ZTE

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ZTE announces the Blade V8 Pro, also officially names the crowdsourced phone

ZTE has made a couple of big announcements at CES today. On a more mundane note, the company is bringing its Blade series to the U.S. in the form of the Blade V8 Pro. This affordable device packs in some nice specs for an even nicer price point. The second more interesting announcement was that the Chinese manufacturer has decided on the official name of its unprecedented, completely crowdsourced phone. Formerly known under its project name of CSX, the community name selected was "Hawkeye."

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[Deal Alert] ZTE Axon 7 Mini only $199 ($100 off) at Newegg and Best Buy

The ZTE Axon 7 Mini, as the name might imply, is a slightly-smaller version of ZTE's Axon 7 with downgraded specifications. The phone has a Snapdragon 617 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with microSD expansion (if the second SIM tray isn't being used), and a 2,705mAh non-removable battery. Now you can grab it for just $199.99, $100 off the normal MSRP.

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T-Mobile ZTE ZMAX gets November security updates... but it still runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat

I'm honestly conflicted. When I spotted this new software on T-Mobile's support pages, I had to do a double take. How come a phone that's still stuck on Android 4.4.2 KitKat is getting the November 2016 security updates? It's ridiculous and awesome to a point that I just couldn't pass up the news.

The ZTE ZMAX was announced and released in September of 2014 on T-Mobile. It had midrange specs with a 5.7" 720 display, Snapdragon 400, 8MP back camera and 1MP on the front. The major selling point was the 3400mAh battery and the $252 price point. At the time of release, it ran Android 4.4 KitKat and it has managed to stick to that version for two years, no version bumps whatsoever for ZMAX owners.

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AT&T's ZTE ZMAX 2 gets its Marshmallow over-the-air update

We're in that awkward phase of the Android upgrade cycle, when customers want nothing more than the latest release of the OS on their phones... but manufacturers and carriers are still slowly, slowly making their way through the backlog of updates from over a year ago. So it is with the ZMAX 2, a big-screen budget ZTE phone offered on AT&T starting in September of 2015. Today AT&T is sending out the Marshmallow update that probably should have come at least a year ago. Hey, don't knock it - a lot of budget phones don't ever get upgraded at all.

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Most Wanted: The top mid-range (<$500) smartphones of 2016

The mid-range smartphone segment is a highly competitive one these days, and one that is seeing its price boundaries ever-expanded in the quest to reach the perfect equilibrium of specifications to dollar. 2016 saw the release of what we think are five truly exceptional mid-range devices in the United States: these phones put their money where their mouth is. Devices in this category must be priced at retail under $500, but over $250 (sub-$250 qualifies for our "budget" category). Our picks for "Top Mid-Range Smartphone" are presented below, in no particular order.

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TWRP is now out for the OnePlus 3T, ZTE Axon 7, some BQ devices, and more

For those of us who love to mess around with our Android devices' software, custom recovery is essential. TWRP is, without a doubt, the most popular custom recovery out there, likely due to its easy-to-use interface and availability on a wide variety of devices. Now, it's available for several more devices, including the OnePlus 3T, ZTE Axon 7, a few BQ smartphones, and more.

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Android Police Readers' Choice Award 2016: Cast your vote for the best smartphone of the year

What's your pick for best smartphone of 2016? For the first time (well, that I can remember), we're asking you to cast your vote for the phone you think stole the show this year. I've assembled a list of 15 devices that I think stood out in one way or another in 2016, so please note that the list does not purport to be exhaustive - this is, gently, curated.

With that in mind, consider your vote carefully. The tallying will continue through December 16th at 11:59PM PST, at which point the poll will close. We will announce the winner in a separate post the following week, declaring that phone the recipient of the Android Police Readers' Choice Award for Best Smartphone of 2016.

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ZTE's new, "enhanced" Axon 7 features Force Touch, more RAM and storage, and a $500 price tag

When the Axon 7 launched in China in late May, a more powerful version with a pressure-sensitive display debuted alongside it. That version was only available in China - until now. ZTE has just announced the improved Axon 7 that China has had all along for the US market, and it costs $100 more than the standard model.

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ZTE's Axon 7 makes the notification bell optional in the latest software update


One of the more annoying things about buying a non-Nexus (erm, non-Pixel) device is that sometimes you have to put up with the OEM's weird and whacky software quirks. Sometimes these genuinely add to the experience, other times... they don't. An example of one that falls into the latter category is the tiny notification bell on the lockscreen of ZTE's otherwise perfectly good Axon 7.

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ZTE Axon 7 Mini now available for pre-order in the US for $299.98

The ZTE Axon 7 is a solid device, but not everyone's looking for a 5.5-inch phone. Now there's the smaller, less expensive Axon 7 Mini available for pre-order in the US. This device costs a little under $300 and keeps the same aluminum unibody design as its larger sibling. It does take a step down in the spec department, though.

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