Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.
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.
Sprint announced the Flash back in November last year, when it launched with Android 4.0. Well, it's finally getting an update to Android 4.1... 9 months later. Ugh. The new software version is N9100V1.0.0B15. Improvements aside from things like Google Now and expandable notifications include enhancements to the camera app, which now includes blink detection, flash mode toggle, an EXIF data menu, and a detailed settings menu.
You can start checking for the update on your device now, though the rollout may be staged over the next week or two.
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.
I just recently made the jump to an HTC One, but my last two phones were real stinkers. It's with this bad taste in my mouth that I am glad to see things improving on the budget end of things. US Cellular is debuting the ZTE Imperial, a Android 4.1 handset that doesn't make me hold my nose while reading its spec sheet. It comes with a 1.2 GHz dal-core processor, a 5MP rear-facing camera, and a front-facing camera for video chatting.
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?