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ZTE Skate first impressions

Android 2.3 smartphone with a decent screen but sub-par performance
Fri Mar 18 2011, 15:18
ZTE Skate

OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS of ZTE's latest smartphone, Skate, are somewhat mixed.

The INQUIRER got its hands on the Chinese phone maker's handset at a briefing today and we think the phone is nice looking. It has a 4.3-inch screen and its 480x800 resolution is bright and clear with great viewing angles.

Unfortunately, its overall performance leaves something to be desired.


The 800MHz processor just didn't cope very well with running Android 2.3 Gingerbread on the phone. The screen is unresponsive to swipe gestures and there is significant lag when moving between home screens and loading content.

At 126x67x10.8mm the phone is only a few millimetres different in size from the HTC Desire HD, and it's 44g lighter at 120g.

The phone is slightly large to hold in the hand and this proves awkward when reaching for the buttons at the bottom of the phone. The three physical buttons below the touchscreen - Home, Menu and Back - are clunky and quite loose, rattling around slightly inside the chassis.

There was no SD card present in the phone today so The INQUIRER was unable to test content such as photos or videos, but the 5MP rear mounted camera took reasonable shots. If the Skate gets a budget price tag like its predecessor, the San Francisco, then the device could be a popular option as a decent Android device for people with lighter wallets.

The Skate will be available in the UK sometime in the second half of this year, according to ZTE's director of mobile devices, Wu Sa, contrary to its announcement last month at MWC that predicted a launch date in May. µ



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