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ZTE Announces Four New Phones; Wants Us To Know They Can Make Good Phones

November 19, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

ZTE have been a company that a lot of us have thought about but we’ve never really had an overpowering urge to buy one. The problem with it is is that, no matter how good ZTE phones are they always seem to be that phone that’s the really cheap phone that the carrier wants to sell you. Thus diluting ZTE’s already poor brand value and making sure that there’s little you could actually want from a ZTE phone.

The company – that has now become the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world – is looking to remind us that they make good phone’s full-stop and are no longer the company that makes cheap Chinese devices. ZTE recently held a press conference in Russia and they announced a handful of phones – 4 to be exact – that are actually pretty good devices in their own right. Read on to find out what the new phones are all about.

ZTE Grand Era (V985)

The V985 is a very close sibling to the already available Grand Era U895 so, we’re not sure what ZTE are doing with this new device but, it is a bit different and has all the makings of a flagship device. The biggest thing here is the 4.5″ 1280 x 720 display, giving those who don’t a 4.7″ or above device the option of an HD display without all the size. Let’s take a look at what’s underneath the hood of this bad boy.

  • 4.5″ HD – 1280 x 800 Display
  • 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor
  • 720p capable front-facing camera with 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB storage with microSD card slot – the built in storage is a little disappointing but it’s something done to keep the costs down.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with WiFi b/g/n
  • 1800 mAh battery
  • 133 x 66 x 8.6mm, that’s an insanely thin phone!

Overall this latest from ZTE isn’t going to be trading blows with the latest HTC or Samsung but, it’s almost guaranteed that it won’t cost anywhere near the same which might be a good thing after all, this has got everything to make day-to-day usage more than adequate and with an 8MP camera it’s going to take pretty good pictures.

Grand X LTE T82

The Grand X LTE has been on sale for a while now but the company still felt that there was enough reason to show it off, one more time. There’s only a qHD display and a dual-core CPU but, it has LTE onboard and could become a good phone for a pre-paid carrier packing LTE or even something that Sprint could throw out there.

  • 4.3″ qHD Display – at 960 x 540
  • 1.5 Ghz Dual-Core Processor
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with WiFi b/g/n and WiFi Direct
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB onboard storage with microSD card slot
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera with 8.0MP rear-facing camera
  • 1900 mAh battery
  • 130.9 x 65 x 11.2mm

So, the Grand X LTE isn’t that good an offering but, it does offer LTE and an 8.0MP camera for presumably a lower price than most other devices. Whether or not we’ll see this hit the states is something we’ll have to wait and see but, it’s highly doubtful it’ll make the jump. If it does, it could well hit Cricket.

ZTE V889M

As we get further and further down this last I’m sure that you can tell the offerings from ZTE aren’t getting all that better but, in fact getting a little worse. This is, after all, what ZTE are good at, bringing low-cost devices to a public that are continue to struggle with the high prices set by carriers and the rest of the industry. The V889M then, is a device that will suit the everyman but, might not be the best thing for someone that is looking to upgrade.

  • 4.0″ WVGA TFT, that’s the age old 800 x 480
  • 1.0 Ghz Dual-Core
  • 5.0MP rear-facing camera, no front-facing camera
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of onboard storage with microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with WiFi b/g/n
  • 1650 mAH battery

There’s nothing like good budget phone every now and then but, in the grand scheme of things, budget doesn’t always have to mean cheap. Here though, I think that it does as there’s little to distinguish this from any of the other devices you can get for a cut down price.

ZTE V887

This latest in this in this list is a little strange of a device, from the image above you might be thinking “Oooh, a cheaper Galaxy Note” but no, you’d be wrong, it might come with a 5″ screen but you won’t find anything like the 1080p on the Droid DNA or even the 720p on the Galaxy Note II. No sir, in fact, it’s WVGA, at 5-inches, let’s get this over with shall we…

  • 5.0″ WVGA Display at 800 x 480
  • 1.0 Ghz Dual-Core
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of onboard storage with microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with WiFi b/g/n
  • 2000 mAh

So, erm, there you have it. A 5.0″ sized phone with less than a gig of RAM and a resolution below qHD. We’re not really sure what ZTE are trying to do here but, let’s just say that this isn’t a pretty phone, by any means, there’s little to love here. If anything, this is a device that ZTE would save money by not making. After all, do you know anybody who would buy a device this poor?

ZTE V790

Rounding off this list is something I’m surprised that even ZTE are producing, there’s no telling why ZTE thought that producing a phone as low-end as this in 2012 was a good idea but, if they have someone on staff who told them this then, let’s hope they were fired. There’s so little to say about this phone that I’m just going to let you have at the “specs”:

  • 3.5″ HVGA Display, at 480 x 320
  • 1.0 Ghz single core processor
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3.2 MP Fixed focus rear-facing camera
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 1GB of memory

So, while ZTE seemed like they were going to show something really nice off, they appeared to have done the opposite. Of course, the Grand Era is a pretty decent device but, the rest of what they showed off doesn’t seem all that good. As for the V790 well, I’m not sure who’s buying this phone but, I guess it will make an okay, free, first-time smartphone. It’s a shame then, that ZTE couldn’t get there act together as they have a really big opportunity to make some serious movement in the industry. With decent phones and very attractive prices they could really ruffle some feathers. If there were going to do that though, they need to be bringing out more of the Grand Eras and stop with the V790s altogether.