Notebookcheck

Review ZTE Grand Memo LTE Smartphone

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Markus Doepfert), 12/24/2013

A giant from China. With a panel diagonal of 5.7-inches ZTE follows the trend of ever bigger smartphones. A strong SoC, a camera with a 13 MP sensor and LTE support will make the device a hit - and all of this for a low price. Find out what the downsides are in our test review.

 

For the original German review, see here.

Big smartphones and phablets are in fashion. The Chinese manufacturer ZTE presented its XL smartphone Grand Memo back in February at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). Since October the 5.7-inch device has been available in Europe and has finally found its way into our hands. Unlike the Chinese version, however, the European sister model is not fitted with a Snapdragon 800 processor but a slightly weaker model. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro the Grand Memo has nonetheless plenty of mobile computing power. The RRP of 399 Euros (~$545) has already been undercut.

The competitors are as big as prestigious. Samsung offers in the mid-range the Galaxy Mega 6.3 (from 309 Euros up, ~$422) as well as the Note 2 (without LTE, from 378 Euros up, ~$516). The Asus Fonepad FHD 6 (from 332 Euros up, ~$453) and the Huawei Ascend Mate (from 269 Euros up, ~$367) are also direct competitors. In addition, the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1320 (399 Euros, ~$545) is also among the buyer's options as the single non-Asian product.

Case

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

The back side is made of plastic.
The back side is made of plastic.
Three sensor buttons to control Android are located at the lower display edge.
Three sensor buttons to control Android are located at the lower display edge.

The ZTE Grand Memo measures 158 x 82 x 8.9 millimeters and weighs 197 grams. Therefore it is comparatively slim, which is also attributed to the fact that it has one of the smallest panels in the comparison field. Only the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (5.55-inches, 182 g) has a slightly smaller display and weighs somewhat less.

The display cover is not made of scratch-proof glass and is cased with a black plastic frame. Between the back cover and the screen is a metallic colored frame, which gives the device a more valuable look. The camera at the back side protrudes significantly. The clearances are consistent and no cause for criticism.

Although the covers of the card slots can be opened very easily, they seal them reliably. The torsional rigidity of the smartphone is quite adequate. Only under great pressure the smartphone bends slightly causing it to make a creaking sound. The pressure sensitivity is not as convincing. While the back side is impervious, corrugation on the panel can be caused by holding the Grand Memo tightly at the display edges. Little pressure at the upper screen edge also makes the backlight visible.

Unfortunately the battery of the device is permanently installed and cannot be exchanged.

Connectivity

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

The connectivity of the ZTE Grand Memo contains no surprises. The data exchange is realized via the Micro-USB 2.0 connection through which the smartphone is also charged. MHL is not supported, however, connecting a USB stick and a mouse works without any problems.

The integrated MicroSD card slot supports memory cards with a size of up to 32 GB (SDHC). A support of the more modern SDXC standard would have been desirable. DLNA and NFC are on board.

Top: Power, audio
Top: Power, audio
Left: SIM, MicroSD, Micro-USB 2.0
Left: SIM, MicroSD, Micro-USB 2.0
Bottom: Microphone
Bottom: Microphone
Right: Volume rocker
Right: Volume rocker

Software

As operating system the Grand Memo ZTE deploys Google's Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Hence the device does not come with an up-to-date version of the mobile OS. The surface is prettied up by the manufacturer's own user interface (UI) whose adjustments are, however, limited to the looks.

Unfortunately, we find numerous preinstalled apps without actual additional value (bloatware) on the system. However, they can be removed easily.

App GPS test: Inside.
App GPS test: Inside.
App GPS test: Outside.
App GPS test: Outside.

Communication & GPS 

The communication features of the ZTE Grand Memo LTE are quite impressive. The WLAN module supports the IEEE 802.11 standards b/g/n and hence radios in the frequency range with 2.4 GHz. Other websites mention at this point a dual band component. However, this is neither in accord with the specifications of the manufacturer nor was the smartphone able to connect to a router (Fritz!Box 6360) when it exclusively operated in the 5 GHz range. The operating range of the module is merely average. At 15 m from the router the connection was already very weak. Websites, though, could still be called up with a short delay. Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC are also on board.

The WWAN modem supports tri-band GSM. The slightly poor frequency coverage is continued for the UMTS/HSPA frequencies. Only the frequency bands with 900 and 2,100 MHz are supported which admittedly allows a reception in every network but causes losses in quality. Nevertheless ZTE indicates possible download rates of up to 41 MBit/s which will hardly be possible in reality, however. The faster data standard LTE can also be used but once again minor drawbacks have to be accepted. In the Grand Memo not the most current standard is deployed hence the maximum data exchange rate is limited to 100 MBit/s.

The GPS receiver, however, works quite well. In buildings our position is determined in less than 30 seconds. Outside it works even faster. It handles the comparison with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 quite well. Although the route tracking is not quite as exact it is still at an expedient level.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
The best telephone app cannot make up for bad speech quality.
The best telephone app cannot make up for bad speech quality.

Telephone Function and Speech Quality

The telephone app in the ZTE Grand Memo is clearly designed. It is very pleasant that the numeric pad can be moved slightly to the left or right which allows controlling the device with only one hand despite its vast display diagonal.

The speech quality cannot convince us. When the device is held up to the ear as well as when the speaker is activated we were understood very quietly at first and became louder after a few seconds. Nevertheless the caller sounds quite noisy and faint via the Grand Memo. Although we were able to understand our interlocutor he, too, sounded rather dull. When high sounds were added they sounded almost jarring and hurt the ears. Background noises were not filtered out at all. Via the accompanying headset we were even more difficult to understand. The proximity sensor works somewhat sluggishly but still reliably.

Cameras & Multimedia

The ZTE Grand Memo LTE comes with a front side webcam, which has a resolution of 0.9 MP (1280x720 pixels). It only suffices for video telephony under good lighting conditions.

The main camera is significantly better and has a 13 MP sensor (4096x3072 pixels). Additionally the lens is equipped with a flash as well as an autofocus. Hence this leads to comparatively good results. Although it does not quite suffice to draw level with the camera from top devices, like the iPhone 5 or the Lumia 1020, the pictures are quite sharp. The colors could be a little more vivid and the sensor struggles with even the slightest front-lighting when taking pictures under ambient light. Nonetheless the camera of the Grand Memo is quite suitable for snap-shots and convincing given its price.

ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)

Accessories

The amount of accessories provided in the scope of delivery of the ZTE Grand Memo is rather limited. Besides the modular power supply with a nominal capacity of 7.5 watts (5 volts, 1.5 amperes) it also contains the respective USB cable. This can be used for charging the smartphone as well as data transfer at a computer. In addition to that the manufacturer includes a headset and a multilingual quick-start guide.

ZTE does not offer special optional accessories for the device. However, the usual accessories like headphones, cases and screen protectors can be obtained from third-party manufacturers.

Warranty

ZTE grants a 24-month warranty for the Grand Memo. The battery's and the power supply's warranty lasts six months. A warranty extension is not possible for private customers.

Input Devices & Control

The 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen of the ZTE Grand Memo recognizes up to ten simultaneous touches and has good gliding qualities. Even at the periphery of the panel inputs are impeccably recognized and quickly converted.

For the virtual keyboard ZTE refrained from adjustments and relies on the standard layout of Google Android. Since the display is very big it even offers enough space for the keyboard in portrait mode and only requires one third of the content to do so. In landscape mode the keys get considerably wider and can be read without any problems. However, the input surface claims almost half of the display.

The automatic screen rotation reacts quickly and needs less than two seconds to acquire its new position.

The keyboard offers sufficient space in portrait mode.
The keyboard offers sufficient space in portrait mode.
In landscape mode the keys are bigger but less content is visible.
In landscape mode the keys are bigger but less content is visible.

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

The ZTE Grand Memo has a 5.7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. This correlates to an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel density of 258 PPI. Hence ZTE, just like many other manufacturers, does not deploy a Full HD panel although it would be very sensible for such big display diagonals. The picture is, nonetheless, sharp and crystal-clear. A stair effect is not visible to the naked eye. The panel of the Asus Fonepad 6 (1080p) is the only one among the competition that has a higher resolution.

The brightness of the panel is with an average of 418 cd/m², very good and with 95% brightness distribution extremely evenly distributed at that. The displays in the Galaxy Mega (444 cd/m², 90%), Fonepad 6 (461 cd/m², 88%) and Ascend Mate (471 cd/m², 89%) are admittedly slightly brighter but as regards illumination not one is as good as the test sample. We did not detect any halos.

415
cd/m²
430
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
410
cd/m²
422
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
422
cd/m²
424
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 430 cd/m²
Average: 417.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 422 cd/m²
Black: 0.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 1055:1

With a contrast ratio of 1055:1 and a black value of 0.4 cd/m² the ZTE Grand Memo achieves really good measured values given the used display technology and the high brightness. Subjectively speaking the vivid colors and the deep black are convincing whereby the smartphone reinforces its aspiration as a multimedia device. Only the Galaxy Note 2 (AMOLED panel) achieved even better results.

Concerning color accuracy the smartphone does not come off as well. Especially at the white values our measurements yielded a dE of 10 or higher. This leads to a slight green cast which does not strike attention during everyday use, however. The grayscale displays this green cast a little more distinctly. When calibrating the display the Chinese company could have put in a little bit more effort.

Grayscale (target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space sRGB)
Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Secondary colors (target color space sRGB)
Secondary colors (target color space sRGB)

Concerning outdoor use the ZTE Grand Memo made a good impression. The high brightness and the rich contrast ensured that even under bright ambient light the display remained easy to read. However, the device still struggles with light reflections due to its reflective surface. Hence using the device under direct sunlight is hardly possible.

The ZTE Grand Memo during outdoor use.
The ZTE Grand Memo during outdoor use.
Viewing angles of the Grand Memo LTE.
Viewing angles of the Grand Memo LTE.

The viewing angle stability of the ZTE Grand Memo is very good. Due to the implemented IPS technology the picture remains stable and shows no deviations even at especially acute viewing angles. Merely the brightness of the panel lessens slightly at an inclination of about 30 degrees. Under bright ambient light the reflective surface might pose another problem.

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

For the processor the ZTE Grand Memo relies on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064. It has four cores at its disposal which clock with up to 1.5 GHz. Additionally it is supported by 2 GB main memory and the graphics unit Adreno 320. This gives the smartphone a powerful performance basis that should outperform the competition in the majority of cases.

In the benchmark Passmark, however, it performs partly worse than the competitors. Especially concerning RAM and flash memory the test sample is equipped with rather slow components. The performance of the processor is nonetheless very good and outshines the competition in Linpack and the physics computations of 3DMark. Here, only the Atom processor of the Fonepad 6 can keep up despite the fact that it has two cores less at its command.

PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1
System (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
2555 Points ∼41%
Huawei Ascend Mate
2239 Points ∼36% -12%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
4151 Points ∼66% +62%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
2589 Points ∼41% +1%
HTC Butterfly
279 Points ∼4% -89%
CPU Tests (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
10585 Points ∼24%
Huawei Ascend Mate
9078 Points ∼20% -14%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
11276 Points ∼25% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
7051 Points ∼16% -33%
HTC Butterfly
8536 Points ∼19% -19%
Disk Tests (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
10087 Points ∼26%
Huawei Ascend Mate
12767 Points ∼33% +27%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
17914 Points ∼47% +78%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
3714 Points ∼10% -63%
HTC Butterfly
8320 Points ∼22% -18%
Memory Tests (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
2249 Points ∼39%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1302 Points ∼23% -42%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
4591 Points ∼80% +104%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
3076 Points ∼54% +37%
HTC Butterfly
2568 Points ∼45% +14%
AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
20270 Points ∼47%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
21093 Points ∼49% +4%
3DMark (2013)
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
6427 Points ∼5%
Huawei Ascend Mate
2329 Points ∼2% -64%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
4355 Points ∼4% -32%
HTC Butterfly
6003 Points ∼5% -7%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
5925 Points ∼2%
Huawei Ascend Mate
2005 Points ∼1% -66%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
3754 Points ∼1% -37%
HTC Butterfly
5551 Points ∼2% -6%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
9132 Points ∼19%
Huawei Ascend Mate
5360 Points ∼11% -41%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
9915 Points ∼21% +9%
HTC Butterfly
8397 Points ∼18% -8%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
13 fps ∼2%
Huawei Ascend Mate
22 fps ∼3% +69%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
8.9 fps ∼1% -32%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
6.2 fps ∼1% -52%
HTC Butterfly
13 fps ∼2% 0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
19 fps ∼32%
Huawei Ascend Mate
35 fps ∼58% +84%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
9.2 fps ∼15% -52%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
10 fps ∼17% -47%
HTC Butterfly
12 fps ∼20% -37%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
231.584 MFLOPS ∼30%
Huawei Ascend Mate
46.73 MFLOPS ∼6% -80%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
64.8 MFLOPS ∼8% -72%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
136.536 MFLOPS ∼18% -41%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
171.088 MFLOPS ∼22% -26%
HTC Butterfly
210.109 MFLOPS ∼27% -9%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
530.398 MFLOPS ∼37%
Huawei Ascend Mate
117.211 MFLOPS ∼8% -78%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
202.1 MFLOPS ∼14% -62%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
281.111 MFLOPS ∼20% -47%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
298.525 MFLOPS ∼21% -44%
HTC Butterfly
346.338 MFLOPS ∼24% -35%

Legend

 
ZTE Grand Memo LTE Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Ascend Mate HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620, Vivante GC4000, 8 GB SSD
 
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad, ARM Mali-400 MP4, 16 GB SSD
 
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
HTC Butterfly Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash

Despite the more modern browser (Google Chrome 31) the ZTE Grand Memo is unable to dominate in any of the benchmarks. Especially in Sunspider 1.0 the competition is partly significantly superior. Even the HTC Butterfly, which has the identical SoC, is faster. In Google's Octane benchmark, however, only the Asus Fonepad is better. Once again the slower memory could be throttling the performance. Subjectively speaking there is nothing to complain about the browsing qualities of the Grand Memo though.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
485 Points ∼8%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
495 Points ∼8% +2%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
608 Points ∼10% +25%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
734 Points ∼12% +51%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1336.9 ms * ∼33%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
1610.3 ms * ∼40% -20%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
1090 ms * ∼27% +18%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
854.1 ms * ∼21% +36%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
857.1 ms * ∼21% +36%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2263 Points ∼11%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
1373 Points ∼7% -39%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
2169 Points ∼10% -4%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1710 Points ∼8% -24%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3546 Points ∼17% +57%
Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1812 points ∼25%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1791 points ∼25% -1%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2157 points ∼30% +19%

* ... smaller is better

The flash memory of the ZTE Grand Memo is 16 GB in size. After the initial boot of the smartphone almost 11 GB is left for the user's purposes. In AndroBench the memory presents itself somewhat quicker than in Passmark and is able to outperform most of its competitors. Especially the reading of data is completed comparatively quickly by the device. Here, only the Fonepad Note 6 is somewhat faster. For the writing of small data blocks (4k) it is even undisputed in comparison.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
57.04 MB/s ∼34%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
29.66 MB/s ∼18% -48%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
35.25 MB/s ∼21% -38%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
46.3 MB/s ∼28% -19%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
49.79 MB/s ∼30% -13%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
69.6 MB/s ∼42% +22%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
9.95 MB/s ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.32 MB/s ∼13% -26%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
7.43 MB/s ∼13% -25%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
12.03 MB/s ∼21% +21%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
7.48 MB/s ∼13% -25%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
13.74 MB/s ∼24% +38%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
9.68 MB/s ∼46%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.74 MB/s ∼37% -20%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
6.75 MB/s ∼32% -30%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9.57 MB/s ∼46% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
9.3 MB/s ∼44% -4%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.31 MB/s ∼49% +7%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.03 MB/s ∼35%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
0.56 MB/s ∼19% -46%
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
0.5 MB/s ∼17% -51%
HTC Butterfly
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.56 MB/s ∼19% -46%
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
Adreno 305, 400 8930AB, 8 GB SSD
0.38 MB/s ∼13% -63%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.98 MB/s ∼34% -5%

Games

With the graphics unit Adreno 320 from Qualcomm the ZTE Grand Memo is equipped with a powerful GPU. It is only minimally slower than the current model Adreno 330 and already supports OpenGL ES 3.0. Therefore it should be able to handle future games as well.

The performance of the GPU suffices easily for all games in the Play Store. No matter if it is a current 3D hit or a classic game the Grand Memo is able to deal with any task. The good touchscreen and the reliably working sensors add to the unlimited fun.

Epic Citadel: High performance
Epic Citadel: High performance
Epic Citadel: High quality
Epic Citadel: High quality
Epic Citadel: Ultra high quality
Epic Citadel: Ultra high quality

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the ZTE Grand Memo during idle mode reach a maximum value of 30.4 °C and are therefore within an absolutely harmless range.

Under load, however, the temperatures rise heavily and reach a maximum value of 44.9 °C. Among the competition only the Huawei Ascend Mate (max. 47.8 °C) gets even warmer. The test sample gets hottest in the area of the earpiece. This value, however, was determined with the app Stability Test which has a runtime of at least one hour. Hence this situation will only rarely occur during everyday use.

 29.1 °C28.2 °C30.3 °C 
 29.2 °C28.5 °C30.4 °C 
 28.3 °C28.3 °C29.6 °C 
Maximum: 30.4 °C
Average: 29.1 °C
26.6 °C28.3 °C29.6 °C
27.3 °C28.8 °C28.4 °C
27.4 °C28.4 °C28.4 °C
Maximum: 29.6 °C
Average: 28.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  30.3 °C | Room Temperature 21.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

Sound reference: Pentatonix with Daft Punk.
Sound reference: Pentatonix with Daft Punk.

The mono speaker installed in the back side does its job surprisingly well. The best sound results are achieved when the ZTE Grand Memo is placed with the display side on the table or held in one hand. Especially the highs are then very clear. The bass is subtle but audible while the mids are thin. Only at high volumes does the sound become somewhat tinny. When the speaker is also covered the tones seem dull.

The sound output via the 3.5 mm stereo jack works fine. The accompanying headphones were not able to convince us in this scenario once again. They are extremely bass-heavy and the highs sound hollow and resonate.

Energy Management

Wie wir testen - Akkulaufzeit

Power Consumption

During idle mode the power consumption of the ZTE Grand Memo ranges between 0.6 and 2.4 watts and is therefore at a comparatively good level. The Samsung Galaxy Mega (0.6 - 1.8 W), however, is even more frugal despite its bigger display.

Under load the consumption values rise to up to 7.1 watts. This is ascertained via the app Stability Test (CPU + GPU). This time the consumption value lies slightly above those of the remaining rivals which, given the more powerful SoC, comes as not much of a surprise. The Ascend Mate has higher power consumption and requires up to 10.7 watts. Considering the maximum consumption of our test sample the power supply (7.5 W) seems a little scarcely dimensioned. This also became partly apparent in the benchmarks when the battery was discharged minimally.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.6 / 0.9 / 2.4 Watt
Load 3.9 / 7.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The permanently mounted energy storage of the ZTE Grand Memo LTE provides 3,200 mAh. Hence it is rather well-dimensioned and promises good runtimes.

We ascertained the maximum runtime at the lowest display brightness and, apart from WLAN, all communication modules deactivated. We simultaneously simulated reading a book via a browser script. Only after more than 21 hours did the battery quit. A very respectable result.

In the reverse scenario we try to exhaust the battery as quickly as possible. To do so the panel is set to maximum brightness and all consumers activated. With the app Stability Test both CPU and GPU are loaded equally. The smartphone lasted 3 hours and 48 minutes.

A surprise was that the Grand Memo had to be plugged in again half an hour earlier when playing back a Full HD video. Even though this time all consumers were deactivated and the display set to 150 cd/m². Repeating both tests did not change the results.

The browsing via WLAN test is more practically oriented. The screen is once more set to 150 cd/m² and all radio modules except WLAN deactivated. Then websites are called up every 40 seconds via a browser script. Once again the Grand Memo achieves a very good value of considerably more than 18 hours.

All in all, the test sample can convince us. Only during video playback would we have wished for a somewhat better result.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 12min
WiFi Surfing
18h 44min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 48min

Wie wir testen - Fazit

Verdict

In Review: ZTE Grand Memo LTE. Test sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.
In Review: ZTE Grand Memo LTE. Test sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.

With the ZTE Grand Memo LTE the Chinese company offers an interesting XL smartphone whose greatest feature is its great display. Concerning workmanship, especially the touch sensitivity of the panel frame and the cover of the slots are annoying. The latter do not create the impression that they are built to last.

It is pleasant that LTE is included. Unfortunately the remaining radio standards were neglected. No Quad-GSM and very poor frequency coverage in the HSPA range are disappointing, especially since only a small portion of buyers will already use LTE. The WLAN module could also have been a little bit better equipped. The speech quality is unfortunately only moderate.

Nevertheless the Grand Memo has quite a lot to offer for currently 300 Euros (~$409) and is a fair offer. Especially the camera is unbeatable compared to the competition. Those who would rather like to call a Full HD device their own and not go without a stylus should have a closer look at the Asus Fonepad Note 6. Those who require a better network coverage and good speech quality should maybe turn to the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.

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In Review: ZTE Grand Memo LTE. Test sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.
In Review: ZTE Grand Memo LTE. Test sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.

Specifications

ZTE Grand Memo LTE

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
5.7 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 multitouch points, HD Captive, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 11 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined headphone and microphone jack, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 32 GB (SDHC), Sensors: brightness sensor, gyro sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor, orientation sensor and magnetometer, GPS, DLNA
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (900, 1.800 and 1,900 MHz), HSPA/UMTS (900 and 2,100 MHz), LTE (800, 900, 1.800 and 2,600 MHz)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 158 x 82
:: Weight
0.197 kg Power Supply: 0.06 kg
:: Battery
Lithium-Ion, 3,200 mAh
:: Price
399 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 13 MP, Front: 1.0 MP, Speakers: one mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, data cable, headset, bloatware, own user interface, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Packaging of the Grand Memo LTE.
Packaging of the Grand Memo LTE.
The Grand Memo has a panel diagonal of 5.7-inches.
The Grand Memo has a panel diagonal of 5.7-inches.
The IPS display has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels.
The IPS display has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels.
The webcam is only suitable for video telephony in good lighting conditions.
The webcam is only suitable for video telephony in good lighting conditions.
The sensor buttons work reliably.
The sensor buttons work reliably.
The back side is susceptible to fingerprints.
The back side is susceptible to fingerprints.
The 13 MP camera is massive and takes good pictures.
The 13 MP camera is massive and takes good pictures.
The mono speaker delivers a solid performance.
The mono speaker delivers a solid performance.
Not even 9 mm thick.
Not even 9 mm thick.
The headset was not able to win us over.
The headset was not able to win us over.
The power supply provides 7.5 watts.
The power supply provides 7.5 watts.
16 GB of memory is installed.
16 GB of memory is installed.
Almost 11 GB is at the user's disposal.
Almost 11 GB is at the user's disposal.
Many applications are preinstalled.
Many applications are preinstalled.
Among them is also a lot of bloatware...
Among them is also a lot of bloatware...
...which can be removed easily.
...which can be removed easily.
The UI is appealing.
The UI is appealing.
The quick access bar has a structured design.
The quick access bar has a structured design.
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
AnTuTu V4
AnTuTu V4
3DMark
3DMark
Google Octane 2.0
Google Octane 2.0

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Links

Price Comparison

Pro

+Bright and viewing angle stable display
+Powerful quad-core SoC
+Fast flash memory
+Good camera
+Decent battery runtimes
 

Cons

-Outdated Android version
-No FullHD panel
-Moderate color accuracy
-Low coverage of frequency band for UMTS
-Pressure sensitivity of the panel frame
-Moderate speech quality

Shortcut

What we like

The bright, evenly lit display is as convincing as the good camera.

What we'd like to see

The poor frequency coverage of the Grand Memo is one of its biggest weaknesses since it applies to all communications.

What surprises us

Even a smartphone is still a telephone. Therefore it quite surprises that the speech quality of the device is that bad. We clearly would have expected more.

The competition

The competitors are the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, the Note 2, the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 and the Huawei Ascend Mate.

Rating

ZTE Grand Memo LTE
12/17/2013 v3
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
78%
Keyboard
63%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
39%
Weight
100%
Battery
93%
Display
82%
Games Performance
45%
Application Performance
58%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Add Points
70%
Average
75%
85%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review ZTE Grand Memo LTE Smartphone
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2013-12-24 (Update: 2014-01- 2)