ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE hands-on: XXL-sized display, C-grade plastic build


The ZTE Grand Memo 2 is a new phablet that just got announced at MWC 2014. It's not a high-end device, however. It is more of an “upper mid-range” Android handset with a XXL-sized 6-inch display. Will this phone deliver more than expected? Here are our early impressions.

Design


The ZTE Grand Memo 2 measures approximately 0.3 inches (7.2 mm) thick, which is good for a phone of this size. At the upper part of the front side, we have a speaker grill, and a 5MP front-facing camera with fixed focus. Chinese companies really seem to favor these. At the bottom part, there are no physical keys, only the virtual navigation keys built into Android. A lone micro-USB port is keeping them company. 

On the back we find a 13MP camera with an f 2.2 aperture. The sensor is made by Sony. It's a back-side illuminated variety, and it has auto-focus and LED flash. On the top side we find the 3.5mm jack. On the left side, we have a volume rocker, and on the right, we see a SIM slot and a power key. Unfortunately, the keys don't feel good to the touch. They are quite flimsy, to be honest.

The ZTE Grand Memo 2 doesn't feel very well made. Although it looks good, it gives out a cheap plastic feel and you can even see some gaps between the seams. The black texture does look nice with that carbon fiber effect it has going on. But, as a whole, the build quality is nothing special, and honestly, we feel a bit underwhelmed.

Display


The ZTE Grand Memo 2's display measures a massive 6 inches by diagonal. It's a TFT panel with a 720p resolution and 16 million colors, which is still acceptable. You won't see much pixelation unless you look really closely at the screen. The display is quite reflective, however.

Software and interface


The phone is running Android 4.4 KitKat. There is some customization going on, including new animations, transparency, and other effects. As a whole, the Android experience doesn't seem to stand out very much – it looks fairly neutral, especially for a Chinese phone. We later learned that the ZTE UI has a built-in system that sort-of memorizes your habits and adjusts the interface to fit your tasks better. We will have to check this out when the finished phone lands in our hands.

Processor and memory


The ZTE Grand Memo 2 runs on a Qualcomm MSM 8926 platform, also known as Snapdragon 400. As far as memory goes, you get 2GB of RAM. The configuration does a fairly good job at running the interface of this device. There is some slight choppiness, probably because the software on this Grand Memo 2 isn't final. Regardless, multi-tasking should perform quite well, which is an important part of working with a large screen. Storage-wise, you get 16GB of built-in space. The connectivity is rounded out by GPS, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and the usual set of sensors. Finally, the battery capacity is 3200mAh, which is okay for a phone of this size and class.



Expectations


The ZTE Grand Memo 2's strong points are present, but we expected it to deliver more on the side of build quality. The perfectly good hardware this phone has deserves a better, sturdier case, so it can last longer, and make working with it a joy. If the price is right, though, and the units aren't as flimsy on the inside as they feel on the outside, this phone can turn out to be a great deal. The ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE will become available in China in April, followed by launches in Europe, North America and the Asian-Pacific region.

Related phones

Grand Memo II LTE
  • Display 6.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 3200 mAh

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4 Comments

1. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Is it me or that display seems too washed out? It's awful!

2. hackmanhtc1

Posts: 12; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

OMG I was just gonna comment that..

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Nope. I thought the same thing.

4. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

The screen is Oh oh oh!

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