You may not know ZTE, but it wants to know you. Like Huawei, ZTE makes the dongles and mobile phones the networks sell as their own, such as the Orange Vegas. If you're skint this summer, ZTE will be flogging some pay as you go budget phones you may like to consider.
ZTE has two Android-powered phones coming this year, which should break the cheapness barrier set by the HTC Tattoo. We got a sneak peek at the one that will be released first, code-named Racer, which we should see in shops as soon as the ash cloud clears.
The Racer is currently running version 1.6 of Android, but ZTE says that it will update the phone to version 2.1 if the demand is there -- and we're sure that it is. It's got a 71mm (2.8-inch) touchscreen that we found fairly responsive, despite its resistive nature, although its QVGA resolution means the display isn't very sharp. It has Wi-Fi on-board, as well as HSPA for fast downloads over 3G, and, if it's anywhere as cheap as the Vegas, we think it's one to watch.
ZTE's next Android phone, code-named Blade, will kick things up a notch, with a bigger screen and faster processor.
The Racer will be rechristened by whichever operator ends up bringing the phone to Blighty. We humbly suggest renaming it the 'Bacon'. After all, everything's better with a bit of bacon on it. Let us know in the comments section below if you agree, or if you've got a better idea.
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The Racer -- or, as we're calling it, the Bacon -- has a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back, and an FM radio.
The ZTE iChat is a BlackBerry-style feature phone -- there's no Android here. It's got a 1.3-megapixel camera and is targeted at avid texters on a budget.
The ZTE Pico will come to Orange any moment soon. It'll have another name, but we don't know what it will be yet. It's basically the Vegas 2, with similarly tiny dimensions and a resistive touchscreen.