ZTE Skate comes to UK, Orange Monte Carlo unlocked

The ZTE Skate (aka the Orange Monte Carlo) is on sale in the UK, so you can get your fill of budget Android goodness on any network.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Good news for lovers of budget Android handsets: the ZTE Skate is now on sale in the UK. It was previously available under the guise of the Orange Monte Carlo, but late last night ZTE announced it's now available on UK shores under the company's name.

So that means you can get your hands on one of the best budget smartphones of the year regardless which network you're on, without having to unlock it. Bravo, ZTE.

The Skate is one of the best budget Android handsets around, scoring three-and-a-half stars in our review last week. It boasts a large 4.3-inch screen (which unfortunately saps the battery), and Android 2.3 Gingerbread software, which is pretty great considering it costs just £150 on pay as you go, or between £10 and £15 a month on contract. Retailer KingofGadgets.co.uk says it has stock now, but Clove.co.uk is saying it won't have it until Tuesday, so you may have to wait.

Clove.co.uk lists it as £220, while KingofGadgets.co.uk has it as £216, both SIM-free.

The Skate launched in Brazil on 12 September, then Spain on 16 September. It'll also be launching this year in France, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and the United States.

Supposedly inspired by a skateboard design, the handset is just 11.35mm thin, which is a couple of milimetres thicker than the iPhone 4. Not bad considering it's a fraction of the price.

The launch of the Skate shows ZTE is keen on establishing more of a presence in the UK. Currently the fifth largest phone maker in the world, it's part of a new wave of Chinese companies keen to follow in the footsteps of HTC and come out of the shadows to become household names. (HTC started producing Windows smartphones before it branded its products with the company name.)

Will you be pulling tricks on a ZTE Skate? Zip on over to our Facebook page and let us know.