Chinese manufacturer ZTE has touted its Grand X handset as a value superphone that has been designed with gaming in mind. The spec sheet certainly does look impressive for a smartphone of its price range, but does it live up to expectations or does it prove that a grand handset don’t come for free?
ZTE Grand X – Chip, Set, and Match
The Grand X houses a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor alongside 512MB RAM, which when combined offer a lag free user experience when gaming, opening apps, and watching HD videos. We found the phone really swift and responsive, even when under pressure with multitasking.
Running an untouched version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich (there doesn’t appear to be any user interface overlay from ZTE), the handset is pleasantly devoid of any bloatware which will please people who like a clean user experience. There are no frills here, but as ICS is a pretty great OS all on its own, there’s no need really for added overlays.
Gaming in the (Tegra) Zone
The 4.3-inch QHD touchscreen is an excellent display to watch HD videos and play games on, which is great because the Grand X has loads of gaming goodies on board. Access to the NVIDIA Tegra Games Zone offers an awesome selection of downloadable games that are specially optimised to make most of the powerful Tegra 2 chipset.
ZTE has rather generously thrown in racing game Riptide free of charge, and after having a tinker with the game we can vouch for the impressive graphics performance and speed offered by the handset. Overall gaming is immersive and smooth, but we did notice a slight bit of lag here and there.
Sound and Snapper
An unexpected addition to the Grand X is the Dolby Mobile sound enhancement functionality. Initially met with scepticism, the Dolby Mobile sound actually turned out to be one of the stand-out features of the phone, enhancing audio experience when watching movies or listening to music. Whack on a set of good quality headphones or hook the handset up to some speakers and you’ll definitely be impressed by the flawless surround sound provided by Dolby.
Also on board is a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and HD video recording capabilities, offering top notch snaps that are vibrant and crisp, and 720p videos more than worthy of sharing on social networks.
Our Final Opinion
Although ZTE Grand X may not be a top of the range smartphone in the same league as the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S III, it certainly has many notable qualities that make it stand out from other mid-rangers. Combining better than average functionality with a competitive price tag, the ZTE Grand X offers a surprisingly good audio and gaming experience.
If you’re looking for a handset that won’t break the bank but you don’t want to compromise on speed, functionality and gaming, then the Grand X is a slow burner that will no doubt garner a steady following for the Chinese newcomer.
ZTE Grand X Video Review
Written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, the UK’s number one mobile phone retailer.
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