ZTE this morning unveiled its latest Android smartphone, the mid-range Blade S6. Carrying a $250 price tag, it’s a 5-inch handset with Android 5.0 Lollipop running the show.
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, specs include a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing shooter, and 2GB RAM. Nothing to knock your socks off, no, but that sticker has mass appeal. Additional specification include 16GB storage, microSD expansion, 4G LTE connectivity, and a 2400mAh battery.
ZTE doesn’t make reference to the resolution of the display so we’re assuming it is on the lower side of things. But, on a positive note, this potentially means longer life out of the battery. Listed as “HD” we’ll assume it’s along the lines of 1280×720.
In terms of software, ZTE has loaded version 3.0 of its MiFlavor OS and features Smart Sense.
…Includes an intuitive and practical sets of gesture and motion controls, such as with a flick of the wrist that allows users to shine the Blade S6’s flashlight, activate its built-in mirror application, take rapid succession of photographs, play music, and much more.
The ZTE Blade S6 will be offered in silver or pink matte finish when it launches. No hard dates were announced though we should expect it in retailers such as AliExpress, Amazon, and eBay.
A new Blade is in town and it’s called the Blade S6. ZTE says this one is targeted for the “young and young at heart.”
It sports a 5-inch 720p (1280 x 720) display, a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expandable storage, a Sony IMX214 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, Hi-Fi sound, LTE, 2.400 mAh battery and Android 5.0 Lollipop skinned with MiFavor 3.0. It’s 7.7 mm thick and will be available in silver and matte pink.
ZTE has added Smart Sense, which allows you to launch apps using gestures like a flick of your wrist.
Probably the best part of the Blade S6 is the price. It will cost $249 and will be available globally on AliExpress, as well as Amazon and eBay in select markets.
Here’s a 90 second video detailing the device….
Full Press Release:
ZTE unveils Blade S6 4G LTE smartphone with innovative Smart Sense and a host of other premium features for the masses
28 January 2015, Hong Kong – ZTE, a global leading mobile device maker, released its Blade S6 4G LTE smartphone today. Aimed at the young and young at heart, the Blade S6 – per its name – boasts six key features designed to provide customers from across the board with world-class user experience. The new features including ZTE’s Smart Sense gesture motion control, world’s first Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615 octa-core chipset running on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system, a SLR like ultra-high-definition camera, Hi-Fi Sound, ZTE’s MiFavor 3.0 user interface and ZTE’s AliveShare application for network-less communication.
“In line with our product portfolio plan, we very much sought to push the envelope with the Blade S6, and to do so in a way that would appeal to youths, as well as those with active social lives,” said Mr. Adam ZENG Xuezhong, Executive Vice President of ZTE Corporation and CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices.
“The Blade S6 is part of our 3+1 approach, which is led by a trio of product lines that includes the voice control Star series, security-focused Grand series and mass-market premium Blade series. The sub-brand Nubia series completes the approach, which together allows ZTE to address an expansive variety of customer needs.”
To date, the Blade series has accounted for over 20 million units of ZTE’s global device sales, thereby validating the company’s strategy of adding high-end features to devices targeted at multiple customer segments.
Among those key features are the device’s Smart Sense, which includes an intuitive and practical sets of gesture and motion controls, such as with a flick of the wrist that allows users to shine the Blade S6’s flashlight, activate its built-in mirror application, take rapid succession of photographs, play music, and much more.
Powering the Blade S6 is the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615 chipset – Qualcomm’s first octa-core system-on-chip solution – and an Adreno 405 image processor capable of Full-HD H.265 decoding. This makes the Blade S6 the world’s first Android-L device to be powered by the Snapdragon™ 615, and uniquely capable of providing one of the most seamless user experiences currently on the market.
ZTE’s MiFavor 3.0 user interface meanwhile offers numerous customisation and personalization options at the finger-tips of the consumer. The Blade S6 also packs equally a punch in the audio department thanks to its Hi-Fi sound capability. The device’s five-inch screen is built using In-Cell technology, which allows better and more vibrant image quality.
Packaged in a slender two-millimetre-thin casing, the Blade S6 comes in a silver or pink matte finish.
“With its small package and powerful capabilities, the Blade S6 is the dream device for the socially active consumers and a clear demonstration of ZTE’s ability to offer a premium smartphone at an affordable price.” ZENG added.
Price and availability
The retail price for the ZTE Blade S6 is $249.99 US. ZTE Blade S6 will be available online globally on AliExpress, and with Amazon and eBay in selected markets.
It will be available through the distributor, Qool International Ltd, and exclusively at the Hong Kong mobile operator csl. and other major retail channels including Suning, Dream Team, Sun Shine Telecom, Cyber Telecom, 188, Pak Lik and I Mobile in Hong Kong.
Come comment on this article: ZTE announces the Blade S6 with Android Lollipop for $250
The heavy hitters in the American and European Android smartphone market didn’t have a great deal to say at CES 2015. Only LG released a big smartphone in the shape of the G Flex 2. We’ll see many more new smartphones in and around MWC, but there were some interesting moves from some lesser known names at CES this year. Alcatel, Asus, Lenovo, BLU, ZTE, the list goes on.
Let’s take a look at the different strategies they’re employing to try and get noticed in an increasingly crowded Android market.
Alcatel sets sights on States
We’ve seen steady progress from TCL, the Chinese manufacturer behind the Alcatel brand, and it has been a whole year since we wrote about Alcatel’s assault on mobile. It has continued to build the Alcatel Onetouch brand since then with a string of affordable budget and mid-range Android devices. Just before CES it unveiled a new smartwatch and the Pixi 3 line of smartphones. There was also news of a new e-commerce website to sell direct to the US public.
But that’s the not the extent of TCL’s play to enter the market Stateside, because it also has plans to rebuild the Palm brand it acquired as some kind of crowdsourced project. It looks like TCL believes a two-pronged attack might be the way forward and the brands will stay separate.
The crowdsourced idea for the Palm brand sounds an awful lot like Xiaomi’s philosophy and it has the potential to be very successful. Can TCL combine its existing budget credentials with a recognized brand, in the shape of Palm, and persuade people to buy in to the idea of designing a new smartphone?
BLU is all about budget
This lesser known brand is headquartered in Miami. It only popped up in 2009, but it has been doing quite well selling budget, unlocked phones in the Americas. BLU unleashed seven handsets at CES, all under $300. The specs aren’t going to wow you, but the prices might. The standout is the Vivo Air, a premium-looking phone that’s impressively slim at 5.1mm.
The strategy here is to reduce overheads as far as possible and undercut the competition. Some of BLU’s phones are re-badged versions from other manufacturers like Gionee. All their smartphones are sold unlocked through Amazon. The question is whether BLU can keep up the momentum when more budget OEMs, especially from China, move in next door.
Asus and Android
The Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has been a major PC vendor for years now. It joined the Open Handset Alliance in 2008, but its biggest success on the Android platform so far has been the Nexus 7. Asus built both models for Google. It has dabbled with its own tablets and smartphones and it started to look serious with last year’s Zenfone.
This year’s CES saw Asus announce the Zenfone 2 which is an impressive-looking, Lollipop smartphone with a really solid set of specs for just $200. There was also the Zenfone Zoom for anyone hankering for 3X optical zoom on their smartphone camera. The Asus strategy for Android looks much the same as its PC strategy – offer a solid experience at a budget price.
Lenovo is third
Already a major player in the PC and tablet market, after acquiring Motorola, Lenovo claimed the third spot in smartphones behind Samsung and Apple. The company showed off a couple of sexy mid-rangers, the P90 and the Vibe X2 Pro, at CES, but neither are aimed at the States.
A number of Chinese manufacturers have been climbing the charts on the back of sales in China and other emerging markets, where the growth rate is still high, but cracking the US and Europe is a whole different prospect. The difference with Lenovo is Motorola. Google seemed to be guiding the Motorola brand back to success with a budget approach that should suit Lenovo.
Motorola may offer a route to success that the Lenovo brand couldn’t manage, and the company has deep enough pockets to make things very difficult for everyone else. It will be interesting to see what develops.
ZTE is a player
The ZTE Nubia Z7 is the new top of ZTE’s range, but it doesn’t look likely to get a release outside Asia. However, ZTE has plenty of bargain wares available across the globe and it seems to have found a home on Cricket in the States. The latest $200 release there is the Grand X Max+ which looks like a solid mid-range phablet. ZTE also showed off the Star 2 at CES.
We also named the ZTE SPro 2, Android projector, in our best of CES 2015.
Saygus says hello
A fresh new start-up that caught the eye at CES this year, Saygus is an American smartphone maker that’s throwing everything, but the kitchen sink into its debut super smartphone, the Saygus V2. It starts out gently with a 5-inch 1080p display with tiny bezels, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 GPU, and 3GB of RAM.
Then there’s a 21MP main camera with a 13MP selfie cam. 64GB of storage which can be boosted up to 320GB with two 128GB microSD cards. The removable battery is rated at 3100mAh. It has front-facing Harmon Kardon speakers. It’s also waterproof and has a premium aluminum and Kevlar body. There’s even a fingerprint scanner. It has all the makings of a cult classic. The Saygus strategy seems to be to listen to what hardcore Android fans want, which could definitely carve it out a profitable niche.
And the rest
We can’t cover everyone, but it’s worth mentioning that Huawei is still huge. There were no major announcements, but Huawei had more than a hundred different products on show at CES. It’s done well with the Honor and Ascend Mate lines, dropping the Huawei brand in Europe, but it still hasn’t cracked the US.
The Android scene, especially at the budget end of the market, has never been more competitive than it is right now.
Archos and Acer continued their budget lines at CES too. Acer’s Liquid Jade S looks like a decent mid-ranger. Xiaomi waited until a few days after CES to launch the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, but they may never be released outside of China. There were also a number of hot players that didn’t really have an official presence at CES, such as OnePlus, which is expected to unveil two handsets sometime later this year.
The Android scene, especially at the budget end of the market, has never been more competitive than it is right now. It remains to be seen which strategy will reap the greatest rewards in 2015. Place your bets now.
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The first batch of rumors and details for a so-called ZTE Blade S6 have surfaced ahead of its launch expected later this month. According to sources at GearBest, and on twitter, the phone will run Android 5.0 Lollipop and feature a 5.0-inch display.
With specifications that closely mirror a previously leaked Q7 (PhoneArena), this one could be released in non-Chinese markets. Other hardware include a single LED flash on the camera, and may figure to include an octa-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage.
While this isn’t necessarily a powerful smartphone by today’s standards it would certainly be an affordable one. Perhaps we’ll see one of the U.S. carriers offer this one as part of its entry-level line of handsets in early 2015.
Cricket Wireless is throwing a “closeout” sale on select smartphones, including a number of Android devices. Sold with VISA promotion cards, these 3G and 4G models can be had through January 29 at Cricket stores.
Android-powered models included in the Closeout sale:
- ZTE Sonata 4G – FREE after $40 rebate card
- ZTE Grand X Max – $99 after rebate card
- Motorola Moto G – $24.99 after $75 rebate card
To check out the full set of smartphones offered by Cricket, head to the website. As a reminder, the prepaid carrier is also giving $100 credit for customers switching from Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, Sprint, and other providers.
The post Cricket Wireless closeout sale cuts prices on select Android phones appeared first on AndroidGuys.
New devices, amazing technologies, lots of gadgets, some more useful than others. It was the week of CES, and, as always, it was a wild ride. The star of the show was LG’s curved G Flex 2, but a slew of other devices made their debut in Las Vegas. HTC brought the selfie-focused Desire 826, Lenovo launched several smartphones, ZTE had a nifty Android-powered projector, Sony introduced a new Smartwatch 3 model and a crazy expensive Android Walkman, Nvidia made a big fuss about its latest mobile chip, and, outside of CES, Samsung announced its newest mid-range smartphones. And that’s the biggest news – dozens of smaller companies announced everything from smart flower pots, to motorized belts, to self-driving vehicles.
Welcome to Android Authority this week.
Here’s Jayce’s video take on the events of the week.
Inside AA HQ
One of the reasons we love big shows like CES, MWC, and IFA is because they are some of the few times when AA members can get together. We talk online all the time, but there’s really nothing like meeting IRL for building the team and getting the creative juices flowing. Darcy, Derek, Andrew, Josh, Kev, and Lanh had a blast in Vegas, but they also worked hard to bring you quality coverage. For a big picture view of the week’s events, check out our roundups below, our CES 2015 tag page, and our YouTube channel.
Android Authority is podcasting again! This week’s Friday Debate included the first episode of AA’s new Friday Debate podcast, starring Josh, Kev, Lanh, and Andrew. The guys talked about a bit about themselves, and riffed on all the cool – and not so cool – stuff they saw at CES. We’re going for an audio-only format for now, but we could go video if we figure out how to bring you a great experience. Expect team AA members as regulars, talking about all things Android and more. Guests from throughout the industry will be joining us from time to time. We’re on YT for now, but we’ll get on other podcasting platforms soon. Let us know what topics would you like us to cover in our podcast!
As always, on our Sunday Giveaway, we put up for grabs a cool device. Today, it’s a G Watch R. Good luck!
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
Here are some interesting posts for your Sunday reading:
- Friday Debate: What was the best and worst of CES 2015? (Post and Podcast)
- Opinion: Fresh back from CES, Andrew looks at HTC’s road ahead for 2015
- Tech talk: Rob weighs down on the rumors about Snapdragon 810 overheating issues
- Roundup: CES takeaway: Android Auto
- Roundup: CES takeaway: wearables
- Roundup: CES takeaway: smartphones and tablets
- Opinion: Competition is not always good for customers, argues Simon
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
- ZTE Grand X Max+ hands-on and first impressions
- ZTE SPro 2 first look and hands on
- ZTE Star 2 hands-on and first impressions
- Lenovo announces the 64-bit P90 and VIBE X2 Pro at CES
- Lenovo launches VIBE Band VB10 fitness band and VIBE Xtension Selfie Flash
- Asus launches 5.5-in ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Zoom, featuring 3X optical zoom
- Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on and first impressions
- Asus Zenfone Zoom hands-on and first impressions
G Flex 2
- LG G Flex 2 hands-on and first impressions
- LG G Flex 2 officially announced with Snapdragon 810 and improved design
- LG G Flex 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note Edge quick look
- LG G Flex 2 vs LG G Flex quick look
- The bendy LG G Flex 2 is coming to AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular
- Sony SmartWatch 3 gets a new stainless steel version, interchangeable bands too/
- Sony’s new 128GB Hi-Res Walkman offers excellent audio, for a price
- Sony SmartWatch 3 steel model hands on
- Sony goes all in with Android TV for their 2015 Bravia Smart TVs
- Hands-on with Sony’s 2015 Bravia TVs with Android TV
- Nvidia announces latest mobile processor, the Tegra X1
- Nvidia Tegra X1 powers Nvidia Drive CX car infotainment system
- Tegra X1 – a closer look at Nvidia’s “superchip”
- Samsung’s new mid-rangers Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7 debut today in India
- Samsung Galaxy Grand Max launches in South Korea, Galaxy A7 to debut in Malaysia
- HTC launches Desire 826 with UltraPixel selfie camera
- HTC Desire 826 vs HTC Desire Eye quick look
- HTC Desire 826 hands-on
We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:
The Nubia Z7 is a 5.5 inch device with Quad HD resolution. The design is fairly standard however it does have some nice touches like the rounded corners and the soft-touch matte finish. Both of which make the phone comfortable in the hand. One unique aspect is the bright red home buttom, which is also complimented by other dashes of red through-out the design.
As for innards, the Nubia Z7 is powered by a Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM. For your storage needs there is 32GB of flash. In terms of optics, the Z7 comes with a 13MP camera with built-in optical image stabilization (OIS). The Nubia Z7 can also record video at 4K. The included camera app has a mode for more advanced users, as well as an auto mode for those that just want to point and shoot.
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The device comes with a 3000mAh battery, so battery life shouldn’t be an issue even with that Quad HD display. The Nubia Z7 runs Android 4.4 KitKat but comes with ZTE’s own custom skin, which while colorful and bright, does lack the standard app draw. However, overall the UI experience is good.
The ZTE Nubia Z7 will be available initially in China and there isn’t yet any word of availability outside of Asia. If the device does become available world wide, you can be sure that we will let you know.
What are your initial impressions of the ZTE Nubia Z7? Do you like it?
Cricket and ZTE on Monday kicked off their respective CES efforts by announcing the upcoming availability of the 6-inch Grand X Max+. Set to arrive on Friday, January 9, the ZTE Grand X Max+ refreshes the plus-sized model. Chief among the changes are 4G LTE connectivity, better battery, and a wide-angle camera lens.
Priced only $200, the Grand X Max+ packs a quad-core processor, a 6-inch HD display, 3200mAh battery, and up to 16GB internal storage. With a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 2GB RAM, and microSD expansion, it’s more than enough smartphone for the average no-contract user.
|CES 2015 Coverage Sponsored By:|
ZTE has announced their ZTE Imperial II smartphone will be coming to U.S. Cellular. The Imperial II is aimed at budget-focused buyers and will be available for $0 down with a two-year contract. However, avoiding being locked in to a two-year contract is not an expensive proposition as the Imperial II will only run $100 off contract.
The Imperial II is the successor to ZTE’s Imperial, but with a larger 5-inch screen. The device comes equipped with a Snapdragon quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal memory, a 5 MP rear-facing camera, a 2,300 mAh battery, support for 4G LTE and runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
You can read the full press release after the break.
ZTE Responds to Consumer Demand for More Smartphone Screen for the Money with Imperial II now at U.S. Cellular
ZTE survey finds consumers want more phone screen for their money and delivers the 5-inch 4G LTE Imperial II for $0 down with a two year contract at U.S. Cellular
RICHARDSON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZTE USA, the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. and second largest in the off-contract market*, today announced the Imperial II will be available with U.S. Cellular at $0 down with a two year contract or at the off-contract price of $100. The Imperial II is the successor to the Imperial, which was one of U.S. Cellular’s most sold phones. The next generation Imperial II was updated with a bigger screen falling in line with a recent ZTE survey where 83% of respondents said they are interested in having a bigger screen phone but only 22% were willing to pay a higher price.
“The Imperial II is a result of listening to what customers want and applying our expertise to produce an affordable premium device. Not only does the phone have one of the biggest and brightest screens in its price class, it also has a better user experience with features such as LTE and a quad-core processor you won’t find in similar devices,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “Our affordable premium device strategy is shifting the U.S. smartphone landscape*, especially in prepaid. We’re extremely confident that the Imperial II will further propel our growth and the growth of such a great partner like U.S. Cellular.”
The budget-friendly Android smartphone was updated with a stunning 5-inch qHD capacitive multi-touch screen, improved camera sensors, SRS TruMedia, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android KitKat 4.4.2 and 8 GB of internal memory, while sporting microSDHC™ for expanding device storage memory up to 32 GB.
The Imperial II is the latest in a line of no-contract devices launched by ZTE in 2014, following on the heels of the very successful sales of the Grand XMAX and Warp Sync. The Imperial II allows ZTE to continue its leadership in the no-contract market and pioneering the standards of feature-rich smartphones that are affordably priced.
ZTE Imperial II Specs:
- Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Quad-Core
- 5-inch qHD capacitive 5-point multi-tough screen
- Internal: 8 GB eMMC and 1 GB DDR3 RAM
- 4G LTE: B2/B4/B5/B12/B17
- Bluetooth® 4.0
- 2,300 mAh Battery
- 5 MP rear-facing camera
The Imperial II allows users to stay remarkably connected and entertained, whether the consumer is downloading one of the million apps on Google PlayTM or simply calling a friend. Coupled with U.S. Cellular’s advanced wireless network, the Imperial II puts users in the driver’s seat of their wireless life.
About ZTE USA
ZTE USA (http://www.zteusa.com/), a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation is a leading global provider of mobile handsets, telecommunications equipment and network solutions. Operating since 1998, ZTE USA is dedicated to making cost-efficient, quality communications technology accessible to all. The company provides a magnitude of devices to every major US-based carrier, generates over $17.4 billion dollars’ worth of business for US-based companies and devotes more than 10 percent of its revenue to R&D. ZTE USA is headquartered in Richardson, Texas and operates 17 sales offices, customer service centers, R&D and distribution facilities across the US. ZTE is ranked as the country’s fourth-largest supplier of mobile devices overall, and second-largest supplier of prepaid devices, by independent analysts. ZTE is the Official Smartphone of the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, and Houston Rockets.
Come comment on this article: U.S. Cellular adds ZTE Imperial II to portfolio
ZTE announced a portable projector/hotspot/battery charger mismash of a device at CES last year that Sprint did end up carrying in 2014. This year, it looks like they’ll be offering a new version of the device that has all of the same hardware and features, just without the 4G LTE connectivity.
The ZTE SPRO still runs Android 4.2 with a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor inside to power the 4-inch display, and it still holds an extra battery for juicing up your devices while projecting media on a 10 ft x 10 ft area. The little device will cost you $399, which seems pretty hefty considering just how weird this thing is, but if you want to purchase one without cellular capabilities, at least now you’ll have the option to do so.
You can put your pre-order in for one at ZTE’s site below.
Come comment on this article: ZTE to sell WiFi-only model of its SPRO portable projector