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ZTE Era 7.8mm Tegra 3-powered smartphone announced


Flagship device a long way from the company's original budget Orange handsets

ZTE Corporation, a major Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, is extending its push into the consumer handset market with the new ZTE Era.

The Era is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 chipset from Nvidia, and has a 4.3in qHD (960×540) screen, 8GB of internal storage, HD Voice and Dolby sound technologies, and runs the latest Android 4.0 operating system.

The new Tegra 3 chipset from Nvidia actually has five cores – four main cores plus a fifth, low-power core that’s used when the phone is idle, to save power. It also has a new HSPA+ modem that should give customers data speeds of up to 84Mbit/s download and 22Mbit/s upload, giving them the highest 3G speeds possible until the roll-out of 4G LTE networks.

The Era will also come with an 8-megapixel main camera with auto-focus and an LED flash that can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. There will also be a VGA-capable front-facing camera that can be used to make video calls. It will also have all the usual smartphone sensors you’d expect, including an accelerometer, GPS chip and proximity sensor, and an FM radio with RDS support.

2012 looks to be an interesting year for smartphone owners, with two major Chinese manufacturers, ZTE and Huawei, pushing aggressively into the consumer market. Both companies were only known before for making budget handsets for network operators, such as Vodafone and Orange, but the Era and Huawei’s Ascend D, also announced at MWC, prove that the two companies are no longer satisfied with playing behind the scenes.

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