Ever since Huawei and ZTE have decided to go for the Western gold in the high-end smartphone niche in addition to the entry-level one, things have gotten a bit crazy. It’s not only harder to keep up with all the top-tier devices that get unveiled in the Android world, but even if we limit ourselves to the Chinese duo we risk getting some serious headaches.

ZTE for one has taken its first 5-inch punch back in December with the Nubia Z5. The flagship then got a sort of refined, thinner Western-bound rehash in the form of the Grand S, though the specs were more or less the same.

But now there’s a third 5-inch ZTE phone – dubbed V987 – waiting to break free. It’s true, this one doesn’t look quite like a Z5 or Grand S doppelganger, but that doesn’t make the phablet line-up less confusing.

The way to solve the puzzle is easier than it seems however and you just have to keep in mind two things. One, forget about the Nubia Z5 – that’s a China-only device and it’s never getting outside Asia. And two, think about the other devices as Lance Armstrong on steroids (the Grand S) and clean off illegal substances (the V987).


While the Grand S can get you high on Full HD crispness and quad-core S4 Pro power, it’s going to make a big hole in your pocket, which you might end up regretting. Meanwhile, clean Lance, aka the V987, is not as competitive, but it’s still capable of drawing in big audiences and help Oprah save her struggling TV network (I may have lost the analogy there a bit, but you get the point).

But enough metaphors and let’s talk specs – the budget-friendly V987 takes the display’s resolution down a notch, to 1,280 x 720 pixels, while replacing the 1.5 GHz S4 Pro CPU inside the Grand S with a 1.2 GHz Mediatek MT6589 chip.

Meanwhile, the RAM is cut in half, from 2 gigs to just 1, and the 13 MP rear-facing snapper is sized down to 8 MP. Then again, the V987 still runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and actually bumps up the battery’s capacity from 1,780 to 2,500 mAh.

That’s of course due to the much chunkier body of “clean Lance”, which coincidentally is the same way your figure usually “evolves” when you quit the lifestyle that helped our hero-turned-villain Armstrong score his seven Tour de France wins.

Back to the ZTE V987, we should tell you we have no pricing or availability info at the moment, but we’re guessing a February or March launch is in store for $400-$450. Anyone interested?

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