Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hands-on with ZTE's flagship Android 4.0 smartphones


Chinese manufacturer ZTE made a nice impression in New Orleans this year, bringing with them a host of high-end smartphones and tablets proving that they’re playing in the Android market for keeps. ZTE introduced these devices in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, but this marks the first American appearances of its high-end PF112, seen above.
And high-end is an understatement indeed. The PF112 is packing a gorgeous 4.5-inch display with 1028 x 720 resolution that adds up to a vivid, colorful experience. We’ve got a nice 8MP camera around back, and HSPA+ radios under the hood. ZTE still won’t dish on what processor it’s using, but based on how fluid Ice Cream Sandwich looked on the device, and the specs of its lower-end Era, we’d be willing to bet it’s a quad-core model.
One step down from the PF112 is the Era, that is second-in-command in ZTE’s flagship line. It’s packing a quad-core AP30 in-house processor, as well as the same 8 MP camera and HSPA+ radios as its older sibling. Where ZTE skimped a bit here is the display: at 4.3-inches, the Era is packing qHD resolution with TFT technology. Like the PF112, the Era is running Ice Cream Sandwich with little if any customization from ZTE.
As you’ll see in the photos and videos after the break, ZTE definitely put some thought into its Android offferings. Spec-for-spec, the flagship devices match some of the best phones on the market today. We don’t know if that’s enough for ZTE to make a splash here in the United States, though, especially considering the lack of LTE on its flagship line. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for a release date, and we’ll be sure to pass along the information as it comes in.

Sprint EVO 4G LTE versus the Verizon Droid Incredible 4G LTE



Two of the spring's hottest phones -- side by side, head to head. The Verizon Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the Sprint EVO 4G LTE. Both are the latest entries in their respective iconic lines, and both should serve their carriers well.
But while they're both HTC phones, it's obvious they're from different cuts of the cloth. As we've already written, the EVO 4G LTE is a close cousin to the HTC One X, in specs if not in name. The DInc 4G, meanwhile, is a continuation of the Incredible line. (As I wrote in our forums, it is not Verizon's version of the HTC One S, or the One X, or the One V. It's a completely different phone.)
The EVO is the more svelte of the pair, longer and leaner. The DInc 4G is more stout, with a smaller display and a rubberized, textured removable battery cover. But it still feels pretty good to the touch, thanks to the smaller form factor. 
One common thread is HTC Sense 4, which is similar in look and performance across both devices. Both carry Beats audio, and both will be using the latest Qualcomm Krait S4 chip. Where things start to diverge is in the camera department. The EVO, being a derivative of the HTC One line, has the all-important ImageSense (or ImageChip) system. That means an incredibly quick shutter time (0.7 seconds), as opposed to the DInc 4G, which is still fairly fast, but it's obviously not anything you could call "zero-lag" speed. We'll need to test the DInc 4G camera in the wild, too, before passing final judgment, but we're also not expecting images to turn out quite as nice. 
We've got a bevy of pics after the break. Check 'em out.
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTEDroid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE
Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the EVO 4G LTE