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.

CES 2011: ZTE light and other goodies

ZTE used to be a bit camera shy. It’d hide its achievements behind mobile phone brands like Orange or Vodafone, despite being responsible for 99.8% of 3G dongles on the UK market. Then last year, the Chinese company launched a series of smart-priced Android smartphones that established the brand. In 2011, it’s expanding on that success, with more 3G and mobile Android solutions on offer.


This year, however, the company’s Android offering is not a phone, but two tablet computers.

The ZTE Light was originally launched in late 2010, but 2011’s enhanced version seems much more promising. It comes with a 7’’ TFT capacitive touchscreen (resolution 800 x 480), runs Android 2.2 (which means full Flash action), 512MB RAM voice capabilities, as well as SMS/MMS functionality.

It’s also a slimmer 12.6mm thick, and weighs a mere 389 grams. Despite being a lightweight system, it pumps out some heavy tunes thanks to the wise inclusion of DOLBY Surround 3.0.

The other tablet is the perhaps unoriginally named ZTE Light 2. Inside you’ll find a 1GHz processor, up to 4GB RAM (madness!), a multi-touch screen at 1024 x 600, DLNA support and data transfer rates up to 14.4 Mbps and 5.76 Mbps down/uplink.

Mobile Modems

Beyond tablets, there’re plenty more mobile modems to come. Two new dongles, the AL621 and MF820, will plug into Windows USB ports with bandwidths of up to 20MHz. That means that the two could reach download/upload speeds of up to 100/50 Mbps. The MF820 also supports HSPA+ 42/11 Mbps downlink/uplink rates, so it’ll work with UK networks, should they choose to send data that fast.

The new ZTE MF91 Mobile Hotspot is also equipped for both LTE 100/50 Mbps and HSPA+ 42/11 Mbps downlink/uplink rates, which means it’s basically a speed-upgrade across the board for ZTE. It’ll also be able to tether up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices – around double the number of Wi-Fi devices in the standard home.

T-Mobile Vibe Mobile – Simple, cheap and social media friendly

Following the success of the T-Mobile Vairy Touch series, ZTE have announced the launch of the T-Mobile Vibe. Part of the Vairy Touch series popularity was because they provided a pay-as-you-go mobile with mobile broadband and email at an extremely reasonable price. Being available for just £39.99, the T-Mobile Vibe is obviously continuing ZTE’s promise to provide inexpensive handsets. But will the Vibe exceed its predecessor in its compactness, quality and collection of features we have now come to expect from our mobile?


Effortless texting and rapid social networking have now become one of the most sought-after traits of modern technology and the T-Mobile Vibe certainly excels itself in these highly demanding arenas. A QWERTY keyboard naturally, provides for easy text messages, whilst a one touch icon on a 2.8 touchscreen that goes directly to a Facebook user’s login page, needless to say makes connecting to Facebook almost instant. The other popular social media sites, such as MySpace, Bebo and Twitter are available via bookmarks, lessening a social media fanatic’s angst at not being able to gain access to their favourite social media site within seconds.

Music also plays a leading role in what consumers anticipate from modern mobiles and the T-Mobile Vibe certainly doesn’t fail to live up to any contemporary audio expectations. Similar to the Vairy Touch II, users can listen to radio stations on an FM radio, as well as playing their favourite music on an MP3 player, which will also play Midi, iMelody, WAV, AMR, AWB, M4A, MP4 and 3GP files. Music libraries and photo collections can also be shared via Bluetooth connectivity.

Following in the footsteps of the Vairy Touch II, the new T-Mobile Vibe also possesses a 2MP camera, with integrated video and a 2GB memory for storing pictures and videos.

Of course the ‘lesser’ and more ‘antiquated’ features such as converting currencies, a calendar, calculator, stop watch and world clock, are also integrated into the T-Mobile Vibe, but these days, are rarely worthy of a mention.

Being available in black and pink, this stylish, simple, social media-friendly and feature-packed mobile, we suspect, at under 40 quid, will appeal to wide audience and could prove to be a popular stocking filler seller this Christmas.

ZTE Light: A 7″ Android tablet. Yes another one.

ZTE have just tried to throw a spanner in the works of the tablet PC world by announcing its 7 inch 3G Android touchscreen, which its hoping will be a bigger success than its somewhat maligned ZTE Racer.


Currently on display at the Beijing Exhibition there is little information available in the form of user or eyewitness reviews but it has got some reasonably impressive stats; weighing in at only 403 grams, with GPS navigation ability and WiFi. Although its 512 MB of inbuilt RAM isn’t anything to write home about, there is an external SD slot with 32GB of external memory. The ten hours of battery time is also reasonable, and will ensure you’ll be able to take it on long journeys and not run low half way home.

It operates on the 2.1 Android Operating system. Through this you get full access to all that you’d expect from Google- multi E-mail account set-up, online document reading and editing services and the wealth of third party apps that us 21st century consumers have come to rely on and define ourselves by. It’s also got the added boon of offering voice calling on dual band UMTS 2100 MHZ/900 MHZ, so it can lay some claim to being an all round entertainment centre

From looking at the picture, it’ll fit easily into the palm of your hand (exact spec isn’t available at this juncture unfortunately), in which seems to lay its biggest appeal with its capabilities to support a camera, games, music, video and mp4. In fact, on first glance there seems to be an awful lot right about the ZTE Light; time will tell whether it lives up to ZTE’s billing as the preeminent next generation tablet PC.