Many people believe that the recent crop of 5-inch, 1080p smartphones is pretty much a case of “you’ve seen them one, you’ve seen them all.” After all, the “engines” are virtually the same – a quad-core processor, almost always a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, with 2 GB RAM and some version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Display size is almost always 5 inches flat, though there are some very little-known exceptions to the rule. Sure, there are some devices that have better cameras than others, and phones like the Xperia Z of Sony have unique features like waterproofing. Other than that, it’s hard to tell these 5-inch, 1080p devices apart.
The ZTE Grand S, unfortunately, appears to be a unique 5-incher in the wrong way. According to a new report, it won’t be priced at around $640 after all. Instead, an unsubsidized Grand S will cost 4,799 Yuan in China, which would be convertible to about $760 in American funds. That would be $111 more expensive than a 16 GB unlocked iPhone 5, for those keeping track.
The mystifying thing about this is that the Grand S isn’t that much better than another 5-inch, 1080p ZTE phone, the Nubia Z5. Quad-core clock speed is only marginally better (1.7 GHz to 1.5 GHz), and the Nubia Z5 has a slightly thicker design. If you consider that the Grand S has a much smaller battery (1,700 mAh to the Z5’s 2,300 mAh), this is indeed quite puzzling and disconcerting news.
It would be such a pity, as the Grand S has been confirmed for a United States release within the quarter.