Qualcomm has recently announced their new Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors to be added to the top-tier of mobile processors. With the Snapdragon 801 just beginning to make its way into handsets, we thought it might be awhile until we see the new ones make their way into consumer hands. That may not be the case, thanks to a new leak from the Chinese source, CNMO.
The leak is specifically claiming that the ZTE Apollo, ZTE’s upcoming flagship, will be toting Qualcomm’s new 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor. It is also rumored that they will announce the phone along with the ZTE Athena in the second half of 2014, specifically September. If that is the case, the new processors will have to be on the fast track in order to get into our hands in time.
In the same release, Qualcomm outed that the processors won’t be in consumer devices until the first half of 2015. That being said, the folks over at Qualcomm must be working pretty hard to beat this 2014 release date.
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ZTE’s Grand S II already looks like a pretty fine handset with its brushed metal back and Snapdragon 800/801 CPU, as we saw at its launch earlier this year. But judging by a leak at Chinese regulator Tenaa, it could take it up another notch with 4GB of RAM — a first for any smartphone and double the original spec. That’s the maximum possible RAM on a 32-bit ARM chip, and 4GB modules were only recently teased by Samsung and SK Hynix. We wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up as a high-end option for the Grand S II, in the same way that ZTE’s Nubia X6 is available in a 3GB RAM variant. Take all this with a grain of salt for now, but remember that until we see a 64-bit CPU and Android OS, 4GB will be as good as it gets.
[Image credit: Tenaa]
Filed under: Cellphones
Via: G for Games
ZTE has announced its latest Android-powered smartphone, the massive 6.44-inch Nubia X6. With a price of roughly $640 (US), the handset boasts a quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, and a 4250mAh battery. In addition to being big and powerful this one is able to snap 13-megapixel images on front or back. Indeed, the front-facing camera features a f/2.2 aperture and the backside offers optical image stabilization and dual-LED flash. Unfortunately, it does not look like we’ll see this one outside of China anytime soon.
via Digital Trends
If you believe that China gets all the good phones, this won’t change your mind. ZTE’s premium Nubia brand has just launched the X6, a handset-cum-tablet with a 6.44-inch, 1080p screen. As with Oppo’s Find 7, ZTE lavished it with top-notch specs, including a Snapdragon 801 chip, 3GB max RAM, up to 128GB storage and a 4,250 mAh battery. The kicker, though, is those matching 13-megapixel cameras — a rare setup for a non-monkey phone. The front shooter matches the back pixel-for-pixel and puts many smartphones’ main cameras to shame with backside illumination, video auto-focus and an f/2.2 lens. The front camera ups the ante with an f/2.0 lens, optical image stabilization and dual flashes. Alas, if you were looking to wrap your (presumably large) mitts around one in the US or Europe, the Nubia X6 will likely stay put in China. It’s now up for pre-order at $HK 5,010, or around $640 for the top model.
Source: Engadget Chinese
The Boost Max aims to give users a premium phablet experience with a small price tag.
Do you remember when smartphones were upwards of $500? Some still are, like the Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 3, and the HTC One. Recently in the United States, prices of handsets have gone significantly down, allowing more and more users to purchase their phones outside of a 2-year agreement.
In turn, the phones that have a cheap off-contract price are selling like hot cakes, and more and more manufacturers are trying to join the US market. ZTE certainly doesn’t have much presence in the United States, but they’ve made a recent effort to change that with the ZTE Boost Max.
It can be found for $299 on the Sprint MVNO Boost Mobile, weighing in as one of the more expensive “premium” phones that the prepaid carrier offers.
Recently, the bar has been set pretty high for budget smartphones. The Moto G, Moto X, and Nexus 5 are prime examples of premium handsets for a very cheap price tag. Can the Boost Max rival the price of the Moto G, while offering a great phablet experience like the Galaxy Note 3? Find out in our review below.
When you first read the list of the specifications, you might not be interested, at all. But remember: this phone is relatively inexpensive, and ZTE obviously has to make money on it, so try giving them the benefit of the doubt.
With it’s 5.7-inch, 720×1280 IPS LCD display, the Boost Max houses a 1.2GHz dual core Snapdragon 400 processor, 8GB of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM. It has an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1MP front-facing camera, and a non-removable 3200mAh battery. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 LE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and 4G LTE.
If you’re looking for the most positive part of the phone, look here. The look and feel of this phone is well-built and beautiful. With the brushed metallic back and the matte-finished top and bottom portions, it is a really good-looking device. But don’t read too far into the metallic back of the phone – it’s only plastic. It’s easy to see why ZTE made that material decision, given the $299 price point.
The button layout on the Boost Max is a little different from what most people are used to. The power button sits on the right edge, along with a physical camera button. The left side holds a microSD card slot and the volume rockers. You’ll also find a micro USB port on the lower-left side – this makes it a bit awkward to hold while charging. This is definitely a two-handed device, so you’ll find yourself bumping into the charging cable more than you might like.
It also has capacitive navigation buttons – back, home, and… a menu button – one design aspect that we wish would just go away.
The top matted portion covering the camera snaps off to reveal a SIM card slot, while the rear portion holds a single speaker. It’s decently loud, but very tinny. When playing media without headphones, there are a few fixes for poor audio quality, due to ZTE’s custom software. (We’ll revisit this in the software section).
The display on the Boost Max could be better, but arguably not, solely because of the price tag. It has a 5.7-inch, 720×1280 IPS LCD display. Viewing angles are fine, and we weren’t able to see any pixelation anywhere on the screen. We did, however, find one major flaw – whites aren’t white – they’re very visibly off-white. Tainting almost every screen we viewed, this is the major downfall to what is otherwise a beautiful display.
Probably the most unappealing part of the software is that it ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. This is a very old build to be shipping on a smartphone that was released in January 2014. Though Boost informed users that they intend to push Android 4.4 KitKat sometime in 2014, that is a very vague description. This is one of the sacrifices we wish didn’t make it to the Boost Max.
The phone offers a near-stock Android experience, while only throwing in a few minor design changes. The homescreens and app drawer don’t stray away from the “stock” look. The only changes they made in the user interface are the lock screen, notification tray, and the quick settings. There are, of course, a huge amount of custom apps. Most of them are from Boost and can be uninstalled very easily.
ZTE also opted to throw in some surprisingly useful features. The main feature being a multi-window clone called Smart Viewer. Hold down the back button to pull up a list of apps, and drag them to one half of the screen. Smart View lets you mute one window at a time, which we found to be very useful. On the Samsung’s Multi-Window feature, only a handful of apps are compatible for some reason. On Smart Viewer, any installed app can be used.
We did experience a good amount of lag in odd places. This mainly happened while accessing Chrome, Google Search, YouTube, or Smart Viewer. Sometimes, the webpage we were trying to load would take more than a minute to fully show. The amount of lag we came across hinders the otherwise positive experience with the software.
Now, to talk about audio quality. The speaker, though very loud, has some EQ issues. It’s a bit like listening to music in a tin can, but Boost hopes to change that with their Dolby Digital Plus EQ app. We actually found this to be very useful, though a bit cumbersome. If you use it frequently, it’s easy to get the best sound possible out of the given hardware. However, if you frequently switch between podcasts and music, revisiting the app over and over to change sound modes gets old very fast.
The overall software experience was just… okay. You can tell ZTE tried, but due to the processor and other hardware slumps, it fell a bit short.
The battery life on this phone is tremendous. With it’s huge 3200mAh battery, we failed to drain it in an entire day. Stand by time was great, only draining 1% overnight, while connected to the Boost network. Watching hour-long HD videos on YouTube and streaming music from Spotify barely brought the battery down to 70% in a few hours. If you’re a normal-heavy multimedia consumer, you should have no qualms with the battery.
The only factor that remotely drained the battery was the the Boost network. Even though we had some trouble in this area, you should have no problem making it through much more than a day of use.
The Boost Max’s 8MP rear-facing camera is good at times, and horrible at others. There aren’t many things to nit-pick about it, considering the price. Shutter speed is normal, and focusing didn’t cause us any problems. They’re not perfect, but they’ll do.
We did have a lot of trouble with color. Colors are washed out and dull, no matter the lighting conditions. Also, the hardware shutter key isn’t a two-step button, so you’ll find yourself with a lot of blurry photos if you try to focus beforehand. We found ourselves better off just using the on-screen shutter key.
If you hope to get a decent camera on a budget phone, you could certainly do worse. But that doesn’t mean it’s particularly good, either.
If you’d like unlimited everything (minutes/messaging/data) on Boost Mobile, plans begin at $55. If you pay your bill on-time, your plan shrinks by $5 every month, until it’s as low as $35. This is definitely a good incentive to move over to Boost, but is the Boost Max good enough to keep people on the network?
The Boost Max tries to offer as much as it’s competitors, but ultimately falls short in some important areas. Most of our experiences can be summed up with a, “This feature is nice, but…”.
ZTE’s Smart Viewer is a great addition, adding functionality and innovation to the size of the device. But it’s buggy and slow, and that made us not want to use it. The look and feel of the device is beautiful. It has a nice weight to it, and it offers a loud speaker and a hardware camera button. But the speaker is tinny, and the camera button makes it difficult to keep your focus.
All things considered, if you’re on Boost Mobile, and absolutely have to stick with it, you could do worse than the Boost Max. It’s the best option for someone who wants a phablet experience, but doesn’t want to break the bank. If you’re in the market to purchase a new phone off-contract and you don’t mind the screen size, buy a Moto G. It has better software, hardware, and is two-thirds the price.
If the Boost Max was $200, I would recommend it immediately. It’s a bit slow, but offers a beautiful look and feel, while giving you the experience you’re looking for. But for $300, I have a difficult time recommending this one.
ZTE on Monday formally showed off its latest big Android smartphone, the 6-inch Grand Memo II LTE. Powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, this behemoth of a device features a Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and a 13-megapixel/5-megapixel camera duo.
Other specifications include ZTE’s custom MiFavor 2.3 user interface, a 3,200mAh battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and LTE connectivity. At only 7.2mm thick, the Grand Memo II LTE is one svelte experience; 80% of the front surface is display.
ZTE expects to begin selling the Grand Memo II LTE in April in China, followed by simultaneous launches in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
ZTE, like fellow Chinese ODM Huawei, is hoping to become more famous for the hardware that it makes under its own flag, instead of the gear it makes for other people. A year after the Galaxy Note-troubling Grand Memo, the follow-up has made its public debut here in Barcelona. Beneath the 6-inch HD display, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, paired with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, LTE radios and a 13-megapixel f/2.2 primary camera. Selfie enthusiasts, meanwhile, will be pleased to see their faces are captured in five glorious megapixels with the forward-facing lens. Android 4.4 (KitKat) has been squeezed into the handset’s 7.2mm frame, coated in a thick skin of the company’s MiFavor 2.3 user interface. ZTE is promising that you’l get a few days of normal use out of the phone’s 3,200mAh battery, and that it’ll last for a full 16 hours playing HD video. It’ll start out in China at some point during April, with Europe, North America and Asia Pacific to follow, and while the company hasn’t talked pricing, we assume it’ll undercut its rivals in the 6-inch market.
ZTE’s back with yet another take on the phablet it introduced at Mobile World Congress last year, except this time, the device isn’t touting a world’s first with its Qualcomm CPU. The Grand Memo II LTE marks the company’s second attempt at the smartphone category created by the Galaxy Note and G Pros of the world with a 6-inch 720p display, 13-megapixel rear camera and 7.2mm thickness. To ZTE’s credit, it’s whipped up quite a sleek and attractive design. Not only is the handset ultra slim, but its curved edges and thin bezels somehow conspire to make the device appear slighter than its massive size.
Inside, the Grand Memo II LTE sports a Snapdragon 400 processor buffered by 2GB RAM, a 3,200mAh cell to power all the pixels on that 6-inch display, as well as radios for Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi a/b/g/n and GPS. It’s also only available with 16GB of internal storage, which is surprising given its otherwise outsized reputation. You’ll be glad to know the Grand Memo II LTE currently runs Android KitKat 4.4, although that OS is hidden beneath ZTE’s MiFavor 2.3 UI.
In truth, ZTE’s particular Android skin isn’t that offensive, though we were warned by reps on the showfloor it also wasn’t a final build and that features could change. What’s curious is that the Grand Memo II LTE’s two major software additions are exact clones of the ones we saw LG debut on the G Pro 2 just yesterday. For ZTE, that would be SmartShare and miniview. By enabling the SmartShare button from within the app, users will have access to an onscreen shortcut that’s triggered with a longpress of the back button. This floating icon, when selected, brings up an app window that’s geared towards multitasking. So users need only drag and drop their desired apps to the two halves of the screen. Those windows can then also be adjusted according to user preference.
We knew the Open C was coming before the start of Mobile World Congress because, well, ZTE spilled the beans on it early. And here at Mozilla’s press event, we’re finally getting a first look at the diminutive 4-inch device and the 1.3 build of Firefox OS it runs. But before you judge its modest specs too harshly, bear in mind these FFOS devices are geared towards emerging markets and are priced accordingly.
Owing to its budget nature, the Open C sports a chunky plastic build and, from the looks of the two models we saw on display, will be available in Mozilla’s two signature colors: orange and blue. The handset’s equipped with a 4-inch WVGA display and runs FFOS 1.3 atop a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 with 512MB of accompanying RAM. There’s also a 2-megapixel fixed focus camera on back and 1,200mAh battery powering it.
On the whole, Firefox OS 1.3 seems much the same as in its previous incarnations, but we’ve been assured by ZTE’s reps that this new build focuses on enhancing stability and performance. Certainly, in our brief time with the Open C, we didn’t notice any crashes or sluggish behaviour when browsing the UI and launching its HTML5 apps, but that’s something only extended real-world use can attest to properly.
Mozilla’s said before that we won’t be seeing its FFOS handsets coming to the US anytime soon, so don’t expect the Open C to make an appearance stateside. That said, ZTE’s assured us the Open C should launch in Q2 of this year, though pricing has yet to be determined.
ZTE on Tuesday confirmed that it will be bringing a new 6-inch smartphone, the Grand Memo II LTE, to Mobile World Congress. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until the conference to see the full details, but it is expected to introduce a new mobile interface, MiFavor 2.3.
In addition to the Android device, ZTE will also bring a new Open C device which runs FireFox OS and a ZTE Grand Watch (smartwatch).
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