At Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, ZTE announced a few new smartphones, but the one that everyone is talking is the phone that doesn’t even have a proper name and that is the “Gigabit Phone”. This is more or less a prototype smartphone that ZTE is showing off at their booth this week in Barcelona, and its main purpose is to show that it is capable of handling gigabit speeds, something that is becoming a bigger deal in 2017 and likely 2018. With wireless carriers like Sprint actually showing off gigabit LTE at MWC this week.
The ZTE Gigabit Phone is actually running on the Snapdragon 835, making it one of the first phones with the new processor inside (Sony’s new flagships have it too, but no word on availability yet as the Galaxy S8 is supposedly getting it first). And because it has the Snapdragon 835 inside, there is also the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem included, which uses a few things like carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO antenna technology as well as 256-QAM modulation to hit those Gigabit speeds. Now the modem is only part of this phone, the other part is the Pre5G Giga+ MBB solution that ZTE has built and is using is here on the Gigabit Phone. With all of this hardware, it means that users should see speeds about three times as fast on their current network.
ZTE hasn’t actually released any other specs on this smartphone, they are focusing solely on the fact that it is a Gigabit smartphone, and that’s a bit it. There’s no word on if this phone will be commercially available or not, but at this point it seems like this might be a prototype for a future smartphone and where there aren’t any active Gigabit LTE networks in the world right now (there are some that are fairly close though) there’s really no rush for a phone like this just yet, so ZTE can take their sweet time. As you can see in the images below, the Gigabit phone is in a black case, hiding basically all of the design elements of the phone, hinting at the fact that ZTE likely only focused on the hardware needed for Gigabit speeds.