Taking a page out of Motorola’s playbook, ZTE is trying to move away from the ruthless but ultimately pointless smartphone spec wars, and seems to focus its marketing efforts for the brand new Grand S II phone on user experience and software add-ons.
The fresh handheld teased a few days ago has gone official just as the gong marked CES 2014’s debut, however ZTE’s press release announcing it is extremely light on specific hardware details. What it highlights instead is a suite of voice control features, of which the most noteworthy is a complex unlocking function controlled through speech.
Like on the Moto X, a simple voice command will let you unlock the Grand S II, the big difference being ZTE’s bad boy can listen and differentiate between various “masters”, thus allowing more than one person to control it via their voices.
Pretty nifty, and we’re only getting started. The Grand S II also comes packed with voice photography (oh, the possibilities this opens for selfies), high-precision voice recording, as well as My-drive and Do Not Disturb modes for reducing distractions when behind the wheel.
The kicker? Despite ZTE’s best efforts, most of the specs have come to light, and they’re not bad. Not bad at all. Compared with the first-gen Grand S, the new phone is bigger, at 5.5 inches, zippier, as it’s powered by a state-of-the-art quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU, and much more generous in the autonomy department, thanks to a spacious 3,000 mAh battery.
Common points between the two are the 1,080p (aka Full HD) resolution, 16 GB of on-board storage, 13 MP/2 MP dual cameras, while the RAM is for the moment kept hush-hush. Oh, yeah, the Grand S II went through a bit of a software makeover too, leaping from Android 4.1 to 4.3 Jelly Bean. Hopefully, with a 4.4 KitKat update not far down the road.
Pricing and availability are the main mysteries surrounding ZTE’s Grand S II, but fear not, as we’ll be here to give you the scoop as soon as it breaks cover.