MWC 2012: ZTE Era quad-core handset put its stamp on the smartphone map

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You’re not alone if you’re not all that familiar with mobile manufacturers ZTE. Although a popular brand in East Asia, the Chinese company have yet to really make waves in Europe and the States. ZTE are taking Mobile World Congress 2012 to showcase their latest major push into these elusive territories, using the show to reveal eight new handsets.

Top of the pile is the ZTE Era. It’s packing a monstrous quad-core 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, backed by a Icera I450 modem, last seen in the company’s ZTE Mimosa X phone. The inclusion of the modem is significant as it pushes network tasks from a hardware to a software environment, making the Era more power efficient and affordable.

As well as the impressive modem/processor duo, the handset runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, with the phone itself just 7.8mm thick. A 4.3 inch, 960 x 540 display sits on the front.

The ZTE Era also has an 8MP rear camera, capable of shooting 1080p video and NFC capabilities through the ZTE Touch and Share app, letting two Era devices share information just by putting them into close proximity with one another.

The company have also re-skinned ICS to their liking, with a new UI called Mifavor. A “special user experience”, it has smart integration of contacts, a file manager, a music hub and increased customisation options beyond what is already available through Ice Cream Sandwich.

Looking very promising, the ZTE Era will be out in Europe and China in the second half of the year.

Gerald Lynch