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Hands-on review: MWC 2014: ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE
3:03 am | February 27, 2014

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Comments: None

Hands-on review: MWC 2014: ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE

The original Grand Memo arrived at last year’s MWC, so it makes perfect sense that ZTE is rebooting its phablet one year on with the Grand Memo 2 LTE.

The Grand Memo 2 builds on its predecessor, growing its screen from 5.7 to a full 6-inches, putting it on par with the Lumia 1520 and above the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max.

The 6.44-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra still rules the roost in terms of size though.

A big phone needs big power and ZTE has equipped the Grand Memo 2 relatively well, but the 1.2GHz quad-core processor is a little disappointing.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

You also get 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot and a sizable 3200mAh battery ZTE claims will last for 15 days in standby.

Battery life may actually be alright on the Grand Memo 2 as it’s not rocking a full HD display. Instead you’ve got to make do with a 1280 x 720 resolution, which doesn’t look particularly amazing stretched over such a large area.

The handset itself doesn’t ooze premium quality either, with a cheap plastic finish highlighting the Grand Memo 2 may well be one of the more affordable big screen phones around.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

At first look the Grand Memo 2 does appear to be a relatively premium device, but pick it up and you’ll notice the overly plastic body and buttons that rattle inside the chassis.

This does mean that the Grand Memo 2 is surprisingly light, making it slightly easier to hold in one hand, although I still had to stretch my fingers across the device.

For the most part I’d recommend a two handed grip on the Memo 2, just to be on the safe side.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

There’s good news in the fact ZTE has loaded Android 4.4.2 KitKat onto the Grand Memo 2, but it’s then gone a spoiled it by putting its own custom overlay on it.

Oversized, childish icons make the on screen experience of the ZTE Grand Memo 2 feel immature and toy-like, and to be honest I found it a little off putting.

The processor appears to struggle a little bit too, as general navigation around the handset was slightly stilted and the Grand Memo 2 isn’t as quick as its big screen rivals.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

As you may have guessed from the name the Grand Memo 2 LTE is blessed with 4G connectivity, which should give you a very fast data connection for fluid web browsing.

Unfortunately I was unable to put the 4G performance to the test during my time with the handset.

You can use the Grand Memo 2 as an universal remote thanks to the inbuilt IR (infra-red) blaster, giving you control over your TV, Blu-ray player, Hi-Fi system and more.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

The Grand Memo 2 also comes equipped with a couple of decent cameras – a 13MP offering on the rear and a beefed up 5MP snapper on the front.

In general the camera app doesn’t provide a huge array of options, but something I’ve not seen before is a spirit level mode which helps you get a dead straight photo instead of a wonky mess.

This feature won’t be a must have for anyone, but it’s interesting to see and I wonder if it will lead to more enhanced settings in the future.

ZTE Grand Memo 2 review

Early verdict

If you’re in the market for a top of the range phablet the ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE is not for you.

Its cheap build, average screen and childish UI pigeon hole it as an affordable phablet, but even then you might want to consider a standard size smartphone over this ZTE offering.


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