updated 12:55 pm EDT, Wed March 23, 2011
ZTE Style S coming to US carrier
ZTE may have had a surprise in store with the quiet appearance of a new flagship phone at CTIA along with a handful of LTE devices. The Style S appears to be an upscale, more polished version of the Skate and, in our hands, had a very solid build with a soft-finish back and chrome trim. It would run Android 2.3 on a Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, though at what speed the company couldn't say, and would drive a 4.3-inch, 480x800 touchscreen.
The device on show was a mockup rather than a working prototype, but we were told it would use ZTE's Z-Touch custom interface, somewhat like HTC's Sense. A back five-megapixel camera and a VGA front camera were familiar.
Regardless of exact details, we were told it would ship to the US in about two months, or as soon as May. The company wouldn't name the carrier, but as an HSPA 3G phone, the Style S could come to T-Mobile given its past use of ZTE. Any carrier would be part of an international, simultaneous launch, ZTE said.
Also on show was an LTE tablet mockup. The V11-LTE was behind glass, but the company said it would use a 1.2GHz processor of an unknown make, support 14.4Mbps 3G over HSPA along with the 4G, and carry a 10-inch, 1280x800 screen. Android 3.0 would run on top and would have 4GB to 32GB of storage along with both a five-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera for photography. The slate has a 6,800mAh battery but would be relatively thirsty at just 5.5 hours of non-stop video playback versus 10 for an iPad 2.
We didn't glean how close the LTE tablet was to production or who would opt for it, but a launch in ZTE's native China is likely. The same display had an LTE USB modem with a mirror-like surface and support for both 100Mbps at 4G speeds and a fallback to HSPA. Less still is known about it, but if it ships in the US, it would be more likely to reach AT&T given T-Mobile's lack of a path to LTE 4G before the AT&T buyout.