MWC 2013: ZTE Shows 5.7In Grand Memo Phablet And Firefox OS ZTE Open

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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ZTE reveals high-end phablet and first ever Firefox OS smartphone at MWC

Chinese manufacturer ZTE has revealed two new smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the ZTE Grand Memo ‘phablet’ and the first Firefox OS-based smartphone, the ZTE Open.

The launch of the two new devices signifies the latest stage in the expansion of ZTE, which is already the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of smartphones.

The 5.7-inch Grand Memo is aimed at the upper end of the market, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packing a quad-core Qualcomm 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Its top-end credentials are strengthened by a 13 megapixel camera and a 720 x 1280 high definition display.

ZTE Grand Memo

ZTE Grand Memo 2Its size ensures it is classified in the ‘phablet’ category that blurs the line between smartphone and tablet and places it in competition with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. ZTE says that the form factor offers the ideal balance between the portability of a handset and the larger viewing and touchscreen experience of a tablet.

“The ZTE Grand Memo’s large, high definition screen makes it perfect for media and entertainment, but its uses reach far beyond that,” said He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Mobile Devices Division. “With ZTE’s custom Mifavor UI, a powerful processor, and LTE connectivity, this device offers users a wide array of benefits that go well beyond the capabilities of the typical handset.

“It’s perfect for videos, gaming and music, and also for sending e-mails, checking news and making calls on the go. For those with a busy lifestyle, the ZTE Grand Memo will be indispensable.”

The ZTE Grand Memo is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2013.

ZTE-open firefox phone silicon franceZTE Open Firefox OS

At the other end of the spectrum, ZTE has also unveiled the first smartphone to run on Mozilla’s HTML5-based Firefox OS. It will launch on Telefonica operators in Span, Venezuela and Colombia in mid-2013 and is pitched as an ideal entry level smartphone for people on limited budgets wanting to make the jump from feature phone to smartphone.

It is considerably smaller than the Grand Memo, measuring up at 3.5 inches, while it is powered by just 256MB of RAM and has a 3.5 megapixel camera.

“ZTE has moved very quickly and has worked closely with us to develop a robust Mozilla Firefox OS smartphone,” said Brendan Eich, Co-founder and CTO of Mozilla. “Firefox OS brings powerful open Web technologies to the smartphone market, giving users more choice and more options that reflect their lifestyle.”

Mozilla unveiled the first commercial build of Firefox OS on the eve of MWC last Sunday, boasting strong commercial support for the platform.

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Firefox Open image from

ZTE MWC 2013

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ZTE Grand Memo