Chinese OEM ZTE has announced that it’s moving into the Australian retail market, and will sell its devices directly to consumers under its own brand for the first time with its V969 smartphone going on sale this month at Dick Smith stores nationwide for $299.

The V969 smartphone – perhaps better known by the name “Grand X2 L” in other markets – launched in the second half of 2013 in select markets overseas, including the Phillippines. It’s being pitched as a phone designed for consumers who are looking for high end specifications without the high end price tag. It’s a dual-SIM phone, so could be handy for frequent travellers, or those trying to get a better deal out of different carriers at different times of the day.

It’s a 3G device, which means it’s unlikely to appear on-contract with major Australian carriers as they push 4G LTE devices – it could find a place in their prepaid lineup, but seems more likely to stay at retail. We’ve seen a number of devices go this route in the last couple of years, especially as Australian carriers transitioned to 4G devices.


We’re looking at a Note-class “phablet” device here – the V969 has a 5.5-inch screen. It’s got a quad-core 1.3Ghz Mediatek MTK6582 CPU running the show, with 1GB RAM, 4GB storage and SD card expansion slot. There’s a 5MP camera on the back and a 0.3MP on the front, and a huge 3,200 mAh battery packed inside. ZTE also advises that the phone comes with a 2-year warranty.

That’s the good stuff. The disappointing stuff? Well, it’s mid-2014, and this phone is launching with Android 4.2, and ZTE isn’t known for providing software updates. The 5.5-inch screen also packs a comparatively low qHD resolution (960×540). But, this is a $299 phone, so we’ll avoid being too judgey just yet.

Australian First

ZTE’s equipment has historically been sold by Telstra as prepaid devices under Telstra’s own branding, so this marks the first time you’ll be able to buy a phone with the actual ZTE brand on it in Australia. Is that important? Maybe yes, maybe no – it depends how closely you follow the manufacturing side of the smartphone market. It marks ZTE’s first foray into consumer marketing in our country, and though the V969 mightn’t set the world on fire you never know what ZTE will come to market with next – we’d love to see their Grand Memo series here.

There’ll be a launch event in Sydney in the next couple of weeks, and the phone should be available later this month. We’ll be sure to check out the phone and report back!

Are you interested in the ZTE V969? Are you excited to see ZTE products at retail in Australia? Let us know in the comments!

Previous articleAsus Transformer Pad TF701 — Review
Next articleGoogle contemplating remote management for ChromeOS
Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Not a bad device. The Android Version being 4.2 is explained correctly by Branden below. I use a 64GB MicroSD in mine just to push the limits and for a device that says it only supports 32GB it hasn’t missed a beat yet. I use mine to watch videos and listen to music on the train to and from work. Personally I am not a fan of phablets but I have had a couple. Most smartphones are the same inside so I don’t get hung up on comparing them that way. This device is responsive and good value for money… Read more »


A key feature not mentioned is the V969 is Dual SIM. If you are currently carrying two devices, have a work and a personal number then this is ideal. Carriers will not support Dual SIM devices as they don’t want you changing networks, so well done to ZTE for going it alone and launching this under their own brand.

Branden Aye Tremblay

only reason this phone is running 4.2 is because of mediatek being half assed on developing bsp’s for newer versions of android and crooks for how they handle the gpl


China phones are da worst I would not recommend even if you’re dat broke


Since damn near all phones are made in China, do you mean that damn near all phones are not to be recommended?

Ben Helps

I loved the ZTE 7″ phablet i used to have.

Having said that, why on earth would you release a new android device now that wasn’t KitKat?


Waste of money.

Apart from the physical screen size, and lack of microSD, the Moto G is far better than this ZTE.