In the world of smartphones, we typically shine our spotlight the brightest on the latest high-end flagships. But ZTE just announced an interesting mid-ranged device with some potentially standout features. And it's hopefully going to be interesting for more than just its iPhone-inspired look and Samsung-inspired branding.
The ZTE Blade S6 borrows the "S6" branding from what will almost certainly be the next Samsung Galaxy flagship, likely unveiled at Mobile World Congress in early March. The Blade S6 also appears to borrow some design language from Jony Ive's work on the latest iPhones. That alone isn't reason enough to talk about it, but it does also appear to offer a decent specs-to-price value proposition.
The Blade S6 has a 5-in screen with 720p resolution (mid-ranged by today's standards), and an octa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor under the hood. It sports a 13 MP rear camera and a 5MP front shooter, with a 2,400 mAh battery.
Perhaps most interestingly, it will launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which owners of many more popular handsets are still waiting for. Lollipop will, however, have ZTE's "MiFavor 3.0" skin on top (which happens to look a bit like iOS).
One of ZTE's more interesting tweaks could be its gesture-based controls called "Smart Sense." It lets you do things like launch the phone's flashlight with a flick of the wrist.
None of this is high-end, cutting-edge fare, but the phone is going to launch with an aggressive US$250 full retail price. As we'd expect from a ZTE phone, it looks like it will be skipping the major US carriers, but will be available globally (in select markets) on Amazon, eBay and AliExpress.
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