ZTE portfolio to include 4 Android handsets

China's ZTE is prepping four new smartphones featuring Android. The handset maker is looking to move beyond low-tier phones with a variety of design choices.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
ZTE Smooth Mobile.163.com

Chinese manufacturer ZTE is prepping for the release of no less than four Android smartphones later this year. Teased last month at Mobile World Congress, the details are now starting to spill out. The handsets will be called the Blade, the Racer, the Mercury, and the Smooth. Each appears to speak to a different demographic with various form factors and specs.

First up is the Blade, which comes with a 3.5-inch touch display with an 800x480 resolution, an FM radio, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Android 1.6. The Smooth bears more than a passing resemblance to the Palm Pre and features a 2.8-inch screen. According to ZTE, this entry-level smart phone will have Android 1.6 as well. The Racer is nearly identical to the Smooth save for its slablike design and the Mercury comes in looking like an HTC Hero in specs and physical design.

Previously, ZTE was known more for its low-end and midrange devices in the United States and not so much for smartphones. The handset maker is currently in negotiation with the top four carriers in the United States as they look to expand both its portfolio and its business relationships with wireless providers.