ZTE undercuts market with Nubia 5 and Grand S smartphones

Smartphone manufacturer ZTE is a company on the rise in the U.S., and it has two new, high-end handsets on the way, both ready for pre-order beginning this Saturday, October 5. The Android-driven phones, known as the ZTE Grand S and ZTE Nubia 5, will both be available as unlocked handsets.

The Nubia 5 will cost $449.99. The centerpiece of this handset is its 13 megapixel camera, which is further enhanced by a high-end, scratch-resistant Konica-Minolta sapphire lens and a Sony CMOS sensor. Shutterbugs will have access to a full range of advanced photography settings, including a high-speed burst mode, control over focus and lighting options, and a four-direction panoramic shooting mode. More casual photo fans will find features like filters and smile detection modes included as well. A second 2 megapixel lens is also equipped on the phone as a front-facing camera.

The Grand S, originally showed off at CES last January, will be distinguished as the thinnest smart phone available in the country to date, just 0.27 inches thick. This handset will also be slightly taller than the Nubia 5 (5.59 inches vs. 5.43 inches), and will be offered at a price of $399.99. The Grand S also has a 13 megapixel camera and front-facing 2 megapixel secondary lens, but it lacks the Konica-Minolta lens.

Both handsets are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 1.5GHz quad-core CPUs, have 16GB of ROM and 2GB of RAM, and run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Aside from the minor size differences and camera lens features, the phones also feature different battery capacities. The Nubia 5 has a 2300mAh battery, while the Grand S offers a 1780mAh battery (which helps to make possible its amazing slimness).

Are you interested in a $400-plus phone? Those prices may look high if you’re used to subsidized, contract-locked phones, but they’re actually surprisingly cheap. In fact, typical unlocked handsets with specs and features in line with ZTE’s latest phones can run $600 or more. ZTE is pursuing a strategy of selling both unlocked and subsidized phones, and its focus on selling handsets without overlays, skins, and lots of added Android apps has been greeted with praise by critics and consumers. While the company is still a newcomer on our shores, it already has the fourth largest market share in the country, with a 4.4 percent chunk of the market.

Both of the new phones are slated to ship on October 16.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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