ZTE have announced the release of the ZTE Blade 3, a budget handset priced at £69.99 with a spec sheet to bother rival handsets twice the price.
Available for just £69.99 with a £10 PAYG top-up (or free on £13 a month contracts to Virgin Media customers on the Virgin Mobile network), it's a 120.5mm x 63.5mm x 10.85mm Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich handset - a little aged on the OS front, but cheap as chips.
The deal is sweetened when you look more closely at the specs: there's a 4-inch 800 x 480 TFT display, 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 5MP rear camera, 4GB of internal storage (2.5GB is available to users, with potential for expansion by 32GB with a microSD card) and a 1,600mAh battery. Sure, they aren't jaw-dropping features, but considering you'll pay around £100 more for handsets like the HTC Desire C or Sony Xperia Miro with similar specs, this is quite the budget bargain.
"We paid close attention to user feedback when designing the Blade III," said Kalam Meah, Account Director, ZTE UK.
"It is the first smartphone in its price range with a 4-inch touch screen and Android 4.0 and is very well suited for the UK market. We believe that the ZTE Blade III will bring a quality mobile experience to a larger UK audience."
ZTE have made their name with budget handsets like the Blade 3, but this year they are looking to push more assertively into the top end of the market. At CES 2013 they launched the ZTE Grand S, a 5-inch "phablet" with a full HD display, 13MP camera and 4G connectivity.