ZTE is looking into the 5G future with the ZTE Gigabit Phone

The 5G era is not too far away. However, most smartphone manufacturers are in no hurry of exploring it, trying to focus on solid present-day devices, instead of dreaming about the future. But other brands, such as ZTE, are looking to push towards new and exciting technologies, as they try to play with the big boys.

This is probably why ZTE just announced that it will have a “forward-looking” device on display at MWC – the ZTE Gigabit Phone. According to the Chinese company, the handset will be setting new standards for download speeds, at 1 Gbps. This should allow …

ZTE Quartz smartwatch leaks out, circular display and Android Wear 2.0 on board

Last month, during CES 2017, ZTE confirmed that it was working on an Android Wear smartwatch – its very first such device. According to Venture Beat, the smartwatch is called ZTE Quartz, and we can take a look at it in the leaked image above.

Like many other smartwatches currently on the market (not including the Apple Watch, of course), the ZTE Quarts sports a circular display in order to resemble a traditional timepiece.

For now, there aren’t too many details on the features of the ZTE Quartz, but we know that this should come with 3G/LTE connectivity, …

The ZTE BA602 has been outed with a fingerprint sensor, 3GB of RAM, and more

We’re quickly nearing the end of January, and although 2017 is still in its infancy, ZTE has already been off to a fairly solid start. The company had quite a bit to talk about at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, including the unveiling of the ZTE Blade V8 Pro and the announcement that Project CSX (also dubbed as Hawkeye) has officially made its way to the crowdfunding stage for a release later this fall. Following those two handsets, a recent sighting from the TENAA (China’s version of the FCC here in the States) has revealed that yet another ZTE-branded handset …

Yota aims for mass market success after buyout

It’s fair to say that the global launch of Yota Device’s last E-Ink smartphone didn’t quite go to plan. Despite positive reviews and a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Russian startup was forced to scale back its US plans significantly following a manufacturing issue. That sad state of affairs goes a long way to explaining why it’s just accepted an large investment that puts a majority 64.9-percent stake in its company in the hands of Hong Kong-based investment company REX Global.

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Despite the company now being mostly Chinese-owned, Yota Devices will continue to operate out of Russia, where the majority of its 100 employees are based. The 35.1 percent of the company not snapped up by REX is divided between its long-term investors Rostec (25.1 percent) and Yota Management (10 percent).

Vladislav Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices, explains to Engadget that his company was looking for “not just a one-time investment, but long-term access to financial resources.” He’s quick to stress that the company “was not in a financial crisis,” and could have continued to profitably exist “as a niche company that sells a product in a few markets.” However, its ambitions lie elsewhere. It’s hoping REX Global will enable it not only to build quality smartphones, but provide the “significant financial resources” required to sell and market those devices globally. Put more simply: it won’t need to work with small manufacturers and scrounge for funding on Indiegogo anymore.

Under the terms of the acquisition, REX has committed to invest an $50 million — the first cash injection but not the last, says Martynov — to help Yota grow. It’s now got a deal in place with ZTE to build its next-generation YotaPhone, which is penciled in for a launch in the first half of next year. The ZTE deal could be a sign of things to come, as Martynov notes that REX’s majority shareholders have strong connections with the Chinese business community and telecoms market. Martynov says the company also has “a pipeline of different products” in planning, and it’ll use this immediate investment “to bring these from the concept phase to the mass market.”

ZTE Elegant Axon Pro phone

As ZTE’s marquee handset, the Axon Pro sports three color options, a metal body and a sharp display. Chinese mobile manufacturer ZTE launched its inaugural flagship device today during a New York press conference. Known as the Axon Pro, the handset is available in the US directly to buyers with a $449.98 price tag (£288 or AU$604, converted).

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Three color variants
The handset has a metal back plate and comes in three color variants: silver, gold, and a dark blue with gold accents.

A premium aesthetic
The phone measures 6.06 by 2.9 by 0.37 inches (154 by 75 by 9.3mm). Though it doesn’t look as slim and sleek as some high-end Nubia handsets (which is a subsidiary of the ZTE brand), it still has a solid build quality.

A dash of style
An intricate webbed pattern decorates the Axon Pro near the top and bottom bezels as well as around the rear cameras.

The 1,440p display up close
The 5.5-inch display is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has an ultrasharp 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution. At 534ppi, images and video are crystal clear and text look refined.

Two cameras on the back
The device has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. On the back is a 13-megapixel shooter that can record 4K HD. A second 2-megapixel “Omni Vision” lens, which sits above the standard camera, lets you adjust a photo’s depth of field after you’ve clicked the shutter.

Taking a photo in a snap
Along with a volume rocker, the right edge houses a textured shortcut button below the power key for quick access to the camera.

Snapdragon 810 processor inside
Powering the handset is a 2GHz octo-core Snapdragon 810 processor and an Adreno 450 GPU. A nonremovable 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 technology from Qualcomm provide its juice.

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ZTE launches marquee handset for the US
The ZTE Axon Pro is a powerful phone with a competitive unlocked price. Though steadily growing, ZTE’s reputation in the US remains relatively small, and the Axon Pro will require aggressive campaigning to gain consumer attention. Click here to learn more about ZTE phones.

ZTE bringing its ‘borderless’ Nubia Z9 smartphone to the US

ZTE’s flagship Nubia Z9, which features a nearly borderless display, is coming to the United States in Q3 of this year. The phone will retail at prices between $564 and $725, depending on how much storage and RAM you prefer. (The high-end $725 “Exclusive” model also adds in a fingerprint sensor, which is actually integrated into the side of the Z9 rather than a home button or other implementations we’ve seen.

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All three feature a 5.2-inch 1080p display and are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, putting the Nubia Z9 on par with flagship phones from more well-known manufacturers here in the US. Those barely-there side bezels allow ZTE to add some unique gesture controls and app shortcuts through what it calls Frame Interactive Technology. If you can get used to some of the quirky gestures, ZTE says they’ll ultimately save you time.

By adopting Nubia’s Frame interactive Technology (FiT), the Nubia Z9 allows users to control their phones by using grip and gesture based controls, such as touching the edge of the screen. For instance, users can quickly launch the camera feature by simply turning the phone sideways and placing four fingertips on the edge of the screen or take a one-handed selfie by squeezing the handset without touching any buttons. With FiT technology, users will reduce the average smartphone process to 2.7 steps as compared to traditional smartphones. In addition, the nubia Z9’s new ergonomic design makes it easier to hold the phone and less likely to drop it.

ZTE announced its coming US launch via a billboard in Times Square, seen above. Rival Huawei just announced that its less sightly P8 Lite is also coming to the US at a cheap, unlocked price of $249.99. It’s by no means what you’d call a flagship, ditching the metal finish from Huawei’s top phones for a plastic construction and running an older version of Android (4.4 versus 5.0, which ships on the Nubia Z9). So it seems ZTE is taking the US market a bit more seriously — or at least doing more to impress the many consumers unfamiliar with its brand. Of course, it’s also priced much higher, and that alone could prove difficult for ZTE to overcome when lined up against Samsung and LG.

CES 2015 Lenovo, Asus, ZTE Debut Android Smartphones

CES 2015 attendees didn’t have to go far to find new smartphones. More than a handful made their debut from the likes of Lenovo, Asus, and ZTE, which took advantage of the spotlight in Las Vegas to introduce their latest and greatest. Samsung and Sony, however, chose to sit CES 2015 out.

Lenovo offered two Android devices: the P90 and the Vibe X2 Pro. The P90 is significant because it is the first to use Intel’s Atom 64-bit Z3560 processor and LTE-Advanced XMM 7262 modem. One reason Intel continues to trail Qualcomm in the smartphone space is because Qualcomm offers a broader array of integrated application processors and modems. The Z3560/XMM 7262 aims to fight Qualcomm head-on in that respect. The P90 features a 5.5-inch full HD display, a 4,000mAh battery, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and support for a wide range of LTE networks.

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The Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro is a lesser device. It has a 5.3-inch full HD screen but switches to Qualcomm’s 64-bit octa-core processor. It also includes a 13-megapixel camera with LED flash and sports a lightweight metal design. Both phones will go on sale this year, but it is unlikely they’ll reach the US. (Lenovo has said it will use its Motorola brand to target US consumers.)

Asus followed Lenovo with two new Zenfones. The more impressive of the two, the ZenFone Zoom, targets the shutterbug crowd. It features a 13-megapixel main camera with a 10-element lens capable of 3x optical zoom. That’s quite unique for a smartphone camera, which typically relies on digital zooming. Asus boosted the capabilities of its camera application, too, giving it a full manual mode with control over exposure, white balance, and focus. The front camera rates 5 megapixels. The Zenfone Zoom has a 5.5-inch full HD screen and a 3,000mAh battery. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with the LTE network operated by AT&T. It costs $399.

The ZenFone 2 is a spec monster, featuring a 5.5-inch full HD screen with a 64-bit, 2.3GHz Intel processor inside. It is the first Android smartphone to include 4 GB of RAM and has what Asus calls Dual Channel, for twice the data transfer efficiency. Other specs include a high-end 13-megapixel camera with f/2 aperture and dual flash, a 3,000mAh battery with quick charge, and Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. It goes on sale in March for $199.

ZTE made a US-specific announcement with the Grand X Max+. This smartphone is headed to Cricket Wireless on Jan. 9 for $199.99 without a contract. The phone is an attractive handset made of two glass panels held together by a polycarbonate frame. The 6-inch display offers 720p HD resolution, and the device is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 2 GB of RAM. Other specs include a 13-megapixel/5-megapixel camera combination, a 3,200mAh battery, 16 GB of storage, and support for memory cards. It supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology and includes Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, and WiFi radios. Sadly, it runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Two of the biggest press conferences of the day — for Samsung and Sony — failed to produce new smartphones. Both companies stuck to television sets, imaging equipment, and other devices. Samsung showed off new smart refrigerators and an interesting washing machine with its own sink for pre-washing clothes. Sony had a new Action Cam model with improved 4K video capture (complete with a cameo by renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk) and an impressive array of super-thin TVs. Sony also beefed up its wearable offerings with a new jogging headset that also acts as a fitness monitor.

ZTE Grand S Pro for US Cellular is now available

If you still haven’t found that perfect gift for your dad that would show him in a manly way how much you love him, be sure to check out US Cellular’s new offer. The carrier teamed up with ZTE to launch a large, Android smartphone – the 5-inch ZTE Grand S Pro, just in time for Father’s Day. Packed to the fullest with powerful components, the Grand S Pro is available in US Cellular store starting today for $99.99 with a new two-year contract. If long-term agreements are not your thing, you can grab the phone for $249.99 outright.

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For a price this affordable it would be justified to expect modest hardware, poor performance and unattractive design. However, guys from ZTE worked hard to make sure that none of the above could be said about the Grand S Pro. In fact, the phone has more to offer than some of the more expensive devices. For starters, the ZTE Grand S Pro for US Cellular has a 5-inch display with a decent 720p resolution. The screen is protected from damage by Dragontrail Glass which is equally durable as the more commonly used Gorilla Glass. Under the hood the phone has a quad-core 2.3 GHz

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor paired with 2 GB of RAM, as well as 8 GB of internal memory with an option to add up to 32 GB more through microSD slot. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the 13-megapixel main camera with Zero Shutter Latency, LED flash, autofocus and multiple shooting modes. There is also a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and selfies. Other features include Dolby Digital Plus sound, 4G LTE connectivity, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Powering the device is a 2,300 mAh battery which is expected to deliver up to 10 hours of talk time or up to 264 hours of standby time. If you really wanted a reason to complain, you could find it in the operating system. The Grand S Pro ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is still a pretty recent version of the platform, but nevertheless not the latest one. Anyway, all things considered, the Grand S Pro offers great value for its price and seems like a worthy alternative to more expensive smartphones.