ZTE has surprised everyone at the Mobile World Congress by announcing the ZTE Grand Memo, a 5.7-inch competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Note. The surprising part about the Grand Memo is that it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC running at 1.5GHz. The Snapdragon 800 SoC was initially expected to show up in devices in the second half of this year, but ZTE states that it will be launching the Grand Memo in March in China, and a month after that in Europe.
The 5.7-inch display on the Grand Memo is a disappointment though, as it has 720p resolution compared to 1080p, which is quickly becoming the norm nowadays. The 8.9mm thin phablet sports a 13MP shooter at its back, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, LTE connectivity and a beefy 3200 mAh battery. The Grand Memo runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with ZTE’s own MyFavorite UX on top of it.
ZTE plans to aggressively promote the Grand Memo and have its presence feel outside of China. However, the Chinese OEM does not intend on bringing the Grand Memo to the United States anytime soon.
UPDATE: Either ZTE lied or there was a huge confusion that led to this huge blunder. The ZTE Grand Memo does not sport Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and is instead powered by the S4 Pro (APQ8064) — the same SoC that powers the Nexus 4, DROID DNA and Butterfly.
Nvidia is not the only one unveiling ultra-fast SoCs at CES. Qualcomm joined in on the SoC fun with the announcement of its new mobile SoCs. The company once again ditched its naming convention. This means its time to forget about the Qualcomm S3, S4 and S4 Pro SoCs. Instead, the company has renamed its upcoming mobile SoCs to a much simpler – Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800.
The Snapdragon 600 picks up where the Qualcomm S4 Pro, found inside the likes of the DROID DNA and the Nexus 4, left. The Snapdragon 600 will feature a quad-core Krait 300 CPU with speeds of up to 1.9GHz per core, an Adreno 320 GPU, and LPDDR3 RAM. The press release from Qualcomm states that the Snapdragon 600 will be up to 40% percent faster than S4 Pro SoCs. The best part is that Snapdragon 600 SoC based devices will start showing up by Summer of this year.
If the Snapdragon 600 is fast, its bigger brother – Snapdragon 800 – takes things to a completely new level. The Snapdragon 800 will sport a quad-core Krait 400 CPU, with each core capable of clocking up to 2.3GHz. It will also sport a faster Adreno 330 GPU, UltraHD (4096*2304) resolution support, dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM support, dual ISPs for support for up to 55MP sensors, and finally, support for DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound. Qualcomm states that Snapdragon 800 will be up to 75% faster compared to S4 Pro. Devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 should hit the shelves sometime in the second half of 2013.
It will be really interesting to see how the newer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs stack up against the quad-core Cortex-A15 based SoCs like Tegra 4 and Samsung’s Exynos 5.