ZTE Era quad-core smartphone unleashed at MWC

We already knew about a trio of the eight handsets that ZTE had promised to unleash at Mobile World Congress and, at the company's press conference on Monday morning, the covers were taken off the Chinese company's flagship device - the ZTE Era.

The ZTE Era is a packing a quad-core 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset along with the Icera I450 modem that we've already seen partnered with ZTE before with the ZTE Mimosa X.

This modem offers excellent network performance, using a software environment to handle many of the network tasks that other modems run in hardware. This is said to make the Icera more affordable, more dynamic and more power efficient.

Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the ZTE Era is just 7.8mm thick and has a lovely looking 4.3-inch, 960 x 540, display.

On board is 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD card, and we're told that 1080p video is available courtesy of the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. NFC capabilities are also included through ZTE's Touch and Share app.

On top of the ICS action there is a brand new UI from the company, called Mifavor. Described as a "special user experience" by its makers, it allows for the usual skinned Android tricks and features such as adding widgets, editing the homescreen and contacts integration. There's also a decent looking music hub, extra camera skills and a nice file manager system.

Stay tuned to Pocket-lint for more ZTE coverage later on, when we'll be getting hands-on with the best of its eight smartphone launch bunch.

The ZTE Era is due to be launched in Europe and China in the "second half" of 2012.