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ZTE has announced the Grand X, a gaming-focussed Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) smartphone intended as an affordable alternative to high-end rivals.

Hailed as ‘a world of entertainment in your hands’, the Grand X is home to a dual core Tegra 2 chipset with 512MB of RAM, a 4.3-inch qHD display and a five-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash (there's a 0.3mp front camera, too).

ZTE Grand X official

Clearly it’s not the "most advanced gaming smartphone" ZTE teased last week, but it is pretty advanced nonetheless considering it will retail for just £190 on pay as you go.

We had a play with the handset at its official unveiling in London yesterday and were impressed by the 3D graphics and silky smooth frame-rate. Navigating around menus felt zippy and apps launched near instantly.

We also liked that it runs vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, much like Google's Nexus range, but comes with Nvidia's TegraZone app store pre-installed. For the uninitiated, this is where you'll find all the best games optimised for the Tegra chipset and it's a real USP for the handset.

Design-wise, the Grand X bears a striking resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, not least because it features similarly curved corners and a textured battery cover. The only snag is the screen. While undeniably eye-popping, it's an absolute smudge magnet and will need frequent wiping.

There’s also only 4GB of internal storage, which we suppose was to be expected given the low price point. Fortunately, a microSD slot is on board to expand that by up to 32GB.

Grand X will be available on contract exclusively through Phones 4U and Virgin Media at the beginning of August. Tariffs on the latter will start from £24 a month over a two-year term, while the former will reveal pricing closer to launch.

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