This week we’ve seen some news regarding an unreleased ZTE device set to land on T-Mobile’s network. So far though, the device itself has remained something of a mystery. All we’ve seen is a leaked picture of the device and a simple statement from EvLeaks stating that the “Olympia” is on its way. Thankfully, we can add a little more meat to those bones to bring you a better picture of the device.
“Olympia” is the code-name for a ZTE smartphone with the model number Z970. Its huge 6-inch screen plants the device firmly within ‘phablet’ territory. And our source tells us that it is “huge”, noting that their personal Samsung Galaxy S5 virtually fits within the parameters of the Z970′s display. Sadly, we don’t know exactly the resolution of the display or whether its LCD or AMOLED based. If it’s a budget device like we’re certain it is, it could be one of the latest in the string of 720p resolution mid-range phones.
From a hardware perspective, the device is very much a plastic phone. It’s designed to look like brushed metal, but make no mistake, it’s plasticcy in feel even if it doesn’t look it. The front is predominantly glass. Button placement is a little unusual. Instead of having both power button and volume rocker on the same side, the z970 has them on opposite sides. The power button is sat about half way up the right edge, with the SIM tray above that. It’s worth noting that the SIM tray is removed using a SIM ejector tool, similar to the iPhone. On the left hand edge, the volume controls sit in the middle with a Micro SD card tray above that.
As you can probably tell from my description of the SIM tray, the design is unibody and sealed, meaning the battery isn’t removable. So our source was unable to remove the battery to see what the exact capacity was. What he did say was that it was easily powerful enough to get through a whole day on a single charge, with juice left over. With a screen and phone that size, one would expect it somewhere in the 3,000mAh region.
The rear camera is an 8MP snapper capable of shooting 1080p video. We’re told the only real disappointing feature of the phone is the front facing camera which only has a resolution of 0.9 megapixels. Clearly then, not a phone for the selfie-obsessed consumers out there.
The device is running a virtually stock version of Android 4.4.2 loaded with some of T-Mobile’s own apps like Visual Voicemail, T-Mobile Hotspot and MyApp. It also has T-Mobile’s branding stuck on the outside. Wi-Fi Calling is a feature embedded in the software and is accessed through the settings menu.
Again, we don’t have any specifics on the processor used to power it. But an educated guess would be Snapdragon’s 400 series quad-core chips used to power phones like the HTC One mini 2, HTC Desire 816 and Nokia Lumia 635. Still, our source informs us that they’re not allowed to download benchmarking apps or test them that way, so the specifics are something of a mystery.
The Z970 itself has been in testing for the past 2-3 months, and we’re led to believe that it’s very close to being ready for launching. As it stands though, our source was impressed with the performance of the phone in almost every aspect. It’s smooth, zippy and switches between apps without any trouble or noticeable lag. If you like bigger phones, but don’t have the budget for a flagship like Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, the ZTE “Olympia” could well be worth waiting for.