Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

ZTE Grand Memo Review


Key Specifications

  • Quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5.7-inch 720 IPS display
  • 3200mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 OS


The ZTE Grand Memo is ZTE’s attempt at keeping up with the latest mobile fashions. It has a giant screen, a super-powerful camera and a powerful processor. But in usual ZTE fashion, it should cost a fair bit less than the giant phones from its better-known competitors.

ZTE Grand Memo – Design and Features

With a 5.7-inch screen the ZTE Grand Memo really is a pocket-filling device. However, as with many large-screen phones, having all that expanse of rear to pack the necessary internals into means the phone is also pretty slim. ZTE says it’s just under 9mm thick.

ZTE Grand Memo 3

It does lack a bit of flair, though. Its rear is glossy plastic and both the SIM slot and Micro SD memory card slot lie under unceremonious plastic flaps that announce their presence a bit too readily for our liking. This lightweight plastic phone doesn’t quite feel or look like a million dollars, or £600.

ZTE Grand Memo 6

Although we don’t know the ZTE Grand Memo’s UK price yet, we hope these slightly wonky design decisions will translate into a lower asking price.

ZTE Grand Memo 4

It offers solid connectivity, including all the standards of Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Direct), Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. A 4G version is planned too, and MHL is on-board to let the handset output video to a TV easily. The one feature it may miss is NFC – we’ll look for confirmation on this point.

ZTE Grand Memo – Screen

The ZTE Grand Memo’s screen also lags behind the competition a little. It’s pretty huge at 5.7 inches across, but uses 720p resolution – where the current trend is for 1080p 5-inch screens.

ZTE Grand Memo 5

In person, though, 720p offers enough pixels for a super-sharp image, with text looking smooth and exceedingly easy on the eye. Colour reproduction was good too, the IPS display capable of playing the balancing act between looking rich but not oversaturated with ease. Top brightness wasn’t startling, but this may have been down to the horribly harsh lighting of the ZTE stand at MWC 2013.

The ZTE Grand Memo screen is mid-range, but that we can make such a capable display sound middling is symptomatic of the crazy improvements in display technology over the last few years.

ZTE Grand Memo – Software and Interface

With Android running the show, using the ZTE Grand Memo feels as familiar as donning a well-worn coat. It uses version 4.1 Jelly Bean, and sports a custom ZTE-made user interface.

ZTE Grand Memo

We’ve never been great fans of the ZTE take on Android – it makes mostly aesthetic tweaks, but they leave Android looking less classy than it would with the stock version. However, it does give you some control over how the Grand Memo looks. There’s a settings menu that lets you choose how all the system’s animated transitions work, from using plain old slide moves to ornate 3D animations. We prefer the former, how about you?

The ZTE Grand Memo uses a Snapdragon 600-series quad-core Krait 1.5GHz CPU. This offers great performance, making Android whiz around like a school kid who has guzzled too many sweets.

ZTE Grand Memo – Camera

The camera is one area where the ZTE Grand Memo keeps up with the competition. It uses a 13-megapixel sensor, just like the Sony Xperia Z. The main sensor is partnered with an LED flash.

ZTE Grand Memo 7

Its secondary camera is nothing special, with a 1-megapixel sensor where other phones of this size use two or more megapixels – but we honestly don’t believe all that many people would mourn the loss of those million pixels.

ZTE Grand Memo 1

ZTE Grand Memo – First Impressions

The ZTE Grand Memo is not a device that will have millions turning their heads away from the Sony Xperia Z or the Samsung Galaxy S4. It offers solid specs, but is functional rather than fancy. Offered at the right price, however, it could offer a seriously attractive entry point to the world of the giant screen phone for those without wallets brimming full of cash.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

Trusted Score

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words