ZTE unveils the Grand Memo phablet, plus Firefox OS-based ZTE Open

ZTE has introduced a new range-topping Android-based device alongside its first Firefox OS device called the ZTE Open, which it hopes will appeal to younger buyers.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

ZTE has unveiled a 5.7-inch display Grand Memo phablet, while also taking the wraps off of its first device to use Mozilla's Firefox OS.

ZTE Open
ZTE has shown off the ZTE Open at Mobile World Congress. Image: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Both devices were unveiled at ZTE's press conference at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona on Monday.

In addition to the expansive 5.7-inch display with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, the Grand Memo packs a quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, 4G LTE connectivity and 16GB of onboard storage into a relatively svelte 8.5mm body.

It runs the Jelly Bean (4.1) version of Google's Android operating system but uses a custom ZTE UI called Mifavour which the company said is designed to make operating a smartphone simpler. It also includes Dolby Digital audio for a better music or video experience, ZTE said.

It features a 13-megapixel camera on the rear capable of 1080P HD video capture and a 1-megapixel camera on the front for video calling or stills, but it lacks the stylus (or accompanying stylus-orientated apps) of Samsung's Galaxy Note series.

The Grand Memo is expected to be released first in the second quarter of 2013, but specific information about release timing or pricing was unavailable.

The second device ZTE introduced on Monday was the company's first Firefox OS handset and is due to go on sale in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia in "mid-2013", ZTE said.

While clearly aimed at the lower end of the market, the ZTE Open offers a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 256MB RAM and 512MB of onboard storage. The company hopes it will appeal to "young adventurous users who want to try something different", according to He Shiyou, head of ZTE's mobile division.

"Mozilla's Firefox OS is HTML5-based and completely open source so ZTE Open users will be able to run web apps and view their favourite websites without losing any of the features they love," ZTE said in a statement.

Other key specs of the ZTE Open include a 3.2-megapixel fixed-focus camera on the rear, Bluetooth (2.1), A-GPS and Wi-Fi.

The device is being launched in conjunction Telefonica, parent company of O2, but it is unclear whether it will be released in the UK in the foreseeable future. Pricing for the device was unavailable at the time of writing.

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