Review ZTE Grand X Pro Smartphone

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 07/21/2013

A phone with an X – will it succeed? The Chinese manufacturer ZTE is expanding into foreign markets. The 4.5-inch, mid-priced Grand X Pro smartphone is to help achieve this. We examined whether it might just be a home run.

In Review: ZTE Grand X Pro. Courtesy of Cyberport.
In Review: ZTE Grand X Pro. Courtesy of Cyberport.

For the original German review, see here.

We reviewed ZTE's Grand X IN a few months ago. Although it only had a few striking features, the smartphone with Intel's Atom processor convinced us. Now ZTE's Grand X Pro is in our test lab. This time it features an SoC from MediaTek, a somewhat larger, 4.5-inch screen, a higher screen resolution and 4 GB of storage. Compared with the Grand X IN, improvements have been made but its price is virtually unchanged. The phone is available for a recommended price of 269 Euros (~$354).

Dozens of manufacturers, ranging from brand names up to Far Eastern budget manufacturers, have meanwhile found their way in the affordable mid-range category. Consequently there are many devices that can be compared with ZTE's Grand X Pro, e.g. Acer's Liquid E1 Duo, Yarvik's Ingenia X1, Alcatel's One Touch Ultra 997D, Amoi's N821, LG's Optimus L7 II, Sony's Xperia L or Nokia's Lumia 620 that features Windows Phone 8 operating system. The to-date unbeaten price-performance winner Google Nexus 4 is also available for 100 Euros (~$131) more.

Case

Housing is stable, but somewhat sensitive to pressure
Housing is stable, but somewhat sensitive to pressure

ZTE's Grand X Pro comes in a high-quality looking casing devoid of thrills. Its back is dark-gray plastic, the front features a black display frame and a chrome-colored bezel is between that on the sides. Like Samsung's cellphones, the back can be removed and is quite slip-proof. Its only keys are a standby button on the top and a volume rocker on the right. The manufacturer even omits the usual physical buttons below the screen. They have simply been moved to the screen, which naturally lessens the surface area for other contents.

The build is decent in so far as the gaps between the single materials are flush and no palpable edges are noticed. The stability is also basically acceptable but the smartphone can be twisted which causes light waves in the liquid crystals on the screen. These waves also become visible when light pressure is applied to the screen. This effect does not occur in other smartphones even when higher pressure is applied. The touchscreen should thus be handled with care.

Connectivity

The micro-USB port on the bottom and the 3.5 mm audio jack on the top are positioned like on most other smartphones. Besides that, the device only brings along a SIM card slot and micro SD card reader located underneath the back cover.

Left: No interfaces
Left: No interfaces
Top: 3.5 mm combo audio port, standby button
Top: 3.5 mm combo audio port, standby button
Right: Volume rocker
Right: Volume rocker
Bottom: Micro-USB port
Bottom: Micro-USB port

Software

Google's popular Android operating system is installed. However, it is a somewhat outdated edition. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the third last version of the operating system. Whether an update will be available is not yet known even upon inquiring.

ZTE basically has not modified the operating system. However, some smaller apps have been extended. For example, "Mi-EasyAccess" opens a circle that displays the most frequently used apps and the user is directly led to the intended app. However, there is a problem when it is the start screen because it cannot be linked. It is only possible to remedy this by enabling the PIN code in the security settings or using another option to unlock the phone.

Otherwise, the user will find many small extras like a free messenger, which friends of course must also have for it to work. Besides that, there is an office suite and software that makes friends' Facebook pictures into a slideshow which opens when they call. Overall, ZTE includes a quite extensive software bundle.

No GPS signal found even in an open field.
No GPS signal found even in an open field.

Communication & GPS

Support for various frequencies and fast Wi-Fi are a must in a modern smartphone. ZTE's Grand X Pro features GSM tri-band and UMTS dual-band as well as HSPA support. Even Bluetooth 4.0 is on board. The Wi-Fi module supports wireless networks that comply with 802.11 b/g/n standards.

However, the Wi-Fi module does not have a far range. Sometimes only three out of four signal bars were displayed even in the router's direct vicinity. A distance of ten meters and two walls between the router and phone reduced this to only two bars, so half the strength. This also affected internet speed. Websites loaded much slower. Another two meters and an additional wall between the phone and the router decreased the signal strength to only one bar.

We could not coax the installed GPS module to set up a satellite connection in our test. A signal was not found even on a clear day in an open field.

Telephony & Speech Quality

Google's default telephone app version is used. ZTE did not modify anything here and the app can be intuitively used as usual. The speech quality is satisfactory when a mini-SIM card is inserted and a call is started. Both the called person and the person calling were understood well. However, the sound from the smartphone was a bit muffled. The speaker is a bit too weak to hear the called party clearly in loud situations when the hands-free mode is enabled.

Cameras & Multimedia

An 8 megapixel camera is installed on the back, which corresponds to 3264x2448 pixels. The front-facing camera is only suitable for video calls due to a resolution of 640x480. ZTE has left the camera app untouched and the panorama function and video recordings are available. The camera's still pictures are quite good and high in detail. Color noise remains within limits even in difficult, so comparatively dark situations. The Grand X Pro can compete with the cameras in high-end smartphones. In particular, the crisp colors and good display of details were noticed favorably. Nevertheless, the camera cannot hold a candle to the luminosity and level of detail of a reflex camera.

Videos are however only recorded in 640x480 pixels. The picture quality features much lower details and more noise. Sound recordings also overdrive quickly. Our phone did not have any problems with playing videos. Even Full HD videos were rendered smoothly on ZTE's Grand X Pro. However, we found it annoying that the controls were recurrently faded in and out of the picture in full-screen mode since there are no dedicated touch-buttons below the screen, which makes playback without controls impossible.

Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixels): Surroundings
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Surroundings
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixels): Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixels): Plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixels): Plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixels): Scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixels): Scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Surroundings
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Plant
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Plant
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Scene
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Scene
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Surroundings
Sony A57 (16 megapixels): Surroundings
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Plant
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Plant
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Scene
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Scene
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Surroundings
ZTE Grand X Pro (8 megapixels): Surroundings

Accessories

The usual accessories for a mid-range smartphone are included: A charger alongside a separate USB cord and a headset. ZTE does not yet have its own online shop in some countries and no device-specific accessories are found on ZTE's international websites.

Warranty

The included warranty period is a pleasing 24 months. A repair order can be placed via a specified online platform or hotline. A few questions are asked beforehand in order to exclude any defects that the customer can repair on their own.

Input Devices & Controls

Keyboard
Keyboard

The virtual keyboard is not Google's default model but a version dubbed "TouchPal". Although the keys are slightly smaller, it enables quick access to alternative input methods. For example, speech input or "Curve" where the user strokes over the keyboard instead of tapping.

It is also possible for the user to access many special keys for internet applications or a function that facilitates highlighting texts. It is generally a comprehensive keyboard app. However, users who want large letter keys should look for an alternative. The touchscreen works reliably and even using the screen's edge is a pleasant matter.

Display

ZTE's Grand X Pro has a lead on all its contenders with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. All devices used for comparison feature a lower resolution. However, the brightness of our review sample is category average. Devices like Sony's Xperia L or Nokia's Lumia 620 manage a much better rate. Our review sample's illumination of 86% is also rather moderate.

330
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
352
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
351
cd/m²
357
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 363 cd/m²
Average: 344.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 363 cd/m²
Black: 0.49 cd/m²
Contrast: 741:1

The contrast of 741:1 is at the lower end of the comparison field and the black value of 0.49 cd/m² is middling. Black areas look like black subjectively and the colors are quite brilliant.

We also examined the screen's reproduction using the colorimeter and CalMAN software. Here we noticed that many hues deviate extremely from the ideal value of the reference color space. Light blue, orange, purple, light brown and particularly white were over a DeltaE rate of 10.

It is similar in the grayscale. Especially light colors deviate extremely. The deviation decreases towards black. The saturation shows that the blue part is very low while green is overemphasized in the color mixing. This, for example, causes skin tones to look rather unnatural because they lack green.

CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMan Grayscale
CalMan Grayscale
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
Skin tones look unnatural due to the high green saturation.
Skin tones look unnatural due to the high green saturation.
Outdoors
Outdoors

ZTE's Grand X Pro is usable outdoors due to its decent brightness. However, the eyes are often strained in bright sunlight because of the reflective screen. No problems occur when the phone is used in the shade or in bright rooms.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

It was noticed in the excellent TFT screen of HTC's One that TFT technology has advanced greatly in the past years. ZTE's Grand X Pro also features such a TFT screen and thus offers an equally good viewing angle stability as IPS or AMOLED screens. Pictures can be viewed from very acute angles without losing contrast.

Performance

MediaTek's MT6577 is a popular SoC and is installed in four devices besides ZTE's Grand X Pro in our comparison field. The serial number of the SoC in our device features a "T" which indicates a slightly higher processor clock rate of 1.2 GHz (MediaTek M6577: 1 GHz). The PowerVR SGX531 graphics unit is the same. Apart from that, the system has 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of storage available.

The processor's increased rates only have small advantages at first. Our review sample is generally on a par with the compared devices in the benchmarks that test the entire system. However, the processor-only test Linpack recorded a 10% advantage particularly in the multi-core scenario compared with devices that feature MediaTek's M6577 SoC (Amoi N821, Acer Liquid E1 Duo).

Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score
ZTE Grand X Pro
1080 Points ∼9%
Amoi N821
875 Points ∼7% -19%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
862 Points ∼7% -20%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
549 Points ∼4% -49%
Sony Xperia L
1082 Points ∼9% 0%
Google Nexus 4
2054 Points ∼17% +90%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
811 Points ∼7% -25%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
933 Points ∼8% -14%
AnTuTu Benchmark v3 - Total Score
ZTE Grand X Pro
6452 Points ∼18%
Amoi N821
6745 Points ∼19% +5%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
6212 Points ∼17% -4%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
6342 Points ∼18% -2%
Sony Xperia L
10351 Points ∼29% +60%
Google Nexus 4
17555 Points ∼49% +172%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
5911 Points ∼17% -8%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
6146 Points ∼17% -5%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0
ZTE Grand X Pro
2568 points ∼11%
Amoi N821
2823 points ∼12% +10%
Sony Xperia L
4202 points ∼17% +64%
Google Nexus 4
4552 points ∼19% +77%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
2952 points ∼12% +15%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread
ZTE Grand X Pro
38.193 MFLOPS ∼6%
Amoi N821
39.921 MFLOPS ∼6% +5%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
40.382 MFLOPS ∼6% +6%
Sony Xperia L
37.712 MFLOPS ∼6% -1%
Google Nexus 4
76.841 MFLOPS ∼11% +101%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
37.899 MFLOPS ∼6% -1%
Multi Thread
ZTE Grand X Pro
65.911 MFLOPS ∼6%
Amoi N821
59.369 MFLOPS ∼5% -10%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
66.404 MFLOPS ∼6% +1%
Sony Xperia L
205.691 MFLOPS ∼19% +212%
Google Nexus 4
221.638 MFLOPS ∼20% +236%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
58.504 MFLOPS ∼5% -11%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System
ZTE Grand X Pro
1258 Points ∼20%
Sony Xperia L
1778 Points ∼28% +41%
Google Nexus 4
2638 Points ∼42% +110%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
1440 Points ∼23% +14%
Legend
      ZTE Grand X Pro MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 4 GB Flash
      Amoi N821 MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 2 GB NAND Flash
      Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 4 GB Flash
      LG P710 Optimus L7 II Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8225, Qualcomm Adreno 203, 4 GB Flash
      Sony Xperia L Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8230, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 4 GB Flash
      Nokia Lumia 620 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8227, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
      Google Nexus 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
      Acer Liquid E1 Duo MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 4 GB Flash
      Yarvik Ingenia X1 MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 4 GB Flash

In the review of Acer's Liquid E1 Duo we observed that the graphics card does not work well with 3DMark. Basemark X also aborted every run on ZTE's Grand X Pro.

It quickly becomes obvious in the other synthetic benchmarks that Sony's Xperia L and Google's Nexus 4 are clearly superior in terms of 3D power. The other compared devices that actually feature the same graphics unit as ZTE's Grand X Pro have an average lead of 20% on our review sample.

Antutu 3DRating
ZTE Grand X Pro
1474 Points ∼13%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
2103 Points ∼19% +43%
Sony Xperia L
4146 Points ∼37% +181%
Google Nexus 4
5731 Points ∼50% +289%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
1979 Points ∼17% +34%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
1704 Points ∼15% +16%
1024x2048 Off-screen
ZTE Grand X Pro
909 Points ∼32%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
1282 Points ∼44% +41%
Sony Xperia L
1674 Points ∼58% +84%
Google Nexus 4
1702 Points ∼59% +87%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
852 Points ∼30% -6%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
748 Points ∼26% -18%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
ZTE Grand X Pro
0.5 fps ∼0%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
1.5 fps ∼0% +200%
Sony Xperia L
5 fps ∼1% +900%
Google Nexus 4
13 fps ∼2% +2500%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
ZTE Grand X Pro
1 fps ∼2%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
3.8 fps ∼6% +280%
Sony Xperia L
12 fps ∼20% +1100%
Google Nexus 4
20 fps ∼33% +1900%
Epic Citadel
High Performance
ZTE Grand X Pro
25.5 fps ∼42%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
29 fps ∼48% +14%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
23.7 fps ∼39% -7%
Sony Xperia L
52.6 fps ∼87% +106%
Google Nexus 4
54.9 fps ∼91% +115%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
38.2 fps ∼63% +50%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
26.5 fps ∼44% +4%
High Quality
ZTE Grand X Pro
21.7 fps ∼36%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
23.3 fps ∼39% +7%
Sony Xperia L
51 fps ∼85% +135%
Google Nexus 4
54.3 fps ∼91% +150%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
30.4 fps ∼51% +40%
GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD Fixed Time
ZTE Grand X Pro
19.27 fps ∼32%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
7.4 fps ∼12% -62%
Google Nexus 4
35 fps ∼58% +82%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
2.8 fps ∼5% -85%
NenaMark2
ZTE Grand X Pro
18.6 fps ∼28%
Amoi N821
24.1 fps ∼36% +30%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
23.8 fps ∼35% +28%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
33.6 fps ∼50% +81%
Sony Xperia L
54.3 fps ∼81% +192%
Google Nexus 4
59 fps ∼88% +217%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
24.8 fps ∼37% +33%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
24.1 fps ∼36% +30%

Our review sample also frequently lagged behind the actually marginally weaker comparison devices with MediaTek's MT 6577 in the other browser benchmarks. This was noticed in the slightly longer time needed for opening pages. Browsing did not seem as smooth as on some other devices. The Wi-Fi module's weak reception performance (see above) also contributes to this mediocre impression.

Peacekeeper
ZTE Grand X Pro
470 Points ∼8%
Amoi N821
502 Points ∼8% +7%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
465 Points ∼8% -1%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
302 Points ∼5% -36%
Sony Xperia L
321 Points ∼5% -32%
Nokia Lumia 620
214 Points ∼3% -54%
Google Nexus 4
236 Points ∼4% -50%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
504 Points ∼8% +7%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
ZTE Grand X Pro
984 Points ∼5%
Amoi N821
1290 Points ∼7% +31%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
1055 Points ∼6% +7%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
755 Points ∼4% -23%
Sony Xperia L
839 Points ∼5% -15%
Nokia Lumia 620
460 Points ∼3% -53%
Google Nexus 4
1381 Points ∼8% +40%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
1333 Points ∼7% +35%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
1118 Points ∼6% +14%
Octane V1 - Total Score
ZTE Grand X Pro
1013 Points ∼5%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
672 Points ∼3% -34%
Sony Xperia L
863 Points ∼4% -15%
Google Nexus 4
1248 Points ∼6% +23%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
1328 Points ∼6% +31%
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal
ZTE Grand X Pro
373 Points ∼21%
Amoi N821
363 Points ∼20% -3%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
361 Points ∼20% -3%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
321 Points ∼18% -14%
Sony Xperia L
462 Points ∼26% +24%
Google Nexus 4
625 Points ∼35% +68%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
365 Points ∼20% -2%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
370 Points ∼21% -1%
HTML5
ZTE Grand X Pro
1054 Points ∼34%
Amoi N821
1365 Points ∼44% +30%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
1108 Points ∼36% +5%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
1407 Points ∼45% +33%
Sony Xperia L
1817 Points ∼58% +72%
Google Nexus 4
1339 Points ∼43% +27%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
1368 Points ∼44% +30%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
1108 Points ∼36% +5%

The storage device access time is average. For example, while the Amoi N821 reads data much slower, the Yarvik Ingenia X1 has the clear lead. Even the Xperia L is often defeated in this exercise.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
ZTE Grand X Pro
30.6 MB/s ∼18%
Amoi N821
30.46 MB/s ∼18% 0%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
26.62 MB/s ∼16% -13%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
32.51 MB/s ∼19% +6%
Sony Xperia L
33.39 MB/s ∼20% +9%
Google Nexus 4
49.7 MB/s ∼30% +62%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
31.38 MB/s ∼19% +3%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
30.36 MB/s ∼18% -1%
Sequential Write 256KB
ZTE Grand X Pro
5.84 MB/s ∼10%
Amoi N821
5.69 MB/s ∼10% -3%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
5.18 MB/s ∼9% -11%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
3.98 MB/s ∼7% -32%
Sony Xperia L
4.47 MB/s ∼8% -23%
Google Nexus 4
13.97 MB/s ∼24% +139%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
5.85 MB/s ∼10% 0%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
15.83 MB/s ∼27% +171%
Random Read 4KB
ZTE Grand X Pro
9.74 MB/s ∼46%
Amoi N821
8.44 MB/s ∼40% -13%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
9.54 MB/s ∼45% -2%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
7.63 MB/s ∼36% -22%
Sony Xperia L
7.02 MB/s ∼33% -28%
Google Nexus 4
12.14 MB/s ∼58% +25%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
8.59 MB/s ∼41% -12%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
10.9 MB/s ∼52% +12%
Random Write 4KB
ZTE Grand X Pro
0.83 MB/s ∼28%
Amoi N821
0.26 MB/s ∼9% -69%
Alcatel OneTouch Ultra 997D
0.27 MB/s ∼9% -67%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
0.2 MB/s ∼7% -76%
Sony Xperia L
0.23 MB/s ∼8% -72%
Google Nexus 4
1.07 MB/s ∼37% +29%
Acer Liquid E1 Duo
0.54 MB/s ∼18% -35%
Yarvik Ingenia X1
0.95 MB/s ∼33% +14%

Games

Minor stutters: Real Racing 3
Minor stutters: Real Racing 3

The ZTE Grand X Pro only achieved low scores in the graphics calculations of the synthetic benchmarks. This was confirmed in games. Minor stutters were the order of the day in the fast race game Real Racing 3. Nor did the action game Zombiewood run perfectly smooth. Also, some games like Iron Man 3 absolutely refused to run on the smartphone. However, navigating via touchscreen and position sensor worked very accurately.

This is basically a below-average performance that ZTE's Grand X Pro delivered in Performance. The higher clocked processor can only provide minor speed advantages; 3D and browser power are below average. Although it is still possible to work properly with this phone, users who want speed will find other alternatives in this price range, for example Sony's Xperia L.

Emissions

Temperature

ZTE cannot be satisfied with the Grand X Pro's casing temperatures. Up to 46.3 °C during full load is a clearly felt temperature that is slightly unpleasant. It is particularly striking that the heat is virtually not felt on the casing's opposite side. A better heat management could have distributed the waste heat more favorably.

The device also heats up noticeably on the front and back in idle mode. However, it is still within an acceptable range with a maximum of 38.5 °C. We can only grade the temperatures with "satisfactory"; all other devices in the comparison field score better here.

Max. Load
 44.5 °C33.3 °C28.9 °C 
 46.3 °C32.7 °C29 °C 
 41.5 °C33 °C28.4 °C 
Maximum: 46.3 °C
Average: 35.3 °C
28.4 °C33 °C43.7 °C
27 °C32.5 °C41.6 °C
27 °C32.6 °C42.7 °C
Maximum: 43.7 °C
Average: 34.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  34 °C | Room Temperature 22.2 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The small speaker on the rear does its job with the volume quite well. However, this is truer for rendering audio files than in hands-free mode. Besides that, the phone should not be placed on a table yet alone a soft surface because that affects the sound audibly.

The sound is surprisingly loud and clear when the phone is held in a hand, although it naturally lacks low pitches. The speaker does not overdrive even in maximum volume. Nevertheless, music fans should connect an external speaker, for example via Bluetooth.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our review sample is quite exemplary in power consumption. ZTE's Grand X Pro partly consumes more power than Acer's Liquid E1 Duo but also frequently less than many other comparable devices with a marginally weaker SoC.

An average idle consumption of 1.3 watts and a maximum of 3.8 watts during full load are good rates. The consumption rates in off or standby mode are particularly good. No consumption was measured when the smartphone was off and we ascertained a nominal 0.1 watts in standby.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.01 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.9 / 1.3 / 1.6 Watt
Load 2.9 / 3.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Corresponding to the consumption, the battery runtimes are good. The smartphone lasted for over 16 hours when only minimally loaded, for example when reading an e-book. More than 9 hours of Wi-Fi surfing is also a good rate. The fairly large, 8.2 watt hour battery has a part in this. For example, Alcatel's One Touch Ultra or Amoi's N821 have to rely on much smaller batteries.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 18min
WiFi Surfing
9h 02min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 50min

Verdict

Buyers of ZTE's Grand X Pro will get a device that is definitely state-of-the-art in the current smartphone mid-range. The camera is even on a par with the current premium category, although Nokia and Co. are setting new standards at the moment. The good battery runtimes, the screen's high resolution and the low power consumption also speak for the device.

The brightness, contrast, controls, speech quality, feel and build are all satisfactory but not more. Particularly since there are a few points with clear weaknesses, such as software bugs like the popping up of controls in full screen mode, which are annoying. These buttons also lessen the screen's surface area and are normally located below the display. There are also the high temperatures, the at most average performance, the somewhat outdated operating system and the unsatisfactory functionality of the Wi-Fi and GPS module.

We can only recommend looking closer at the mid-range before opting for ZTE's Grand X Pro. There are devices that offer considerably more power (Sony's Xperia L) or longer battery runtimes (Yarvik's Ingenia X1) for the same price. However, the screen's high resolution and camera's high quality are still compelling, ZTE's Grand X Pro is a decent smartphone with a few drawbacks.

In Review: ZTE Grand X Pro
In Review: ZTE Grand X Pro
Review sample courtesy of ...
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In Review: ZTE Grand X Pro. Review sample courtesy of:
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Specifications

ZTE Grand X Pro

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, up to 5 fingers simultaneously, TFT, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
4 GB Flash, 4 GB , 2.5 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD card reader max. 32 GB, Sensors: proximity sensor, light sensor, position sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, HSPA, 3GPP R6 full compliant, GSM:900/1800/1900, UMTS:900/2100(BAND 8/1)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.4 x 133 x 66.1
:: Weight
0.143 kg Power Supply: 0.058 kg
:: Battery
8.2 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2.000 mAh, non-removable
:: Price
269 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.0
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 8 MP, Front: 0.3 MP, Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, headset, quick start guide, eBuddy, eBuddy XMS, Facetones, Mi EasyAccess, Kingsoft Office, 24 Months Warranty

 

We have ZTE's Grand X Pro in our test lab.
We have ZTE's Grand X Pro in our test lab.
The camera's resolution of 8 megapixels...
The camera's resolution of 8 megapixels...
...good outline of details and brilliant colors convinced us right away.
...good outline of details and brilliant colors convinced us right away.
The camera app was not modified.
The camera app was not modified.
The screen's resolution of 1280x720 is also worth a look.
The screen's resolution of 1280x720 is also worth a look.
The viewing angles are very good.
The viewing angles are very good.
The contrast and black value are category average, but the color reproduction could be better.
The contrast and black value are category average, but the color reproduction could be better.
Android 4.0 is installed as the operating system.
Android 4.0 is installed as the operating system.
That is an outdated edition of the operating system.
That is an outdated edition of the operating system.
The control bar is placed on the screen.
The control bar is placed on the screen.
Like in Samsung's phones, the back cover can be removed.
Like in Samsung's phones, the back cover can be removed.
This allows accessing the SIM slot and micro-SD slot. The battery cannot be removed.
This allows accessing the SIM slot and micro-SD slot. The battery cannot be removed.
The rear-facing camera and LED flash are then also uncovered.
The rear-facing camera and LED flash are then also uncovered.
The small speaker is quite decent.
The small speaker is quite decent.
The sides look slim...
The sides look slim...
...and quite stylish due to the chrome-color.
...and quite stylish due to the chrome-color.
However, the screen is fairly pressure sensitive just like the back.
However, the screen is fairly pressure sensitive just like the back.
There are barely any complaints regarding the build.
There are barely any complaints regarding the build.
The size and weight are category standard.
The size and weight are category standard.
ZTE has left the phone app and most parts of the operating system untouched.
ZTE has left the phone app and most parts of the operating system untouched.
The info and quick access menu are unmodified.
The info and quick access menu are unmodified.
The keyboard is dubbed "TouchPal" and offers many additional functions.
The keyboard is dubbed "TouchPal" and offers many additional functions.
Unfortunately, the 3D power is below-average.
Unfortunately, the 3D power is below-average.
A smartphone that corresponds to the mid-range standards.
A smartphone that corresponds to the mid-range standards.
Its highlights are the camera and the high resolution screen.
Its highlights are the camera and the high resolution screen.
However, a few drawbacks have to be accepted.
However, a few drawbacks have to be accepted.

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Links

Compare Prices

Amazon.com

$13.79 Abacus24-7 [GoCard] 16GB microSD Class 4 Memory Card for ZTE Adamant, ZTE Anthem 4G, ZTE Avid 4G, ZTE Blade, ZTE Blade II, ZTE Blade III, ZTE Chorus, ZTE Director, ZTE Engage, ZTE Engage MT, ZTE Era, ZTE Flash, ZTE Fury, ZTE Geek, ZTE Grand S, ZTE Grand X Pro, ZTE Groove, ZTE Kis, ZTE N800, ZTE Optik, ZTE Score, ZTE Score M, ZTE Skate, ZTE Source, ZTE Supreme, ZTE V66, ZTE V98, ZTE Vital, ZTE Warp, ZTE Warp 4G, ZTE Warp Sequent

Colibri Case for ZTE Grand X Pro / Nubia Z5 Pouch Case Cover Skin PU Leather
» 7.90 GBP (lowest price)
7.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Memzi 32GB Class 10 40MB/s Ultima Pro Micro SDHC Memory Card with SD Adapter and USB Reader for ZTE Grand Mobile Phones
» 17.99 GBP (lowest price)
17.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Tuff-Luv Uni-Fit Universal Faux Leather phone case cover & stand in Blue / compatible with (ZTE Blade G V880G / Blade III / Blade Q / Blade Q Mini / Era / Flash / Grand Era U895 / Grand X IN / Grand X Pro / Grand X Quad V987 / Grand X V970 / Nubia Z5 / N
» 14.99 GBP (lowest price)
14.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Tuff-Luv Uni-Fit Universal Faux Leather phone case cover & stand in Black / compatible with (ZTE Blade G V880G / Blade III / Blade Q / Blade Q Mini / Era / Flash / Grand Era U895 / Grand X IN / Grand X Pro / Grand X Quad V987 / Grand X V970 / Nubia Z5 /
» 14.99 GBP (lowest price)
14.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Tuff-Luv Uni-Fit Universal Faux Leather phone case cover & stand in Red / compatible with (ZTE Blade G V880G / Blade III / Blade Q / Blade Q Mini / Era / Flash / Grand Era U895 / Grand X IN / Grand X Pro / Grand X Quad V987 / Grand X V970 / Nubia Z5 / Nu
» 14.99 GBP (lowest price)
14.99 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

The displayed prices can be up to one day old.

Pro

+High screen resolution
+Wide viewing angles
+Good camera
+Long runtimes
+Non-slip back
 

Cons

-Pressure-sensitive casing
-Outdated operating system
-Poor Wi-Fi reception
-GPS module doesn't work
-Weak 3D performance
-High temperatures

Shortcut

What we like

The great camera and the screen's high resolution.

What we'd like to see

A better conceived control concept. The buttons on the screen are not ideal.

What surprises us

That low performance and high temperatures go hand in hand here.

The competition

Acer Liquid E1 Duo, Yarvik Ingenia X1, Alcatel One Touch Ultra, Amoi N821, LG Optimus L7 II, Sony Xperia L, Nokia Lumia 620, Google Nexus 4.

Rating

ZTE Grand X Pro
08/05/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
52%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
41%
Weight
100%
Battery
96%
Display
83%
Games Performance
20%
Application Performance
37%
Temperature
74%
Noise
100%
Add Points
75%
Average
70%
83%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review ZTE Grand X Pro Smartphone
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-07-21 (Update: 2013-07-22)