ZTE Grand X Review

 

ZTE Grand X
ZTE Grand X

Feature set summary for ZTE Grand X review

The 960x540 screen is excellent for surfng the net and playing games, plus the onboard dual-core Nvidia processor supports Tegra Zone, which is a downloads portal for high-octane gaming.

 

Style and handling summary for ZTE Grand X review


The Grand X feels solid to hold, but remains lightweight. It is well built and has a neat, understated rounded black body. OS comes in the shape of the user-friendly Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

Battery power summary for ZTE Grand X review

You’ll only get about 12 hours if you’re using HSDPA, Wi-Fi, background notifications plus GPS and some video, so make sure you’re near a charger.

 

Performance summary for ZTE Grand X review

The camera doesn’t impress, as it offers clear images only in bright daylight. The Grand X proves fast and smooth, but the onscreen keyboard and autocorrect sometimes offer up some random words.

 

User friendliness summary for ZTE Grand X review

Ice Cream Sandwich is user friendly, but you don’t get the most out of the customisation possibilities because ZTE has failed to tweak the interface in the way that HTC has with its Sense UI.


ZTE Grand X Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 3G.co.uk grey star

 

Pros :
Great value, responsive display, low price for an Android Ice Cream Sandwich handset, dual-core processor for gamers



Cons :
Disappointing battery life, mediocre snapper, low visibility in direct sunlight


Verdict :

The ZTE Grand X is an Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone at a great price that offers great dual-core performance but is let down by its snapper and battery life.

Full Review and Specification for the ZTE Grand X

Budget smartphones have come a long way – and here to prove it is the ZTE Grand X from ZTE, which squeezes a dual-core 1Ghz processor into a handset costing less than 200 quid. AND it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich – which hasn’t even found its way onto some of the higher-end phones yet.

 

Standard issue


On the back of the phone, you’ll see the lens of the five-megapixel snapper sticking out a bit. There’s also a front-facing 0.3 megapixel model for making video calls. Under the bonnet lurks an Nvidia Tegra 1GHz 2 dual-core processor, along with 512MB of RAM and on-board memory of 4GB, which can be expanded via the microSD slot.

 

At first glance, there’s little that makes the Grand X stand out from the crowd. It’s your average black slate handset, with rounded edges, a plastic chassis, and a 4.3inch display. The glass on the front is a fingerprint magnet, while the back has an interesting texture. It feels solid to hold, but is not weighty.

 

On the front of the handset there is a quartet of touch-sensitive buttons for Back, Home, Menu, and a universal search in any screen. Ice Cream Sandwich has had no ZTE tweaks – unlike the HTC phones, which have the benefit of HTC’s own Sense UI, which offers help through setting up your accounts and some nice widgets as well. Sometimes this means you get some confusing menus, which aren’t so user friendly, but then email, contacts and social networking have been nicely integrated by Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

Screen performance


The display proves responsive in use, although it is still slower than some of the high-end (and far more expensive) handsets. You do experience a slight lag when running two processes at the same time – but that’s only compared to the likes of the far pricier Samsung Galaxy S Advance and HTC One S. It is hard to see the screen in bright sunlight – even with the brightness set at its highest level.

 

The contacts book works smoothly – details from apps such as WhatsApp and Skype are nicely integrated. It’s easy to send messages and make calls. The onscreen keyboard does have a few issues – spellcheck offers up some random non-words for instance. There’s also the option to use TouchPal, a version of Swype, where you drag your finger from one key to the next – once you’re used to it, it can really speed up the typing process.

 

In the picture


The five-megapixel snapper proves disappointing. It takes good shots in daylight but indoors colours were faded and the image was less clear. The shutter takes a while to fire, so action shots often prove unsuccessful. There is built-in flash, but it affects exposure. You should be able to grab 720p HD video, but as you can only record at 15fps, viewing the video on a monitor saw it looking soft, with blurred edges, while our panning attempts looked stuttery. Sound is tinny and rather echoey, although background noise was well blocked.

 

Watching movies was fine, the screen has been optimised for viewing high-def film, and the onboard video player offers support for a number of file formats including the commonly used Xvid. The phone’s speakers are good, with the added benefit of Dolby Mobile Sound, which offers clear sound. Plug in the included earphones for even better sound quality.

 

Onboard memory is 4GB, so has room for a few HD films, but this can be expanded to 32Gb using the microSD slot. A card of that size costs around £15, so still keeps the Grand X at a very reasonable price.

 

Battery life was a bit disappointing – only just 12 hours – and using HSDPA saw it drain even quicker.

 

Our conclusion


If you’re not desperate for a great camera on your smartphone, the Grand X represents great value at £200. It supports Android Ice Cream Sandwich well, offering a smooth performance. There’s plenty that is good about the Grand X, but the battery life and camera really let it down.

 

ZTE Grand X Specification

GENERAL

Type of device

Smartphone

Operating System

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Dimensions

127x64.6x9.9mm

Weight

110g

Form factor

Touchscreen

Input

Touch Screen

Processor speed

1GHz dual-core

CPU

Nvidia Tegra 2

Graphic chipset

 

Announced

June 2012

Status

Available

DISPLAY

Screen size

4.3 inches

Screen type

TFT

Resolution

960x540

Display type

16 million colours

Memory

RAM

512MB

Internal storage

4GB

Memory card slot

 

Camera

Camera

5 megapixels

Secondary camera

0.3 megapixels

Special camera features

720p HD video, LED flash, autofocus

Sound

3.5mm Jack

 

Music player

Yes

Audio recording

 

Radio

 

FM Radio description

 

Video

Video recording

 

Video player

Yes

Video calling

 

Video streaming

 

Additional Features

Browser

HTML

Games

Yes, downloadable from Tegra Zone

Voice control

 

Voice dailing

 

Other

Dolby Mobile Sound

Messaging

SMS

 

MMS

 

Email

 

IM

 

Connectivity

Band

Quad-band

Wi-Fi

 

Bluetooth

 

USB

 

NFC

 

GPS

Yes, A-GPS

Network

EDGE

 

GPRS

 

HSDPA

 

4G/LTE

 

Other

Colors (Standard)

Black

Handsfree speaker phone

 

Customisable ringtones

 

What's in the box

Headphones, charger, phone, USB cable

Website

www.zteuk.co.uk

Battery

Standby

300 hours

Talktime

180 minutes

Battery life multimedia

 


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By Simon Thomas on 08th August, 2012


Tags: ZTEZTE Grand X


 
 
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