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ZTE Grand Memo: hands-on with a 5.7-inch smartphone

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We're at ZTE's booth here at MWC taking a look at the Chinese manufacturer's new giant smartphone, the 5.7-inch Grand Memo. As the name — and the screen size — suggests, the Memo is enormous. Unlike more recent smartphone-tablets, it only has a 720p display, but at 257ppi it's still fairly dense. The Grand Memo has 1GB of RAM and uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz (According to Qualcomm, a future version of the Grand Memo will use the new Snapdragon 800 processor). It'll arrive with 16GB of storage and Android 4.1.2 on-board with a pretty insane ZTE skin on top.

The madness starts as soon as you switch on the Grand Memo: to unlock the device you either have to tap and hold the screen for a few second or do a "pinch out" gesture that brings up a number of shortcuts. ZTE seems to have skinned almost every section of Android, with a custom launcher, messaging, contacts, and dialer. For the dialer, ZTE has taken a page out of Samsung's book, copying the Korean manufacturers feature that allows you to attach the dialer to either edge of the screen for single-handed dialing. The Grand Memo will launch in China in March, with a European release to follow "later this year." No word on price just yet, or a potential US release, but we're not holding our breath for the latter.