ZTE announces the Grand S, but doesn’t say when it will arrive anywhere except China

ZTE Grand S FrontAt its CES 2013 press conference today, ZTE announced the Grand S, its first phone to follow the current obsession with devices sporting 5-inch, Full HD displays, which we all expected after the company gave the game away last week. The Grand S is the flagship model in ZTE’s Grand series of smartphones, however in a surprising move the company hasn’t announced when it intends to launch it outside of China.

Despite this disappointing piece of news, the phone is quite exciting. The 5-inch display with its 1080p resolution will attract the majority of the attention, but the super-powerful 1.7GHz, quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip is worthy of note, plus it has 2GB of RAM to help it out. Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the operating system, complete with ZTE’s new user interface, while there is a 13-megapixel camera – another very popular feature for new phones at CES – on the rear and a 2-megapixel video call above that high-def screen.

The Grand S has been announced with 4G LTE connectivity, but we’ve no idea whether this will include frequencies suitable for worldwide use. Other key features include 16GB of internal storage memory plus a micro SD card slot, Dolby Digital surround audio, a 1780mAh battery, 1080p video recording plus a selection of software tweaks for the camera such as face recognition and a panorama mode.

ZTE Grand S Rear and Side

For a phone with such a big display, the Grand S is surprisingly compact, measuring a very thin 6.9mm – which doesn’t quite match the new record holder, the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra’s 6.45mm – 142mm long and 69mm wide. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 measures 151mm long and 80mm wide, although its screen is 0.5-inches larger.

Built using a unibody construction – no removable battery here – the Grand S has a Gorilla Glass covered screen and will be available in a variety of different colors, with glossy red, purple, yellow, blue and the obligatory pink all mentioned during the press event. For those who don’t want their Grand S in an exotic hue, plain old black and white will also be produced.

Initially destined for China, ZTE wants to have the Grand S on sale before the end of March, but admitted it could be pushed into April. According to reports, the smartphone/tablet hybrid will make it to the U.S., but there’s no information on exactly when this will happen. Interestingly, according to CNet, ZTE said it would like to co-brand its devices with U.S. networks, so perhaps the delay in bringing the Grand S to America is due to some last minute deal wrangling. CNet also notes that ZTE said it had, “Nothing pinned down” for a release in Europe. Finally, in keeping with the lack of solid information on anything other than the phone’s specs, the Grand S hasn’t been priced up either.


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