ZTE lands 2.5 million pre-orders for the Nubia Z5S and Nubia Z5S Mini
Dec09

ZTE lands 2.5 million pre-orders for the Nubia Z5S and Nubia Z5S Mini

ZTE is happy today. The Chinese smartphone maker has just reported taking 2.5 million pre-orders for the Nubia Z5S and Nubia Z5S Mini. These two devices were officially unveiled on November 19, and they’re only up for grabs in China right now. ZTE boasts that this is a record-breaking achievement, surpassing a sales record previously set by Xiaomi. Mentioning that up and coming Chinese manufacturer by name in its press release, ZTE sure looks concerned about Xiaomi’s popularity in China. It’s not the only one, though. Huawei’s CEO is teasing devices with “better value” than Xiaomi offerings left and right. So clearly, Xiaomi has been noticed. Anyway, Chinese consumers seem to like what ZTE is doing with its Nubia brand, since 2.5 million pre-orders is quite impressive regardless of any local rivalries. The company seems to think that the cameras inside the new Nubias have had something to do with this success, bragging that it’s the first Chinese OEM to offer optical image stabilization – a feature which is quickly becoming the norm for high-end handsets. The Nubia Z5S’ pricing starts at 1,999 yuan ($329), while it’s smaller sibling the Nubia Z5S Mini goes for 1,499 yuan ($246) in its 3G incarnation. In both cases, LTE connectivity will cost you...

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Take that Amazon! Chinese e-tailer Jingdong launches its own JDPhone smartphone program, eyes MVNO
Nov20

Take that Amazon! Chinese e-tailer Jingdong launches its own JDPhone smartphone program, eyes MVNO

Amazon has been trying to figure out how to do Kindle smartphone for years now. Some patent applications show that Jeff Bezos has been toying with the idea of customized Amazon Phone in 2008. It’s been 5 years now, and we still haven’t heard anything official from them. Now one of Amazon’s main competitors in China – Jingdong,  thinks it has cracked a smartphone formula and is launching its own JDPhone program next week. They also have plans for own MVNO in the near future. Jingdong VP Wang Xiaosong says that they have been selling smartphones for 7 years now, and already moved 30 million of them. This gives Jingdong a good insight on what customers expect from their smartphones, and what they do not like about them. They now decided to use that data to corner high volume 1000-2000 Yuan market in cooperation with smartphone OEMs. According to Wang Xiaosong, most of cheap smartphone owners are unhappy with their experience today. They buy a new phone with low powered CPU and 512MB of RAM, and suffer through laggy response; low resolution makes big smartphone displays are pointless, most pictures taken with them are unviewable, etc;. Jingdong will use the data about customer preferences, and share it with OEMs through JDPhone program. Smartphone vendor gets a list of minimum specs for a certain price tier, and then gets preferential placement and promotion as JDPhone to e-tailer’s 100 million customers. Right now JDPhone between 1500-2000 Yuan ($245-328)  should come with 3G connectivity, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 5” 1080p display, 13 megapixel main and 5 megapixel front camera. Snapdragon 600 CPU and 4.5” 720p display is enough for a 1000-1500 Yuan ($164-245) handset.  The first JDPhones will be ZTE’s Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini, launched yesterday. But Jingdong says handsets from 4 more Chinese OEMs are on the way. Jingdong has also applied for MVNO license to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. They plan to use the data on 100 million registered customers  to check their credit score, and will offer subsidized JDPhones with zero upfront payments. Source: Sina 1, 2,...

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6.44″ ZTE Nubia Z7 stars in first hands-on photo, has specs leaked too
Nov19

6.44″ ZTE Nubia Z7 stars in first hands-on photo, has specs leaked too

Today ZTE officially unveiled the new Nubia Z5S and Nubia Z5S Mini. But those aren’t the only new Nubia-branded devices that the Chinese company has been working on for the past few months. See, there’s also an upcoming ZTE Nubia Z7. As the name sort of implies, it will be bigger than the other two – a phablet, in fact. ZTE hasn’t done a lot of those (if any), so this is interesting. The Nubia Z7 can be seen below in a hands-on, ears-on type image that leaked in China. The first Nubia phablet has a gigantic 6.44-inch touchscreen, similar to the one employed by the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. This makes it bigger than the Huawei Ascend Mate, the largest phablet from ZTE’s most important competitor in China. Aside from the huge display, the Nubia Z7 is slated by “inside sources” to come with the now-obligatory quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, this time in the MSM8974AB iteration (with faster graphics than the non-AB designated model). There’s also 3 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, a 13 MP f/2.0 BSI rear camera with optical image stabilization and LED flash, support for both 3G and 4G LTE networks, and running the show will apparently be Android 4.4 KitKat. That seems surprising (especially considering that the Nubia Z5S and Z5S Mini announced today both run version 4.2 of the OS), but perhaps not so much once you realize that the ZTE Nubia Z7 will only be released next year. We assume the Chinese company will be showcasing it either at CES in January or Mobile World Congress in February. Via...

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ZTE launches Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini
Nov19

ZTE launches Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini

Huawei and ZTE are two biggest smartphone OEMs to emerge from China over the past couple of years. But, with Huawei successfully, if a bit slowly, building its international brand, ZTE has been falling behind lately. Today ZTE launched its next generation devices  with which it hopes to regain its share of mid-tier of smartphone market, starting with China and then the rest of the world. They are ZTE Nubia 5S and Nubia Z5S mini. ZTE Nubia 5S will come equipped with: Either LTE or 3G connectivity (depending on carrier and region) Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3 GHz800 CPU 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean 1080p Sharp IGZO display 13 megapixel, f/2.0 aperture camera with OIS, 120 fps capability, 4K video capture 5 megapixel front camera Infrared remote Dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi ac support Battery: 2300 mAh Dimensions: 137.7 × 68.8 × 7.6mm Weight: 126g 3G 16GB ZTE Nubia 5S will cost 1999 Yuan ($328) in China, while 32GB LTE version will go for 3456 Yuan ($567). The specs of its smaller sibling, Nubia Z5S mini include: LTE or 3G connectivity Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.7 GHz CPU 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32 GB of storage Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean 13 megapixel camera, f/2.2, no IOS 5 megapixel front camera 7.6 mm thick Weight: 120g The cheapest Nubia Z5S mini, with 3G and 16GB of storage will cost 1499 Yuan ($246), while 32GB LTE version will set you back 2345 Yuan ($348) Source: MyDrivers,...

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ZTE to launch smartwatches and Windows Phone handsets in 2014
Nov18

ZTE to launch smartwatches and Windows Phone handsets in 2014

It looks like most companies involved in the smartphone business will release a smartwatch eventually. Sony and Samsung are selling smartwatches as we speak. LG has tried its luck in 2009 with the GD910, and will do it again next year. Apple, Google, Microsoft and HTC are likely to introduce smartwatches in 2014, too. Now, China’s ZTE has also announced that it plans to launch not one, but several smartwatches. According to Financial Times, ZTE’s executive vice-president He Shiyou declared that “ZTE wearable smart watches will be launched as early as the first quarter.” Technical details haven’t been unveiled, but the devices will certainly run Android (most probably 4.4 KitKat). He Shiyou also said that the company “wanted to make the jump out of the second tier of smartphone makers into the top three manufacturers” – and launching smartwatches may help. Moreover, the ZTE executive mentioned that they plan to work on new Windows Phone handsets after the Microsoft – Nokia acquisition is completed (in Q1 2014). “Initially we were hesitant [but] after clarification from Microsoft about industry support we are willing to commit to Windows platform again”, said Mr. He. ZTE’s first (and only) Windows Phone handsets are the ZTE Tania and ZTE Orbit, both launched in 2012 and running Windows Phone 7.5. Before announcing any smartwatch or new WP devices, ZTE should unveil the Android-powered Nubia Z5S smartphone tomorrow. The Z5S is a high-end successor to the Nubia Z5 introduced almost a year ago, and should feature a 5 inch Full HD display and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800...

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ZTE Nubia Z5S to be announced on November 19
Nov12

ZTE Nubia Z5S to be announced on November 19

A few days ago we showed you the first ever live images depicting the upcoming ZTE Nubia Z5S, the successor to the Nubia Z5 launched in December 2012. And now we have something else for you regarding this device. It turns out it’s going to be unveiled officially on November 19, which is exactly one week from today. Chinese media outlets have started receiving invitations to a ZTE event on that day, which will be held in Beijing. This is hardly surprising since the Nubia brand has been confined to China so far. The original Z5 is almost one year old, and in the smartphone world that’s a lot. So it’s clearly time for a refresh of the flagship Nubia offering. The Z5S has been rumored to come with a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP (or more) front camera, 2 GB of RAM, and support for CDMA, WCDMA (HSPA), TD-SCDMA, as well as both FDD and TDD LTE. That means it can be offered by, or used on all three Chinese carriers. There’s no word on whether ZTE may use the Z5S to finally take the Nubia brand outside of China, so don’t get your hopes up on that front. Via...

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ZTE Nubia Z5S with Snapdragon 800 CPU seen in first leaked live images
Nov07

ZTE Nubia Z5S with Snapdragon 800 CPU seen in first leaked live images

ZTE has a successor in the works for the Nubia Z5 that it launched in December of last year. And with almost twelve months having passed since then, this is anything but a surprise. In the meantime, ZTE has launched the Z5 Mini, but this is the first time we hear about the upcoming Nubia Z5S. As the successor to the Nubia Z5, this has to push the envelope in terms of hardware once again. And so it will. The Z5S reportedly comes with a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor (in its newest iteration, with the model number MSM8974AB), support for both TDD and FDD LTE, and it may get a 13 MP snapper as well. What you see above are the first leaked live images showing the ZTE Nubia Z5. It clearly keeps the design language introduced by its predecessor, yet comes with a few neat additions such as an infrared blaster port and a camera shutter key. The Nubia Z5S should become official before the end of the year, and will probably be in stores in China before the Chinese New Year, so ZTE can take advantage of the sales frenzy that always occurs during that time. Via MyDrivers and...

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ZTE intros Blade Q Mini, Blade Q and Blade Q Maxi Android smartphones
Oct30

ZTE intros Blade Q Mini, Blade Q and Blade Q Maxi Android smartphones

China’s ZTE has officially announced three new, affordable smartphones aimed at European markets, all part of the same series and all running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The handsets are ZTE Blade Q Mini, ZTE Blade Q, and ZTE Blade Q Maxi. As its name suggests, the Blade Q Mini is the smallest among the three. It features a 4 inch WVGA display and a 1,500 mAh battery. The Blade Q has a 4.5 inch FWVGA (854 x 480) display and a 1,800 mAh battery, while the Blade Q Maxi comes with a 5 inch FWVGA display and a 2,000 mAh battery. The rest of their features are similar, including: 5MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, HSPA+ connectivity, dual-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of internal memory. Exact pricing and availability details have not been unveiled. “The popularity of the Blade series across Europe proves that there is real consumer appetite for high performance smartphones at a great price. The features available across the Blade handsets redefine ‘value for money’ in the smartphone market, and we’re confident that the ZTE Blade Q range will continue to grow ZTE’s position in Europe,” declared AO Wen, General Manager of ZTE Handsets Europe. ZTE’s approach is similar to Samsung’s strategy – the South Korean company is selling Galaxy smartphones of all sizes, from small 3 inch ones to 6 inch models. Via Press...

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ZTE Nubia 5 and Grand S officially launching in the US
Oct03

ZTE Nubia 5 and Grand S officially launching in the US

ZTE has announced the upcoming release of its Nubia 5 and Grand S Android smartphones in the US. Both will be available to pre-order unlocked, via Amazon and other retailers, starting October 5. Coming as a slightly improved version of the Nubia Z5 (already launched in Europe and Asia), the ZTE Nubia 5 runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and features: a 5 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, 13MP rear camera with “Konica-Minolta lens and intelligent stabilization”, 2MP front-facing camera, quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support, and a 2,300 mAH battery. ZTE will sell the Nubia 5 for of $449.99. Like the Nubia Z5, the ZTE Grand S is also already available in other parts of the world. Its features include Android 4.1.2, a 5 inch Full HD display, quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, 13MP rear camera, and a 1,780 mAh battery. The Grand S is very thin: only 0.27 inches (6.85 mm). It will be cheaper than the Nubia 5, costing $399.99. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing the Grand S to the U.S. since we announced the device at CES. Our goal is to launch more products like this and the Nubia 5 in the future,” said Lixin Cheng, Chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. Via Press release, Press...

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ZTE exec compares China’s mobile sector to photovoltaic industry. Says it’s headed for a crash in 3 years
Sep26

ZTE exec compares China’s mobile sector to photovoltaic industry. Says it’s headed for a crash in 3 years

Domestic mobile device industry in China is booming. 4 out of ten top smartphone makers in the world – Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad/Yulong- come from China. New upstarts like Xiaomi and Oppo are flexing their muscles, showing global ambitions with innovative products and interesting business models. And localy focused companies like Meizu, TCL, THL, Neo, etc; are coming up with ever more interesting stuff, at ever more interesting prices. Give it a few years, and all this innovation should explode on a global scale, ushering in an era of Chinese dominance in mobile. Or not. ZTE’s Executive Vice President He Shiyou is worried that China’s mobile boom may not end well. And that the industry is headed for a crash within three years. He thinks that heavily promoted by carriers, China’s domestic phone industry has gotten too large. It now faces huge inventory and production overcapacity problems, which may become fatal soon. He Shiyou compared  domestic smartphone OEMs to once booming photovoltaic sector. With strong government support, China’s solar panel industry grew very fast for several years, and became a serious global player. Only to crash and burn after reaching unsustainable levels. ZTE EVP sees similar scenario, with a lot of contraction and company bankruptcies, playing out in mobile. To preempt future problems, ZTE is no longer focusing on market share growth in China.  It is getting out of the low end smartphones at home, and is now moving up-market with branded higher-end products...

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