Grand S finally lands in US, unlocked for $400

Debuting in January during CES, the ZTE Grand S finally launches in the US with preorders beginning October 5.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
2 min read
Watch this: Meet ZTE's new flagship phone, the Grand S

Although ZTE first introduced the Grand S in January during CES 2013, the device has yet to be available to the US market -- until now.

With preorders beginning Saturday, October 5, the 5-inch unlocked handset will work on GSM/UMTS networks and cost $399.99.

Like ZTE's other newly announced device, the Nubia 5, the Grand S sports a FHD display with a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. However, at 440ppi, its pixel density is a hair lower than the Nubia's (which has 443ppi).

The Grand S runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera (which can shoot 1080p HD video) alongside a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The ZTE Grand S' big debut (pictures)

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Powering the device are a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and a 1,780mAh non-removable battery. Users will also get 16GB of ROM and 2GB of RAM.

During my brief time with the handset, the display looked pleasingly bright and crisp. Its build quality was also quite impressive for a ZTE phone and at the time, it ran a nearly skinless Android user interface that ZTE dubbed MiFavor UI.

ZTEGrand S
The ZTE Grand S. ZTE

The phone had a sturdy and thin unibody design (its profile measures just 0.27 inch). When it debuted at CES, the Grand S sported two finishes: matte and glossy. Matte versions of the phone came in black and white, while glossy colors were pink, yellow, red, and mint green.

Earlier this spring, CNET reported that the Grand S wouldn't come to the US until 2014. The head of ZTE's North American division, Lixin Cheng, said the company needed extra time to "accommodate the requests of its wireless carrier customers." However, given that the Grand S isn't launching on any US carrier, it looks like the phone was able to arrive on our shores earlier than expected as an unlocked handset.