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ZTE to take on the Nexus 4 with high-end smartphone launch at CES 2013

Chinese mobile device specialist ZTE has confirmed plans to launch a high-end smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, part of the company's plan to become a household name.

Currently, ZTE is one of the lesser-known smartphone brands: the company produces original designs to be sold under mobile network branding and a selection of budget-friendly handsets which have failed to gain much traction outside its native China. The company has previously declared its intention to sell more devices under its own branding, in an effort to replicate the success of rival HTC - another company which began life selling phones under others' brands before releasing its own-brand devices and becoming a well-known name in its own right.

While details of the device have not yet been confirmed, ZTE's global chief design director Hagen Fendler described the impending handset as "kind of a starting point for a new design era for ZTE" during an interview with Computerworld ahead of the annual CES in Las Vegas.

Thus far, ZTE hasn't released any specifications for the device. With the company looking to concentrate on the higher end of the market, however, it's easy to guess its plans: if the handset isn't at least as powerful as the popular Google Nexus 4 it will be a tough sell. As a result, buyers can expect to see a 4.7in or larger display offering a resolution of 720p or higher, a quad-core ARM-based processor, 2GB of memory and at least 32GB of storage. A nice addition to the feature set would be for ZTE to include a micro-SD card slot for expanding the on-board storage, something many manufacturers have begun to remove from their top-end devices. That the device will be running Google's Android mobile platform is, at this point, almost certain given ZTE's history in the market.

Full specifications, pricing and availability for the device are expected to follow the official unveiling at CES 2013 in Las Vegas next month.

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