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Summary:

ZTE’s latest smartphones are a study in contrast, from a 6-inch Android-powered “phablet” to a 3.5-inch phone that runs on Firefox OS.

Grand Memo II
photo: ZTE

ZTE on Monday launched three new smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The biggest of the three devices – both literally and figuratively – is the Grande Memo II LTE, an extremely thin 6-inch “phablet.”

A sequel to last year’s Grand Memo, the Grand Memo II LTE increases the size and specs of that phone all around. And as you can probably tell by the name, it adds LTE support as well, something which didn’t arrive on the first device until an LTE-capable variant appeared months after its original release.

Memo2 final

As noted, the Grand Memo II (pictured above) features a 6-inch display, although its 720p resolution is a step behind many of the 1080p phablets on the market. The processor is a bit meager as well, using the dated and relatively low-budget Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip. Everything else is pretty standard: There’s a 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The phone has 2GB or RAM and 16GB of internal storage, along with a microSD card slot. The 3,200mAh battery should provide it with a good dose of power, considering the modest display resolution.

Judging by the press shots, the phone looks quite attractive, with a design that rolls the top and bottom edges of the device. It’s extremely thin, too, measuring just 0.28 inches. The Grand Memo II runs Android 4.4 KitKat, along with ZTE’s MiFavor 2.3 UI overlay. ZTE claims the UI memorizes your habits and offers a interface that’s simplified and tailored to your needs. The company has had a heavy hand with its software modifications in the past, but at least the redesigned icons on the home screen seen here look attractive.

The Grand Memo II LTE will be released in China in April, and later in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Pricing has not yet been announced.

ZTE also introduced the Open C and Open II, two new smartphones powered by Mozilla’s Firefox OS. Aimed at emerging markets, ZTE’s new Open phones are a step up in power from last year’s devices, but they still generally offer low-end specs with low-end price tags to match.

ZTE OPEN C Photo

The Open C (pictured above) is the higher-end model of the two phones, with a 4-inch 800 x 480 screen and dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor. It also features a 3-megapixel camera and 1,400mAh battery. The Open II, meanwhile, has a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 screen and a dual-core MSM8210 processor. It also has a 2-megapixel camera and 1,150mAh battery.

The Open C will initially launch on Telefonica in Uruguay and Venezuela next quarter. Availability for the Open II has not yet been announced, nor have prices for either device.

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