updated 12:03 pm EST, Mon February 24, 2014
ZTE adds larger screen, minor improvements to Grand Memo design
ZTE launched an updated version of the Grand Memo at Mobile World Congress, one year after it revealed the original. The Grand Memo II LTE upgrades the original's 5.7-inch display to a six-inch model -- as rumored last week -- along with a number of other performance improvements. Electronista paid a visit to the company to see how far the phablet has improved on its predecessor.
While the screen size is a potential improvement for those looking into buying a phablet, the resolution has not changed from the 720p of last year's model. In terms of brightness, the display is adequate, but not outstanding. The back cover of the device is plastic, but a grooved design that helps retain grip, a helpful aspect considering its size and 7.2mm (.28 inch) thickness.
ZTE Grand Memo II LTE
Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. While this is more than adequate to run the Android 4.4 installation, the design choices of ZTE's MiFavor 2.3 skin certainly impacts the device's usability. A hovering button on the home screen adds some extra shortcuts, but appears to be an unnecessary add-on. In order to help its phablet credentials, ZTE has introduced various multitasking modes seen elsewhere, including a split screen option.
While the front camera is a five-megapixel version, the rear has a 13-megapixel sensor with autofocus and flash. It's certainly useable as a camera, if a little slow to use compared to other devices being shown today. It also includes LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, and a large 3,200mAh battery giving it a claimed battery life of up to 16 hours of continuous HD video playback.
The ZTE Grand Memo II LTE is a mixed bag in terms of improvements, though probably for the better overall. The manufacturer has yet to set a price for the phablet, but has revealed it will ship to China in April, followed by later simultaneous launches in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.