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MWC 2016: Why ZTE Is Ready To Go Global

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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ZTE says its new Blade smartphones and a smart projector could be just what it needs to expand beyond its native china

ZTE is a big deal in China, where it and other local manufacturers like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi, command strong market shares. But the company is a relative unknown outside its homeland, where established brands like Samsung, LG and others dominate.

But the company told TechWeekEurope that its latest devices, launched at Mobile World Congress (MWC) last week, could change all that and fuel its worldwide expansion.

Premium

BladeV7 ZTEZTE showed off the Blade V7 and V7 Lite in Barcelona as the company looks to go after the mass market with what it calls “affordable premium” products.

Set to launch across Europe later this year, both devices pack in some impressive hardware into smartphones that are set to cost around £230.

The Blade V7 (pictured left) is the more powerful of the two, featuring a 5.2 inch Full HD curved display, a 2500mAh battery, 13MP rear camera with dual flash, 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage and powered by a 1.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek CPU and Android M.

The Blade V7 Lite is slightly less powerful than its bigger brother, featuring a 5 inch screen and quad-core processor, but manages to stand out thanks to a fingerprint reader on the rear of the device, something that the Blade V7 does not have.

The devices make up a key part of ZTE’s strategy to keep pushing itself across what has become a very crowded market, primarily by sticking to what it does best.

Blade V7 Lite ZTE“The smartphone is the most important device out of all your devices,” Waiman Lam, ZTE’s vice president of global mobile and technology, told TechWeekEurope. “It can do many things, not just making phone calls now – there are things across all boundaries that people look for, and at the core we want our customers to have a great experience.

“We just want to focus on what we are doing right – for us, these phones are very targeted devices for the mass-market premium – you’re not paying an arm and leg for it, but you get a good experience, and for most consumers, that’s enough.

“If you look at ZTE from the mobile devices perspective, we’re competing at the very highest level, and we want to be able to provide at every level, the middle and lower tiers too.”

Entertaining

Away from phones, ZTE also has something a little different to set itself apart from the other device manufacturers on the scene.

Spro Plus ZTEComing in somewhere between a tablet and a projector, the Spro Plus (pictured right) is the latest in ZTE’s range, which first launched back in 2014 with the original Spro.

Featuring a rich 8.4 inch AMOLED display with 2K resolution, the ‘smart projector’, as Lam calls it, is able to offer a mix of work and personal functions in an attempt to create an entirely new brand category.

“This is not just for business, this also has entertainment value,” Lam said

Featuring new laser technology that boosts brightness up to 500 lumens, the Spro Plus can broadcast films and video onto any flat surface and has the potential to be used for high definition videconferencing.

It also sports HMDI, USB, Wireless HDMI, and Bluetooth connectivity, and has a 12,100mAh battery that can support up to 6 hours of streaming content or live video.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said.

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