ZTE Grand Memo Smartphone: Ghetto Phabulous


ZTE has recently introduced the Grand Memo, its latest smartphone, or should that be tablet? With a whopping 5.7-inch screen, the device is being entered into the phablet market due to its expansive display and processing ability.

The Grand Memo features a high definition 720 x 1280 display, an impressive 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8000 processor and 2GB of RAM. Other notable aspects include a 13MP rear-facing camera with the ability to shoot 1080HD video, Dolby Digital Plus Surround sound, a 3,200mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS.

Comparisons to other similar products on the market are likely to be drawn, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and to some extent LG’s Optimus G Pro sharing certain design aspects. A factor both manufacturers’ legal teams might like to take into consideration. Nevertheless the Grand Memo is aesthetically pleasing, if a little uninspiring.

“We have really tried to make this device fun for use at home, and practical for use in the office. By combining both of these factors, we have created a well-rounded large-screen handset that is suitable for any situation.”

He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Mobile Devices Division

In my opinion, as a mobile phone the Grand Memo is gratuitously large, with the device likely to attract unwanted attention on public transport but unlikely to fit in one’s pocket. As a tablet, I’m not sure it possesses the characteristics to deal with any worthwhile tasks, such as productive word processing or comfortably reading an e-book.

A hands on review from techradar.com noted that the device’s size made it “a little unwieldy in the hand and we found ourselves really having to stretch our fingers to properly grasp the Grand Memo.” The reviewer also went on to mention that “the screen itself is bright and clear, although on closer inspection its not the most detailed of displays we’ve had the pleasure of ogling.”

Therefore it looks like the Grand Memo might struggle against its more established and higher quality rivals. However if it comes in at a lower price, it could enjoy some moderate success. For the now ZTE’s latest offering will only be available in Europe and China, but customers in the US and elsewhere still have plenty of other phablet alternatives to choose from.