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Posts tagged ‘ZTE’


You can unlock this smartphone with the blood vessels in your eyes

Tired of punching in numbers or swiping strange patterns to unlock your smartphone? Fingerprint and facial recognition have been tried before with varying levels of success, and now ZTE thinks it can offer something better. The company’s Grand S3 smartphone in China is getting a feature called “Sky Eye,” which lets you swap Android’s traditional lockscreen methods with your eyeballs. It uses a biometric authentication called “Eyeprint ID” and of course, we had to check it out and see if it was more than just a gimmick.

The setup is fairly simple. A green line bounces up and down the screen, requiring that you follow it with your peepers for about eight seconds. Meanwhile, the front-facing camera records the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes and creates a secure ID. The process could be faster, but once you’ve done it once you should, in theory, never have to do it again. Unless you swap your eyeballs Minority Report-style, of course. Only one Eyeprint can be registered at a time though, so Apple’s Touch ID is superior in that regard.

Once the Grand S3 is locked, you’ll first need to tap the power button and swipe down from the top of the screen. There’s definitely a sweet spot for the eye recognition — I found that about 15cm from the handset was ideal — but you’ll receive a prompt on screen if you need to move closer or further away. When you’re in range, the system takes about a half second to identify your eyes’ unique characteristics and give you access to the rest of Android.

We tried it a handful of times and it worked as promised on every occasion. It’s not quite as fast as using Touch ID, but a huge advantage for smartphone makers is that it doesn’t require extra hardware. Provided the phone has a decent front-facing camera, there’s no reason why Eyeprint ID couldn’t be implemented in other handsets. ZTE says the feature will be included in its future Grand smartphones and will later be expanded to mobile payments. If the entire experience can be made just a little more seamless, we wouldn’t be surprised if other Android OEMs begin experimenting with this feature too.

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Source: ZTE


ZTE Blade S6 Review

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The Bottom Line

  • Great camera
  • Acceptable battery
  • 64-bit hardware
  • Latest Android OS
  • Snappy performance
  • Affordable
  • Uninspiring design
  • Questionable build quality

The ZTE Blade S6 brings LTE, 64-bit hardware, a great camera, and Android 5.0 lollipop in a budget-friendly package.

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In the last year or so, budget-friendly smartphones have become a huge part of the Android landscape, with OEMs not compromising on elements like build quality and performance, even with the devices boasting price tags that are less than $300, or even $200 in a few cases. It is also a testament to how far we’ve come in a short of amount of time, when you consider that a lot of these smartphones pack specifications that were thought of as flagship only a couple of years ago.

Related – Best Cheap Android Phones – Best Unlocked Android Phones

The competition in this space is heating up, and even though 2015 has just begun, we’ve already some great additions in this category. Joining these smartphones is another great budget-friendly offering from the Chinese device manufacturer ZTE, which we will take a closer look at in this in-depth review of the ZTE Blade S6!

See it on AliExpress


ZTE Blade S6-29

When looking at the ZTE Blade S6 for the first time, it is obvious what inspired the design of the phone. From its gray colored body, rounded corners and curved sides, to the positioning of the logo, the camera, and even the “Designed by ZTE in California, Assembled in China” stamp on the back, the Blade S6 borrows heavily from the design language of the iPhone 6. Of course, while it looks similar, the actual build quality and feel in the hand is a completely different story.

ZTE Blade S6-16

The entire body of the Blade S6 is made of plastic, and while plastic doesn’t necessarily have to feel cheap, as we’ve seen from the slew of premium quality mid-range smartphones released recently, unfortunately in this case, it does. For starters, the plastic is coated in a smooth satin finish, likely to mimic the metallic feel of the iPhone 6, and it does tend to slip around in the hand quite a lot, even if I have luckily not dropped the phone yet. The back of the device also has a lot of give to it, resulting in a very hollow feel. This may be the case only with this particular review unit though, but it is something that is noticeable right away.

ZTE Blade S6-4

On the bright side, the device is fairly thin with a thickness of just 7.7 mm. Combined with its 5-inch display, thin bezels, and rounded corners and sides, you get a phone that is easy and comfortable to use with one hand, even if you do have to worry about it slipping out. Going around the device, the power button and volume rocker are located on the right side, within easy reach, with dual SIM card slots and a microSD card slot found on the left, along with the headphone jack and microUSB port found at the top and bottom respectively.

ZTE Blade S6-2

The Blade S6 utilizes capacitive keys up front, and they do have an appealing unique look to them. The home button in the center is denoted by a blue ring that also glows a nice bright blue when you touch it, to indicate when you have notifications, or when the device is charging. Two LEDs flank the home button to represent the back and menu keys. By default, the back button is to the left and the menu key is on the right, but that is a setting that you can flip if you prefer it the other way around.


ZTE Blade S6-33

The ZTE Blade S6 comes with a 5-inch IPS LCD display, with a 720p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 294 ppi. This resolution may be a little low for pixel junkies, but the experience on the display was very good, with everything, including videos and games, looking great. The display brings with it all the loved features of IPS LCD panels, including vibrant but not overly saturated colors, great brightness, and good viewing angles. While not at the level of some AMOLED screens out there, the black levels provided by this display were also surprisingly good, and might be the best I’ve seen on an LCD without exhibiting light bleed.

One of the best parts of this display has to do with the glass panel itself, with edges that are curved, similar to what we’ve seen on the Moto X (2014), resulting in a very smooth and seamless experience when swiping.

Performance and Hardware

ZTE Blade S6-44

Under the hood, the Blade S6 packs an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, clocked at 1.7 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 405 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. This is one of best mid-range processing packages currently available, that allows for a performance that is quite similar to its more high-end counterparts in every day tasks.

ZTE Blade S6-23

The Blade S6 is snappy, responsive and fast. Animations run smoothly every time, apps opening quickly, and multi-tasking is a breeze. The gaming experience is also great, with the device handling graphic-intensive games very well. One jarring performance issue that did come up when sliding the brightness slider to the left or right, which resulted in some choppiness. This is likely a software optimization issue though, and is a minor gripe given the excellent overall performance this processing package provides.

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The device comes with 16 GB of on-board storage, which is further expandable by an additional 32 GB via microSD. A single speaker is found on the back at the bottom right corner, and while it does get the job done, it obviously doesn’t provide as good an experience as you would get with a front-facing speaker. As is the case with most rear speaker setups, it is quite easy to cover it up while holding the device, and the sound is muffled if the phone is placed on a flat surface.

ZTE Blade S6-13

A standard suite of sensors and connectivity options are available, including support for 4G LTE, but it is worth noting that since this device is catered towards Asian and European markets, it doesn’t connect to LTE networks in the US. In fact, while testing this device on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, I was surprised to find data connectivity limited to Edge, which made the device difficult to use. A lot of devices available for international markets can get at least 3G connectivity, if not LTE, so this was certainly very disappointing to see. If you aren’t in close proximity to a Wi-Fi network for the majority of your day, the Blade S6 may unfortunately not be the device for you, if you’re living in the US.

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When it comes to the battery, the Blade S6 comes with a 2,400 mAh unit. In my testing, I managed to get up to 15 hours off the charger, with around four and a half hours of screen-on time, but keep in mind that, as mentioned above, this was while primarily on a Wi-Fi connection, and usage will vary when the device is connected to 4G LTE, so overall, the battery life is just about average. Battery saver modes are available though, so you will have the option to squeeze some extra juice out of the battery in an pinch.


ZTE Blade S6-14

Moving onto the camera, ZTE claims that the Blade S6 will deliver DSLR-like quality, which is definitely a bold statement to make, but essentially what you’re looking at is a Sony made 28 mm wide-angle lens, coming in at 13 MP.

When you jump into the camera interface, you’re going to notice two modes – simple and expert. Simple is basically just an auto mode that lets you snap photos without having to worry or play around with any additional camera settings. On the other hand, Expert mode introduces a few additional controls like white balance, ISO, metering, and exposure, but that’s about as extensive as it gets. Various shooting modes like HDR, panorama, and a few others are also available, but one thing to note is they’re only accessible when you’re shooting in the Simple mode.

ZTE Blade S6-3

While I don’t think the pictures are DSLR-like quality, I will admit that they are actually quite good. Pictures are sharp and vibrant in color, but not overly so that it looks unrealistic, and in most situations where lighting was adequate, I was able to get pretty much any shot that I wanted. The f/2.0 aperture is also great, giving off that bokeh effect that you can normally only achieve with a DSLR camera. Dynamic range however isn’t the best, and tends to crush the darks quite a bit, causing a lot of loss in detail. HDR does help in most situations, but I found that it works best indoors. In outdoor situations, it does bring out more detail as you would expect, but tends to create a very cold and unnatural looking blue cast to the images. With indoor shots, it was a lot more reliable, and what I really enjoyed about the HDR post processing is that it also bumps up the saturation, giving off a very vibrant look that I thought was pleasing to the eye.

In low light, performance was pretty shoddy, which was very surprising considering the f/2.0 aperture. The noise levels are extremely high, making it impossible to capture much detail, and a maximum ISO of 800 doesn’t help improve the situation either. All said and done, the rear camera is pretty solid, but it’s a far cry from what you can get from a DSLR.

If you’re a selfie lover, you’ll enjoy the front-facing camera, as it comes in at 5 MP. The quality isn’t spectacular by any means, but just like the rear camera, it is a wide-angle lens, which means that you can easily fit you and a couple of your friends into a single shot.


ZTE Blade S6-41

With Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, the ZTE Blade S6 is one of the few phones that runs the latest iteration of the OS. You get all of the great features of Lollipop with a few additions from ZTE, and while the custom launcher does have its unique features, a lot of the stock elements of Android 5.0 are available here. Elements like the lockscreen, notification shade, overview, and applications like the settings, dialer, and clock still preserve the material design from Google.

Like the software experience we get on most devices from Chinese OEMs, the custom launcher is colorful with squared icons, and does away with the standard app drawer in favor of having all applications reside on the home screen, leaving you dependent on folders to keep things from getting too cluttered. Of course, this is still Android, so you always have the option to download a third-party launcher from the Google Play Store if you are looking for a more familiar experience.

Swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or simply hitting the menu button, will bring up a panel of customization options for the launcher itself. You can select from a series of solid colored or abstract wallpapers, and more can be downloaded from ZTE’s online library. There is also a built-in slider to give your wallpapers a blurred looked, which I actually thought was a really nice touch. Desktop transition effects are also available if you’re feeling fancy, and once you’re satisfied with all of the changes that you’ve made, you can create a backup within the launcher preferences so you never lose them.

ZTE Blade S6-34

Gesture and motion features can also be found in the settings, and while some of them are gimmicky, others can prove to be quite useful. You do have the option to disable them if you don’t plan to use any. Gesture features include things like Air Gesture, Cover Phone Screen, and Shake It. Air Gesture allows you to control your music by holding volume down button, and drawing a V or an O to start and stop the music. It’s a very awkward thing to do, but it does seem to work pretty consistently. Cover Phone Screen will silence any incoming calls or alarms just by waving your hand over the phone. Shake It will open either the flashlight or camera by shaking the phone when you’re on the lockscreen.

The motion features are a little bit more self-explanatory with features like auto call, auto answer, pocket mode, and flip to mute the device. The rear camera can also be activated by holding the volume up button and bringing the phone up horizontally, and the same thing can also be done with the front facing camera when bringing the phone up vertically towards your face.

And finally, you have MI-POP, which puts a bubble consisting of on-screen navigation keys on your homescreen, for easier one-handed operation. The Blade S6 is already pretty easy to use in one hand, but this is a very handy feature to have just in case you need it.


Display 5-inch IPS LCD, HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 294 ppi
Processor 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core (MSM8939)
Camera Rear: 13MP, f 2.0, Sony sensor
Front: 5MP, 80 degree wide angle
Battery 2,400 mAh
Storage 16GB, expandable
Connectivity GPS, microUSB 2.0, WiFi a/b/g/n, 5GHz, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
Software Android 5.0 Lollipop
Dimensions 144 x 70.7 x 7.7 mm


Pricing and Final Thoughts

The ZTE Blade S6 will be available globally from February 10, directly through Ali Express and on Amazon in select markets. The price is very affordable at $249.99, but from the way things are shaping up, the competition at this price range is going to be intense. Everything said and done though, the Blade S6 isn’t a viable option for those living in the US, unless you’re perfectly okay with using Edge data speeds. For those in European and Asian markets, this device is a very solid wallet-friendly smartphone that you should definitely consider.

ZTE Blade S6-1

So there you have it – the ZTE Blade S6! While the design and build quality could have been slightly better, once you get past that, what you get with the Blade S6 is a device that offers a best-in-class processing package, a solid camera experience, and the latest iteration of Android, all in a very affordable package.

See it on AliExpress



Android Authority this week

ZTE Blade S6

Hello Android fans, here’s what went down in the world of Android this week: Facebook launched its Lite app for entry-level Android devices, we’ve heard some troubling news about Sony, Qualcomm confirmed its overheating problems, ZTE and Meizu introduced new devices, alleged renders of the Galaxy S6 and One (M9) surfaced, we discussed Cyanogen’s plans to take Android from Google, and Microsoft launched its Outlook and Office apps for Android.

Inside AA HQ

This week Josh and Darcy visited Huawei’s headquarters in China, where they learned more about the tech giant’s plans for 2015 and got a peek at all the work that goes into designing, building, and selling a modern smartphone. Expect a look behind the scenes soon.

Because of Josh’s trip, our Friday Debate podcast is actually going down this Sunday. In this edition, Josh, Andrew, Joe and Jon are talking about the Cyanogen’s plans for a Google-free Android. This topic has been on everyone’s lips this week, especially since news broke that Microsoft has become an investor in the company founded by Steve Kondik. We’ll update this post with the podcast widget as soon as it goes live.

Joe is piloting a new format and a new name for his popular weekly show about apps. The segment is now called Android Apps Weekly, but the gist of it is the same – cool new apps, big updates, and all the news that matter in the world of Android apps.

In our Sunday Giveaway, we’re putting up for grabs a brand new Nexus 9! Throw your name in the hat here.

Nexus 9 Magic Cover-15

The stuff you shouldn’t miss

Here are some interesting posts for your Sunday reading:

Top news of the week

And here are the top news in the Android world this week:

Sony news

Facebook Lite

facebook lite best new Android apps and games

The heat is on Qualcomm

ZTE Blade S6

ZTE Blade S6 d

Meizu M1

Our first look at the One (M9)?


Cyanogen saga

Microsoft loves Android

Microsoft Outlook Preview for Android

Galaxy S6 rumors

spigen galaxy S6 case (1)

Samsung’s shaky quarter

Sound off

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:

Happy Sunday!


ZTE debuts Blade S6 with $250 off-contract price


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.

Press Release

The post ZTE debuts Blade S6 with $250 off-contract price appeared first on AndroidGuys.


ZTE announces the Blade S6 with Android Lollipop for $250


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….

Click here to view the embedded video.

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


Looking back at CES: Brands to watch out for in 2015

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.

one life BLU

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.

asus zenfone 2 first look a (19 of 19)

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.

lenovo vibe x2 pro

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.

ZTE Nubia Z7-13

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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First details for ZTE Blade S6 spill online


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.

GearBest | Twitter (leaksfly) via PhoneArena

The post First details for ZTE Blade S6 spill online appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Cricket Wireless closeout sale cuts prices on select Android phones



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.


Android Authority this week

android authority handsome bastards

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.

Video roundup

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:

CES 2015

Top news of the week

And here are the top news in the Android world this week:



Lenovo Vibe Band VB 10-14


asus zenfone zoom first look aa (13 of 15)

G Flex 2

lg g flex first look aa (35 of 49)



Nvidia X1




htc desire 826 first look aa (31 of 43)

Sound off

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:

Happy Sunday!


ZTE Nubia Z7 hands-on and first impressions

ZTE has already shown off a number of new devices at CES 2015 including the ZTE Grand X Max+ and the ZTE Star 2. But there is more – the ZTE Nubia Z7.

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.

ZTE Nubia Z7-18

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.

ZTE Nubia Z7-6

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?


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