Hands-On: ZTE Amigo, Skate and Blade
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Feb 14, 2011, 5:31 AM by Eric M. Zeman
ZTE offered up three new Android phones at MWC today. While it appears that none of them is headed to the U.S. (yet), Phone Scoop took them for a spin anyway.
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The Amigo is a fun little Android device that is aimed at the texting crowd. It is a sideways slider, and therefore somewhat bulky. The slider mechanism felt pretty good, though, and it had decent build quality. The plastics were of good quality and didn't come off feeling cheap.
The screen is on the small side (>3.5 inches), but it is very bright and sharp. It looks good. The Amigo appears to be running Android 2.2 Froyo, and the software ran smoothly and without any bugginess.
There are a handful of Android control keys on the front of the phone, but the slider offers a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging. The keys are a bit on the flat side, but they offered good travel and feedback for typing.
It's a cute Android device that will surely appeal to the market segment ZTE is aiming for.
The Skate is the new flagship device from ZTE. It has a massive 4.3-inch display and runs Androide 2.3 Gingerbread.
As is typical of devices with such large displays, the Skate is a huge slab of a phone. Despite the large rectangular footprint, the Skate is fairly thin (though not as thin as the Samsung Galaxy S II). The feel of the Skate is a bit on the cheap side, however, and it felt "creaky" to me. ZTE's representatives were unable to confirm if the handsets on hand were final build or not. I am hoping for the latter. The plastics of this device felt cheap and it was loosely cobbled together.
The large display looked really good. It offers the standard 800 x 480 resolution that is common to displays of this size. It was sharp and colorful, but not as bright as the Amigo's smaller display.
The controls are well positioned along the outer edge of the Skate, but they didn't offer the best feedback.
The Blade is more of a mid-range handset from ZTE. It has a 3.5-inch display, and is a slab-style phone, though it is a bit thicker than its larger brother (the Skate).
The plastics of this phone felt incredibly cheap and the build quality was not impressive. Thanks to the smaller display, it is an easier phone to hold in your hand, and it rests comfortably in your palm.
The Blade's screen looked good, but managed to not impress as much as the smaller Amigo's screen did. It was brighter than the Amigo's display, but clarity and colors weren't as good.
T-Mobile's REVVL 6 Pro 5G is a large-screen 5G phone with decent specs and a decent feature set. And it's just $220.
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