ZTE Skate Acqua pictures and hands-on

Chinese company ZTE unveiled around 52 new handsets* over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, the first steps in fulfilling its ambitions for global domination.

Devices such as the flagship Tegra 3 boasting ZTE Era and its quad-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablets obviously stole the headlines, but we couldn't help but be charmed by a lower end handset that we saw flaunting its wares at the company's MWC booth – the ZTE Skate Acqua.

The Acqua is a slightly higher spec device than the Skate Kis, which was also unleashed at the show, with a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A chip and 512MB of RAM running the show.

Running Android 2.3.6 at the moment, we're assured that Ice Cream Sandwich will be hitting the handset before launch. Performance seemed pretty slick and the display, while not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination, looked pretty crisp; it's a 4-inch, WVGA (800x480), 65K, TFT, capacitive one.

Measuring 120 x 64 x 10.9mm and weighing 130g, the Acqua isn't going to worry the skinny smartphone club but it's hardly a chubster either. The build quality is pretty decent (it's actually much nicer than some of the higher-end ZTE devices) and we particularly liked the textured, almost retro, back panel.

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back with auto-focus and a flash and you'll be able to store plenty of pictures with the 4GB of built-in storage. There are Dolby sound skills aplenty too, although we were unable to test these properly because of the booming noise of the Barcelona Fira.

ZTE hasn't been exactly forthcoming with release details of its MWC launch devices and the ZTE Skate Acqua is no exception. We were simply told, “later 2012” when we asked, although we understand it will hit the UK. When it does, we'd expect to see it sitting on the PAYG tables at a sub-£150 price tag. We'll keep you posted with official info as and when it arrives.

*Maybe a slight exaggeration



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