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printed December 16, 2017
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CTIA 2008

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Velocity Samsung Access ZTE Packet Video  

ZTE recently launched its first handset for the US market: the C88. We reviewed it recently, and our impression was mostly favorable. We did have a beef with the text input system. We grilled them about it when we met with them, and they admitted it works the way it does because they're trying to work around certain patents. They could license a system like T9 or eZiText, but of course that would add to the cost, so it's basically a cost issue.

ZTE was showing off their next two phones at CTIA: the C78 and C79. Both are tri-band CDMA models, meaning they support the new AWS band that MetroPCS and others have recently started using. The model numbers are a bit misleading: the C79 is actually a step up from the C88.

C79  

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The C79 is the more feature-rich of the two, with a few key spec upgrades over the C88. Although it seems markedly higher-end, ZTE talks about it as a replacement for the C88.

Key features of the C79 include a 1.3 megapixel camera, music player with external controls, memory card slot, stereo Bluetooth, and a high-quality speakerphone.

C78  

The C78 is a much lower-end model. It's specs are closer to the C88, but in a bar form factor. It has a VGA camera and Bluetooth. There's really not much else to say about it.

Unfortunately, ZTE did not have working models for us to try.

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