ZTE has been an extremely low-profile handset OEM in India, and now trying to make some amends. The Chinese company has launched the ZTE Grand S2 android smartphone in India at a highly competitive pricing of Rs.13,999 (~$229), and has partnered with Amazon to make this an online exclusive endeavor. The phone was announced few days back, and starting today, it will be available for purchase.

Grand S II

The ZTE Grand S2 is almost like the hugely popular Xiaomi Mi 3 in terms of pricing and specifications. Now that Xiaomi has stopped selling the Mi 3 for good, ZTE must be hoping to capture this particular price segment. The ZTE Grand S2 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD (1080p) display and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AB) processor along with 2GB of RAM. It also supports both the LTE bands (1800MHz and 2300MHz) in India.

ZTE has been selling the Grand S2 in China and elsewhere for a while now (the phone was announced at CES this year), but it seems that the company is releasing a different model for India. Unlike the Snapdragon 801 based model announced at CES which also came with 3100mAh battery, the Indian variant will be Snapdragon 800 based and has just 2500mAh battery. The phone comes with 16GB of internal storage and has a microSD card which can expand the storage up to 32GB. There’s a 13MP camera on the rear and a 5MP camera on the front.

So far so good. Hardware is definitely top notch and not something matched by its competition, but its achilles heel is the software. The ZTE Grand S2 is running on the age old Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Mi Favor UI on top of it. At a time when budget smartphones at less than $100 are coming with Android 4.4 KitKat, it makes little sense for ZTE to launch a phone with almost a 2-year old OS powering it. That’s probably why the company has aggressively priced the smartphone.

ZTE is promising quality service and support for its Indian customers. The company has around 300 service centers across India, which it plans to expand to 600 soon. In addition, ZTE has introduced ‘Hub and Spoke’ model for customer service and these centers are now open in major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi.

It’ll be very interesting to see how ZTE Grand S2 fares in the highly competitive mid-range smartphone market in India. Will you be interested in buying one? Let us know through the comment section below.

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp