ZTE likely isn't the first brand that comes to mind when you think of premium Android handsets, and that isn't a surprise. The company's footprint is largest in Asia, and it typically releases budget handsets on this side of the Pacific. But ZTE has been working to change things, and today it's announced that two of its high-end smartphones are ready to compete in the US market - the Grand S and the Nubia 5.
Virgin Mobile has added the ZTE Supreme to its lineup of Android smartphones, a 4G LTE smartphone that will cost $299 with one of the carrier's no-contract plans starting at $35 a month. The device is priced to compete with the likes of the Nexus 4 (before its price drop) and comes equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 1280 x 720 5-inch display, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a 2,500mAh removable battery.
ZTE is an up-and-comer in the smartphone world, one of about a half-dozen Chinese manufacturers that's slowly increasing its presence on the world stage. The company has released some impressive hardware, even if it never seems to get out of Asia. The ZTE Grand X Quad Lite was just announced for the Indian market. But apparently the sub-continental arm of ZTE lost their password to the company FTP.
Look closely at the sole press shot up there, and you'll see the unmistakable watermark of @evleaks, the Twitter tipster who seems to have scooped just about every major Android phone in the last few months.
There's a place in every carrier's line up for a mid-range phone, and that's what the Sprint Vital is. We got the early details on this device back in March when it was known as the ZTE Quantum, and the official announcement jives with the leak pretty well. This phone has a few notable features, but the hardware is a bit lackluster.
At the moment, mobile platforms are vastly dominated by the ARM architecture, licensed to pretty much every major chip/phone maker out there. That isn't stopping Intel from pushing forward with its x86 mobile chips. The latest taker for the Atom line is Chinese manufacturer ZTE, with the oh-so-appropriately-named ZTE GEEK. The 5-inch smartphone was announced at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.
The GEEK is built around the Atom Z2580 chip, a 2.0Ghz dual-core processor that uses Intel's 32 nanometer fabrication process.
Sprint is testing a device from ZTE tentatively called the Quantum with model number N8910, Android Police learned recently. The Quantum has mid to high-end specs with its 5" 720p screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4, a 13MP camera, NFC, and Sprint's 4G LTE.
The device runs Android 4.1.2, which isn't currently the latest iteration of Android, but in line with most newer devices on the market today outside of the Nexus line and the Galaxy S4.
Last night, Cricket quietly added the Engage LT to its website for $179.99. Amusingly, with the current set of sales, it's the same price as its older and better brother, the ZTE Engage (no LT in the name). David posted about the ZTE Engage shortly before it released late last year. Neither phone is particularly interesting and both have lower-end specs with mid-range pricing.
Here are the relevant specs:
- Android 4.0
- 4" TFT WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive display (233 PPI)
- 1 GHz Snapdragon processor (model is currently unknown)
- 3.2 MP rear camera w/LED flash, VGA front camera
- 1 GB RAM
- 1900 mAh Lithium Ion battery
What makes the original Engage better than the Cricket-branded newcomer?
Update: Looks like ZTE may be fibbing a bit on the specs of this device, at least in what it's showing off as the "Grand Memo" at MWC...
Say hello to the newest entrant into the bigger-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet arena: ZTE's Grand Memo. It's a massive 5.7" device with a resolution of 1280x720, Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, and a 13MP camera, running Android 4.1. While a 1080p display would've been a nice addition, there's no denying that the Grand Memo is quite a powerful device.
Pay-as-you-go Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile would like you to know that they've got LTE service. It's okay if you didn't - it's not as if they had any phones that could take advantage of the speedier standard. But that should be rectified in just a couple of weeks, when the HTC One SV And the ZTE Force (officially the "Boost Force by ZTE," because American carriers like to push around smaller OEMs) become available for purchase.
While NVIDIA may have just announced the Tegra 4 at CES back in January, that isn't stopping ZTE from promising to deliver the first "superphone" to use the powerhouse chip by the end of Q2 2013. Although the company is being scant on exact device specifications, we do know that it will not only use the T4 chip, but also NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem.
For those who may have missed everything the T4 has to offer, here's a quick rundown:
- 4-PLUS-1 architecture, just like the Tegra 3
- 72 GPU Cores
- A15 architecture
- Optional LTE modem via the i500
Judging by the wording in the press release, ZTE isn't working on just one Tegra 4-powered phone, either.