ZTE is about to launch two high-end smartphones in the United States, both of which will be sold without a contract through various retail stores. However, while they may be new arrivals on these shores, neither are brand new, never-seen-before phones. The first phone is the ZTE Grand S, which was announced during CES in January this year, while the second phone, the Nubia 5, dates back to December 2012.
We’ll start out with the Nubia 5, which debuted as the Nubia Z5 last year, but only in China. Nothing seems to have changed since then, but as the Nubia 5 was fairly advanced for its time, its spec remains competitive today. There’s a 5-inch touchscreen with a 1080p resolution on the front of the super slim 7.6mm chassis, and the phone gets its power from a quad-core, 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro along with 2GB of RAM.
A Konica-Minolta 13-megapixel camera sits on the back, with a sapphire crystal lens and an LED flash, plus there is a 2-megapixel video call lens on the front. The Nubia 5 boasts 16GB of internal memory, a 2300mAh battery, and Android 4.1.2 as its operating system. Not bad at all for a phone that’s almost a year old, and at $450 unlocked, it’s a good deal too.
Moving on to the unibody Grand S, this is an even slimmer device than the Nubia 5, and is a mere 6.9mm thick. The phone shares the same 5-inch 1080p screen with its sister phone, and the same Snapdragon S4 processor and 2GB of RAM. The camera is another 13-megapixel job, but without the Konica-Minolta branding, and the battery has been dropped down to a 1780mAh cell. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is installed, and is covered with ZTE’s MiFavor user interface. It’s a tiny bit cheaper than the Nubia 5 at $400.
While we’ve yet to play around with the Nubia, our own Jeffrey Van Camp took a good look at the Grand S in January, and was less than complimentary about it, so though it’s cheap and high-spec, you may want to give it a try before buying to make sure you can live with its idiosyncrasies.
You’ll find both new(ish) ZTE phones up for pre-order on October 5 through Amazon and as-yet unnamed retail partners, but the final release date hasn’t been confirmed.