ZTE Blade 3 launched, high performance 4-inch smartphone with Android 4.0 for low price

Remember the Orange San Francisco? At the time (only last year), this was a stunning budged Android smartphone, packing a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and decent specs into a reasonably attractive body for a sub-£100 price. Well, it was also known as the ZTE Blade.

Like Huawei with its Ascend G300, ZTE has a solid reputation for delivering very capable handsets at bargain prices. And now it has a new contender in the ring, the ZTE Blade III (or ZTE Blade 3, depending on which numerical system you prefer).

Oddly enough, it’s first seeing the light of day, or the grubby mitts of consumers, in Nordic countries, with Sweden and the Nokia stronghold of Finland being first on the list.

In a twist of coincidence, the first ZTE Blade and Blade II had 3.5-inch screens back when that was what the iPhone family had, and now with the iPhone 5 sporting a 4-inch beaut, suddenly the latest Blade phone has gained similar screen acreage… Mind you, we’re not ones for conspiracy so will just assume this was a natural, independent evolution.

Either way, the screen won’t quite be knocking your socks of, as it sports the same rather pedestrian 800 x 480 resolution we’ve become used to on budget handsets.

The ZTE Blade 3’s internal specifications are nothing too steamy either, with a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 7227 A processor backed by 512MB of RAM and 4GB for storage. Battery life should be fairly average with a 1600mAh unit.

However, for the £140ish launch price that it will carry in the north, these specs aren’t bad at all. And, unlike many premium smartphones such as the iPhone, HTC One X and others, memory is expandable to 36GB thanks to a microSD card slot.

The 130g, 10mm-thin ZTE Blade III also looks rather smashing in the press shots, with a clean, almost unibody design that’s more than vaguely reminiscent of the One X.

Unfortunately no UK launch date has yet been confirmed, but the new ZTE phone will be arriving in Finland this month, and Sweden during October – so we can only hope we’ll be seeing the Blade 3 before Christmas.

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