ZTE Skate announced in France: launches in July, will cost less than €200 SIM-free
This is exciting. If you’re somewhere in Europe, at least. How would you like to get a smartphone that has a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, and runs ‘untouched’ Android 2.3 Gingerbread, for less than €200? That’s sans contract, SIM-free, unlocked, you get the point.
Well, if the above sounds good to you, meet the ZTE Skate. This is an interesting offering from the Chinese manufacturer that has mostly midrange-ish specs, aside from that screen.
ZTE officially announced the Skate in France today, and it seems like our previous price estimate (€250 in Greece) was higher than what the device will actually end up selling for – less than €200, according to ZTE’s French office. The ZTE Skate will become available in France sometime in July. No, we don’t know exactly when, and ZTE hasn’t even named its carrier-partners there. But July is close, so we’ll find out soon enough anyway.
And if it launches in France in July, that means the UK launch can’t be far behind. Before we’ve heard it will happen sometime this summer, and it looks like that’s going to be the case. And even if ZTE prices the Skate at around £200 over there, it has the potential to sell massive quantities of this device – because that still isn’t much to ask for what you’re getting. So after the Orange San Francisco, ZTE may have another best seller soon.
The ZTE Skate has an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 512 MB of ROM (around 200 MB free for installing apps), a 4.3-inch 800×480 capacitive touchscreen, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA (640×480) video recording, quad-band GSM, tri-band 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microSD card slot, and a 3.5 mm headset jack. The ZTE Skate runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread without any UI overlay. That should, in theory, guarantee timely updates to newer versions of the operating system, however ZTE (and Chinese makers in general) doesn’t have a particularly good track record in that regard, so don’t count on it. Still, the lack of updates has plagued many other handsets which cost many times more than the Skate, so perhaps we should just enjoy that ‘pure Google’ experience as is and look to the Android independent development community for OS updates.