ZTE is set to make its first foray into the high-end smartphone market with the Skate, and V3.co.uk got its hands on the device at a briefing in London.
The 4.3in handset is large, but at 120g feels very lightweight, especially when compared to the HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 handset, which is the same size and weighs in at 162g.
With a 480 x 800 resolution the display is bright and clear, and has a wide viewing angle. However, not everything in the design department lives up to the high quality of the screen.
The home, menu and back commands below the touch screen take the form of physical buttons and, although these aren't usually a problem, they appear to be very poorly integrated into the chassis.
When pressed the buttons wobble around and look like they won't last long with heavy-handed users. This is a design flaw that ZTE needs to address before launch.
Software comes in the form of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the 800MHz processor doesn't really seem able to run the operating system smoothly. There is a significant lag when swiping between home screens and opening apps in particular.
However, this could be limited to the prototype, and the final product is likely to run more smoothly.
On the plus side there are a couple of useful business apps preloaded including Documents To Go and Filer, as well as the standard Google apps.
Unfortunately, no micro-SD card was present in the phone so we were unable to test the 5-megapixel camera.
Pricing and availability of the ZTE Skate are unavailable at this time. However, increased hardware and software specifications mean that the Skate is likely to cost considerably more than the firm's budget Orange San Francisco device in the UK.
V3.co.uk will post a full review of the Skate soon.
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