ZTE launches quad-core smartphone and tablet

ZTE's Era phone has a quad-core processor but no high-definition screen

ZTE has put quad-core processors in a smartphone, the Era, and a tablet, the PF100, which were among a plethora of new Android-based smartphones and tablets it launched at Mobile World Congress on Monday.

The ZTE Era runs Android 4.0 and has an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which is also used in the HTC One X and the LG Optimus 4X HD. However, the version used on the ZTE phone runs at 1.3GHz as opposed to 1.5GHz in the other two models.

The Era is 7.8 millimeters thick, and has a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 960 by 540 pixels, compared to the 4.7-inch high-definition screens used by HTC and LG phones.

Other hardware specifications on the Era include 8GB of memory, which can be expanded using a MicroSD card, and an 8-megapixel camera.

This ought to make the ZTE Era cheaper than the competing products, but ZTE isn't ready to talk about price: would-be buyers will have to wait until the second half of 2012 when the product will ship in Europe and China to see if the lower spec is matched by a lower price.

The company wants to compete in the market for high-end tablets and smartphones, and is trying to grab market share from the likes of Samsung Electronics and HTC. It isn't the only Chinese company with that goal: Huawei Technologies has similar plans.

For users that are looking for a tablet powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor, ZTE will be shipping the PF100. In this product the processor runs at 1.5GHz. The tablet has a 10-inch screen with a resolution that was only specified as WXGA. That designation can cover resolutions from 1280 by 720 pixels up to 1366 by 768 or 1280 by 800.

The tablet also has 16GB of memory and two cameras; a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.

The company didn't announce pricing or a ship date for the tablet.

Just like an announcement on Sunday from Huawei, more competitive high-end products from ZTE should worry the more established vendors, according to market research company CCS Insight.

ZTE also announced a plethora of other Android-based products, including the Mimosa X and the Kis, which both run Android 4.0. The Kis also has a 4.5-inch high-definition screen and supports HSPA+, according to ZTE.

ZTE is still fairly unknown among consumers, but the company was the world's fourth-largest phone vendor by units sold during the fourth quarter, according to Gartner.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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