Virgin Mobile Launches The Android Powered ZTE Kis In The UK

ZTE Corporation recently launched the entry-level ZTE Kis smartphone. This handset will be exclusively available for the Virgin mobile subscribers in the UK. The ZTE Kis runs on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. It is the manufacturer’s second smartphone for Virgin Mobile customers after the Windows Phone powered ZTE Tania. As usual, you can access more than 600,000 amazing games and useful apps from the Google Play Store.

Wu Sa, Director of Mobile Device Operations at ZTE UK, said:
“The launch of the ZTE Kis is a further demonstration of our commitment to building the ZTE brand in Europe and the UK across a number of price points and operating systems, which will continue with new devices throughout the remainder of 2012 and in 2013. It is also an example of our commitment to providing our customers with quality devices at affordable prices under the vibrant ZTE brand proposition.”

Zte Kis features a 3.5 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels resolution, 800 Mhz processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera with 2x digital zoom, 3.5 mm headset jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, GPS, WAP 2.0, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled and a 1600 mAh battery.

ZTE Kis comes with a price-tag of just £49.99 on Pay As You Go (PAYG). Virgin Mobile also offers 1 GB of free data per month for 12 months. This handset will compete with the recently launched Motorola Motosmart in the UK.

ZTE Hopes To Introduce Windows Phone Devices To The US By The End Of 2012

ZTE has once again stated that it plans to introduce a Windows Phone device to the United States market, saying that they plan to do so by the end of the year. It’s a fairly tough quest, however, as not only is Windows Phone an underdog platform that’s working hard to get ahead, but ZTE itself is a very unknown brand in the United States (as of now, ZTE handsets largely run the Android operating system, and are sold in the U.K. and China.). They’d have to escape the shadow that is casted over them by HTC, Samsung, and Nokia, all within what is already a considerably niche OS.

Nevertheless, they do want to do it, especially now that the Windows Phone platform is more accommodating of their goals. See, ZTE wished to make low-cost, inexpensive phones, and before Tango, Microsoft’s minimum required hardware specifications only for the most part allowed pricy, high-end devices to exist. But now of course, things have changed. ZTE has already developed a low-cost device for emerging markets called the Orbit.

Given the late 2012 projected release date of their Windows Phone device, it should be interesting to see whether it will be based on Windows Phone 7.5, or the major Apollo update which is set to be available by then. Also, will it be well-endowed on a hardware and functionality level with NFC support, and other Apollo bells and whistles? We’ll see, but that would be nice. It would be unfortunate if they’re trying to sell outdated (and low-end, for that matter) hardware during a time when such a major update to the OS is coming. We also still don’t know about what the hardware requirements will be for a lower-end Apollo device.

We’ll see, but I think that their biggest challenge is building a brand in a place where they’re practically unheard of.

Sprint Unveils The Android Powered ZTE Fury Smartphone

ZTE recently announced a new Android powered smartphone, the ZTE Fury. It is an entry-level smartphone which will be exclusively available for the Sprint customers in the US. This handset comes with a powerful 1 GHz processor as well as a 5 megapixel camera. The ZTE Fury currently runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. However, the owners of ZTE Fury should not expect the device to get the Android 4.0 update ever.

“We realize that there are a lot of choices in the market when it comes to choosing the right cell phone that fits the needs of both a working parent and their family,” said David Owens, Sprint vice president-Product Development. “Providing affordable, Android-powered devices, like ZTE Fury, in our lineup helps give families the tools and information to better manage their wireless usage while still providing the style and functionality they need to keep up with their busy lives.”

zte fury

ZTE Fury features a 3.5 inch IPS capactive display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels, 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, WiFi 802.11 b/g, Mobile Hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth 2.1 w/ EDR, 2 GB microSD card bundled, Sprint Zone, Sprint ID, Sprint TV, Sprint Music Plus and a 1500mAh battery.

This handset measures 4.65 x 2.46 x .047 inches and weighs just 140 gms. Sprint customers can get this handset for just $19.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $50 mail-in rebate. ZTE Fury will be available for purchase from Sunday, March 11.

ZTE Skate Acqua, Kis, And Blade II Announced

Last week, ZTE announced the PF200 and N910 LTE smartphones. Earlier today, the company announced the Android powered ZTE Era, ZTE Mimosa X, and ZTE PF112 HD. On the other hand, the company also unveiled the Windows Phone powered ZTE Orbit smartphone. Finally, ZTE announced 3 new smartphones – the ZTE Skate Acqua, ZTE Kis, and ZTE Blade II at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. The company also revealed the new Mifavor user interface.

He Shiyo, EVP and Head of the Terminals Division, ZTE, said,

“Our long-term goal for the Terminals Division is to achieve a compound growth rate of above 40 percent per year for five consecutive years from 2010, and to become one of the top three vendors in the global handset market by 2015. This extensive new range of handsets, tablets, datacards and user features we are announcing here at Mobile World Congress 2012 will help us drive this momentum through 2012 and beyond. This is a new era for ZTE branded devices.

ZTE Skate Acqua:

zte skate acqua

The ZTE Skate Acqua comes with a 4 inch display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 512MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, microUSB 2.0, A-GPS, and a 1600 mAh battery.

ZTE Blade II:

zte blade ii

The ZTE Blade II is the successor of the ZTE Blade smartphone. It features a 3.5 inch display, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, Mifavor user interface, 5 megapixel rear camera, 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 512 MB RAM, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB, Bluetooth, NFC (Near Field Communication), and GPS.

ZTE Kis:

zte kis

The ZTE Kis is an entry level smartphone. It comes with a 3.5 inch HVGA display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7225A processor, Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash, 256MB RAM, 200 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, microUSB, NFC (Near Field Communication), and GPS.

The ZTE Skate Acqua, ZTE Kis, and ZTE Blade II will be available in most of the European and Asian markets in the coming months. The price of these devices is still a mystery.

ZTE Announces The Era; A New Era Begins For The Company

Looks like after Huawei, ZTE is all set to increase its smartphones shipments with some stellar Android running handsets. The company was the fourth largest handset maker in terms of volume shipped, and is aiming to become the third largest by 2015. The Era is among the eight handsets announced by the company at MWC in Bareclona.

This 7.8mm thin phone comes with a 4.3-inch qHD (960×640) screen, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 4-Plus-1 SoC clocked at 1.3GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot. Other key features of the Era include an 8MP snapper at the back capable of recording videos in full HD (1080p) resolution, a front-facing camera, a bunch of sensors and connectivity features inlcuding Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, MHL, HD Voice, UMA for Wi-Fi calling and NFC.

The Era will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which will be lightly skinned by ZTE’s Mifavor skin. The company did not mention anything about the pricing or the availability of the handset.

ZTE To Unveil Windows Phones At Mobile World Congress

In a press release sent out today, ZTE revealed their plans to pull the curtains on new Windows Phones. They claim that they are going to be releasing a flagship, quad-core handset, on top of devices with LTE, 4G radio, and “the latest Android and Windows Mobile platforms.” Now, the question here is, what OS will that flagship device be running. If Android, will they be creating a Windows Phone counterpart?

ZTE hopes that these devices will help propel them to become a “top three handset provider by 2015.” In all, eight devices will be shown off in Barcelona. So, ZTE enthusiasts: Hold on to your knickers, we shall find out more about the upcoming handsets on Monday. It should be pretty refreshing to see a new face on the block, to add some competition to the “usual” guys, HTC and Samsung.

Here’s the complete press release:

23 February 2012, Shenzhen, China – ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, will next week announce a significant extension of its Smart Terminal capabilities – both in its product range and routes to market – including a major new quad-core flagship handset.

ZTE will unveil eight new devices, delivering significant advances in power, high definition multimedia capabilities and design. Based on technology innovations including multi-core chipsets, LTE, 4G radio and the latest Android and Windows Mobile platforms, the new devices form a core component of ZTE’s ambition to become a top three handset provider by 2015.

On the infrastructure side, ZTE will be demonstrating a wide range of application scenarios covering LTE/LTE-A, smart networks and cloud computing.

“There is no doubt that this year’s Mobile World Congress will again see some exciting device launches. The new devices from ZTE will demonstrate how ZTE is without doubt among an elite group of handset providers as next generation telecommunications networks roll out globally. ZTE returns at least ten percent of its revenues back into R&D to ensure that it sustains its position as a true market innovator – and we’re counting down to being able to showcase this to the world’s mobile industry next week,” said Mr. He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminals Division at ZTE.

The devices will be officially unveiled in a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday 27th February at 10:30 CET. The new devices, together with a comprehensive portfolio of ZTE terminals, will be on display at the ZTE booth in Hall 8, stand B145.

ZTE Mimosa X Announced; Features a Tegra 2 SoC and Nvidia’s Icera Modem

ZTE and Nvidia have today announced a new mid-range phone from the company, named Mimosa X. The Mimosa X will be powered by Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 processor, pack 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot. Most importantly, the Mimosa X will be the first Android phone to make use of Nvidia’s own modem/radio – the Icera 450 HSPA+ modem.

“The ZTE Mimosa X is exciting for a few reasons,” said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “The Mimosa X marks the first time NVIDIA technology powers all the major processors in a single smartphone, and also the first time a premium mobile computing experience is coming to the mainstream smartphone market.”

The handset also packs in a 4.3-inch screen with qHD (640×960) resolution, a 5MP camera in the back, a 1.3MP camera in the front and the usual bunch of sensors (Accelerometer etc.) and connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS with A-GPS.Since the Mimosa packs in a Tegra 2 SoC, the handset will get access to Nvidia’s Tegra Zone which contains games specially optimized for SoC. The handset will, thankfully, run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box.

The ZTE Mimosa X will be available sometime in Q2 of 2012 in various regions of the world.

ZTE Unveils The PF200 And N910 LTE Smartphones

ZTE recently announced two new smartphones, the ZTE PF200 and ZTE N910. These handsets run on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. The ZTE PF200 and ZTE N910 features a 1.5 GHz and 1.2 GHz processor respectively. These devices will be showcased next week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona.

“These LTE devices are the fore-runners of a wide range of LTE devices ZTE will bring to the market in the coming months, and as more and more LTE networks come on stream,” said Mr. He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminal Division of ZTE. “They will be feature products – among a very wide range of devices on display at the ZTE stand at Mobile World Congress 2012.”

zte pf200

ZTE PF 200 features a 4.3 inch qHD capacitive display, 1.5 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front facing camera for video calls, LTE Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth 2.1, DLNA, Android Market, A-GPS, MHL and much more.

zte n910

ZTE N910 features a WVGA capacitive touch screen display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.2 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 5 megapixel rear camera, front facing camera for video calls, LTE Connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, A-GPS, Android Market, DLNA and so on.

ZTE has not yet revealed the full specifications and price of these smartphones. The complete specs of these handsets will be available next week at the MWC 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned for more updates.

ZTE Reveals the Not-So-Insignificant Cost of Windows Phone License

Windows-PhoneWe all knew that Microsoft charges OEMs a considerable amount for licensing Windows Phone. However, what we didn’t know was exactly how much that “considerable amount” is. Now, ZTE has come forth and revealed what it is paying Microsoft, and it’s a fair bit more than most people had anticipated.

At the UK launch of the ZTE Tania, Santiago Sierra, the Portfolio Manager for ZTE UK, revealed that Microsoft gets as much as $23 to $30 per handset sold. ZTE cited the licensing fee as one of the biggest challenges towards introducing affordable Windows Phone devices. It also explains why so many OEMs are queuing up to release Android handsets, in spite of the tough competition. On paper, Android costs nothing, as the core product is offered by Google for free. However, there are several “hidden charges” associated with releasing Android handsets.

Pretty much every Android handset available in the market ships with Google Apps (Android Market, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube etc.), which are proprietary and require a licensing fee. Moreover, Microsoft indemnifies OEMs who license Windows Phone 7 against intellectual property infringement issues with the product. By comparison, Android manufacturers have to fend for themselves, which often involves expensive litigation and patent licensing costs. Several Android manufacturers including Samsung and LG pay Microsoft in the range of $3-$6 per device as patent licensing fee. Hardware driver development and testing for Android is also reportedly more expensive for Android than Windows Phone which has a standardized chassis.

These numerous hidden charges definitely add up. However, even after considering all extraneous costs, I would be surprised if Android costs anywhere near what Microsoft is charging the OEMs. Nevertheless, it is possible that ZTE is getting a particularly rough deal as it is a rather small manufacturer. Favored partners and bigger brands like Nokia and HTC probably have a more lucrative arrangement with the Redmond giant.

ZTE T98: The Most Powerful Tablet on Earth

ZTE seems to be really focused on entering the big leagues now. Just a day after it unveiled its first Windows Phone 7 device – the ZTE Tania, which wasn’t much to speak of, its new tablet — the ZTE T98 — was spotted at the Expo Comm in China.

While most quad core Tegra 3 powered devices have been seen only as reference designs and FCC filings, the ZTE T98 prototype was actually up and running at this event. It is probably the most powerful consumer tablet on Planet Earth right now, and also the most impressive.

The ZTE T98 will sport a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It will also have a 5 MP primary camera and a 2 MP secondary camera. It will be powered by the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 (Kal-El) processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. It will have 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb.

It will offer Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and comes bundled with a 4000 mAh battery. It is only 11.5 mm thin. While the device seems really impressive right now, by the time it launches, there will likely be many similar tablets on the market.

Here are some images of the ZTE T98, courtesy Engadget

ZTE T98 Android Tablet

ZTE T98 Android Tablet