ZTE’s incoming “Olympia” Z970 phablet: Features 6-inch display, 8MP camera and runs Android 4.4.2

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 12.48.54

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.


ZTE “Olympia” Z970 – Image Credit: evleaks

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.


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  • Richard Yarrell

    Another kool phablet choice for users who don’t to spend Note money. Tmobile is the place for sure.

    • Verizonthunder

      What about the LG G flex? That’s 6 inches, oled, curved, supports VoLTE, 20×20 wide band, knock code.

      • Chris

        The screen is terribad. I had that phone for about 4 days before I had to return it. Ghosts like none other. Everything else was A+++ excellent tho. I’m excited for the G Flex 2!

        • thepanttherlady

          Same here. Screen is really bad on this but it was an interesting phone to use for sure.

        • Nurdface Gamerhandz

          I really don’t see where everyone’s getting the impression that the G Flex’s screen is terribad. I’ve had one since launch and I love it, the ghosting isn’t dealbreaking and I actually like the grain on the whites, it makes it easier to read in low light conditions. Its obviously not in the same club as a 1080p device, but I for one like it a lot more than the only other similarly sized device I can think of with a 720p display, the Mega.

        • thepanttherlady

          Mine wasn’t an impression, I actually had the phone for 2 weeks before I took it back. I can only speak for myself, not everyone. I hated the screen.

        • Verizonthunder

          It’s a great phone with a great price. I love the quality work from LG

        • Tony B.

          I have no issues with the screen on this phone you must got a bad one, so far it is hands down better then any phone i have had.

        • Chris

          Na it was a known issue. If you don’t notice it, good, but it happened on a ton of units. Maybe you got a magical pony one that doesn’t ghost, but don’t mislead people, the ghosting was known because of the new plastic screen tech they were using.

      • Cam Bunton

        Expecting the ZTE to cost a lot less than the G Flex.

        • Verizonthunder

          If the ZTE Olympia is not $250 which is the same price for the Huawei ascend mate 2 unlocked it’s a no deal

        • Roger Sales

          Are there any midrange spec/price phablets out there? This is the first one I’ve heard of…..I think it could be a hit for certain types of people.

        • Cam Bunton

          Yeah there’s the HTC Desire 816 which is fantastic. Not 100% on the price, but I think it’s around the $300 mark.

        • Roger Sales

          So this is the first for T-Mobile then? Sounds good to me.

        • Duje

          The HTC Desire 816 is coming to T-Mobile USA?!?

        • Cam Bunton

          Not as far as I know. I just stated that it was “out there” in direct response to the question.

  • PK

    I want the HTC Desire 816.

  • humpfh

    I tested a (different) ZTE device. Holy god it was horrible. Without any question the worst device I have had the misfortune of laying my hands on. I hope ZTE fixes the myriad problems they had, because it wasn’t worth the paper the ads were printed on.

  • Singyee2010 Ma

    I like this phone for very good display. This Phone is better than Samsung’s.

  • Sue Anderson Calfee

    Just got this phone last week and I <3 <3 <3 it!
    It's quick to load, will allow me to utilize both phone and tablet features from one easy to use awesome display! The pictures are okay… but not the greatest I have ever taken. The accessories are just now coming out today although I have had the phone for a week now. I just can't say enough great things about this phone. I am a former BlackBerry phone user as well as an iPhone history. This phone by far is so much easier to use and can keep up with my social media, gaming and phone needs all in one great package. I would give it a 5 star rating in a 1-5 catagory~

  • Sue Anderson Calfee

    The best money I have ever spent on a new phone! The cost as compared to the iPhone or the the other larger screened phones is amazing. I saved $200 from the start! I loaded it up with accessories with the money I saved on the purchase price. It has an amazing screen size that allows me to play games, check on my social media and oh, use it as a phone too! I have previously owned two different iPhones and I prefer this ZTE hands down over either of those. I was of the old school Blackberry age and this leaves anything from that era so far into the past it’s like comparing a fine chocolate to a piece of stale carob. There’s just no way to compare the two. This is by far the very best value in a cell phone I have ever owned… and my first cell phone was one that was in a giant bag with a whip antenna on the back of my car! You will not ever regret buying this phone. It will run up there with the big dogs, but it won’t cost you a fortune either. Win-Win!