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ZTE Skate smart phone offers an affordable taste of Gingerbread

ZTE's latest smart phone is the Skate, a handset running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with a slimline design and 4.3-inch screen. The phone also includes a 5-megapixel camera.

ZTE Skate, the Chinese mobile maker's latest smart phone, has rolled into Mobile World Congress. It's the follow-up to the ZTE Blade -- better known in the UK as the Orange San Francisco -- and continues the company's trend for making affordable Android devices that are more powerful than their price tags imply.

ZTE claims the device is inspired by the skateboard, although for many Westerners, the name Skate is more likely to bring to mind knee-busting wheeled shoes, possibly accompanied by disco music.

The Skate is certainly slimline and light, with a weight of 120g. It still manages to squeeze in a 4.3-inch touchscreen, an 800MHz processor and the Adreno 200 graphics processing unit, so there's a decent amount of grunt for a handset of this type.

There's also a 5-megapixel camera, A-GPS, and a built-in compass and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with HSDPA/UMTS data when you're out and about.

ZTE says the Skate will go on sale from May this year around the world, although there are no specific details yet of a UK release for the smart phone. Like the hugely popular San Francisco, it might well be rebranded for a network here.

Also at Mobile World Congress, ZTE is showing off an Amigo Android handset, designed for The Kids, as well as the Blade device that we saw last year.

We were surprised to learn recently that ZTE is selling a shedload more phones than you might think. 60 million last year, making it one of the top five handset makers in the world. Its devices aren't going up against the beefiest Android phones, but that's likely why they're flying off the shelves in such numbers.