MWC 2011: Various brands overview
The one thing we hate most is happening all too often at the MWC - staff at the booths are short of press kits and can't provide any official information. It may even turn out they know less than the visitors.
That's the kind of experience we had at the ZTE and Huawei booths. Both manufacturers had all the latest gadgets lined up but there was little in the way of official specs. At least the girls over at Huawei were kind and helpful in the shooting.
Let's start with the ZTE.
The Skate is currently ZTE's top smartphone running on the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread and boasting a 4.3-inch capacitive WVGA touchscreen. The device uses an 800MHz processor and the previous generation Adreno 200 graphics. There is also a 5 megapixel snapper with LED flash and a complete connectivity set.
The ZTE Skate uses matte black plastic on the battery cover which is quite fingerprint resistant. The overall build seemed very good.
There's no proprietary interface plug-in and the system is quite fast and responsive. The Skate made a good first impression, though we couldn't help but wonder what if ZTE used a newer version of the Snapdragon chipset - something with Adreno 205 or so.
The ZTE Amigo is a compact mid-range messenger running on Android v2.2 Froyo. The QWERTY keyboard bears an uncanny resemblance to the Palm Pre only quite bigger of course. The side-sliding form factor allows it. It's not the best of keyboards we've seen, but will do the job. At least the slider runs firm and solid.
The Amigo uses a rather average 3.2-inch capacitive display of HVGA resolution. The viewing angles and contrast could have definitely been better.
There is nothing much to say about the UI - a stock version of Android Froyo.
The Libra is the keyboard-less version of the Amigo, but uses a 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive display instead. The rest of the known specs are pretty much the same: a 3 megapixel camera, the usual connectivity package and stock Android Froyo.
The ZTE U900 is a China Mobile smartphone powered by OPhone - a custom Android Eclair build for China Mobile. We won't get into details, here are some live photos.
The ZTE V9+ tablet should be a direct competitor of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It looks and feels like the Galaxy and is not far off spec-wise either.
The V9+ runs on Android v2.2. Froyo and boasts a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera. V9+ has telephony enabled.
We wanted to try the tablet but it obviously was an early sample that didn't behave too well. The one thing we can tell is it runs stock Android too.