The photographs we clicked were pretty sharp and well focussed. The camera on this device can also record full HD 1080p videos are 30fps.
WiFi is commonly used these days in all smartphones all around the world. The frequency that most smartphones run WiFi on is 2.4GHz. The ZTE Grand S2 on the other hand uses dual-band frequencies for WiFi. It runs on 2.4GHz as well as 5.0GHz so that its WiFi reception is not affected by other devices around you that run on the same frequency.
Dual noise cancelling microphones, 3.5mm headphone jack and the usual micro-USB port for charging and data syncing are pretty much the norm these days. This device also supports multi-screen, can be operated while wearing gloves and the dialer can be customized for a single handed operation. Another cool feature that we found out was Gesture Support. With a few pre-set gestures on the capacitative screen, you can close active programs, take a screenshot among other things.
The Average Stuff
With such great hardware, we would've expected the device to come with the latest version of Android along with an upgrade to atleast next two updates, Android 5.0 Lollipop being next. Unfortunately, this device comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and will not be updated to KitKat or Lollipop.
When we asked the ZTE executives about it, they explained that this device runs a customized Mifavour UI over the Android OS and has a lot of nifty features that not a lot of other devices offer. If they upgrade the OS to KitKat or Lollipop, they would lose all those features and lose the USP of this device.
This device looks very premium and metallic until you hold it in your hands. While using this device, I realized that it is made out of plastic and not metal. The battery on the international variant of this device is a 3100mAh li-ion battery, in India unfortunately this device comes with a smaller 2500mAh li-ion battery. It is also not user removable.
The Bad Stuff
While we were expecting this device to be launched in India through online and offline routes, it seems like ZTE has decided to tie up with Amazon India and will make this device exclusively available through them.
This device may give their competitors a run for their money if ZTE prices it aggressively. However, I don't expect them to compete with the likes of Xiaomi and Motorola.
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