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ZTE Grand X review

ZTE impresses with a dual-core stock Android 4.0 device for the masses

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Our Verdict

An early winner for ZTE that has sunk to less impressive depths given how long it's taken to release.

For

  • Cheap
  • Pure Android 4.0
  • Dual-core Tegra 2
  • Fast browser

Against

  • Plastic feel
  • Low quality screen
  • Average media
  • Nexus clone

Battery life

ZTE claims that you'll be able to get 180 minutes of talk time and 300 hours of standby from the ZTE Grand X's 1650mAh battery.

ZTE Grand X review

It's hard to relate these figures to real-life usage, which usually involves periods of intense usage followed by long periods of inactivity.

ZTE Grand X review

Still, we can say that these estimates are pretty standard, and that the Grand X's real life performance too is fairly ordinary.

You'll get through a day's heavy usage without having to charge, which is what we've come to expect of modern smartphones. If you don't use it too much, you'll be able to stretch it over two whole days.

After running our stock Nyan test - which involves playing the Nyan cat video for 90 minutes with everything switched on (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, all notifications) and the screen brightness set to maximum, the battery had on average 62 per cent left.

It's worth noting too that the 1650mAh battery unit sits in between the similar spec HTC Sensation (1520mAh) and the HTC Sensation XE (1730mAh), so it's about right for capacity.

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, the ZTE Grand X has almost all of the bases covered.

It comes with the expected staples of HSDPA , Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 for wireless connectivity, while microSD and microUSB enable you to transfer files physically.

ZTE Grand X review

You can also use the Grand X as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to get connected to the internet from anywhere with a half-decent 3G signal. This feature's a little buried in the settings menu, but it's more than welcome.

One welcome wireless standard found here is DLNA, which is relatively common but by no means ubiquitous.

This enables the fuss-free transfer of media such as photos and videos to many TVs, DVD players, printers and the like.

While that's fantastic for the present, the ZTE Grand X lacks the most important forward-facing connectivity option of the lot - NFC.

Near Field Communication allows you to make payments with a swipe of your phone.

It hasn't been widely adopted yet, but you can guarantee it will be, which makes the Grand X slightly less future-proof than we would like. Its omission also means you can't exchange details with other Android 4.0 users through Android Beam.

ZTE Grand X review

While the ZTE Grand X comes with a USB cable for connecting up to your PC, there's no PC software bundled in, so you'll have to rely on good old drag-and-drop to get your music and other files across.

Still, in our experience this is one of the easiest and quickest ways to manage large files, particularly in any kind of quantity.

With the myriad cloud and app-based media transfer facilities available on the Google Play market, we didn't feel at all shortchanged with the Grand X in this department.

There's also a handy file manager included with the Grand X, which lets you navigate the music, text and video files stored on the phone's internal memory, as well as on any SD card you might have inserted.

We found this handy for renaming some of our annoyingly mis-labeled music files on the fly.