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In a rather quick turn-around since the code has gone live, ZTE has just announced that it is pushing an Android 4.2 update to one of its devices. Interestingly enough, this update is pushing to a mid-range device only being sold in the Chinese market, the N880E. This device has a 4-inch WVGA screen, 1GHz processor and just 512MB of RAM, but ZTE has still given the green light to push the update. The N880E was one of the first devices in the world to ship with Android 4.1 (which was nearly stock as well), so in that regard it's fitting that this was the device chosen to receive the first 4.2 update as well.

This is an astonishingly quick update cycle that ZTE is operating on considering that even Nexus devices just received the update a couple of weeks ago, some of which likely still haven't pulled it down. We really wish more manufacturers out there could operate this quickly when it comes to software updates.


Reader comments

ZTE pushes its first Android 4.2 update to mid-range device


Yes because clearly they can't sneak "spy components" in your shiny iPhone or Samsung phones ... please take your tinfoil hat off, everything is made in China these days anyways. Stop overthinking things.

All that ho-hum America BS is overblown. There is no threat from overseas. The only threats are the ones the federal law enforcement agencies manufacture and busts people on themselves.

On a phone with a 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM?

It's not like we all didn't know that carriers & manufacturers were blowing smoke up our asses when they said our 1-2 year old devices couldn't handle ICS & Jellybean, but this just proves they can if they didn't insist on bloating our updates full of crap we don't really want anyway.

This phone has equal specs as my OG Droid Incredible that got stranded on a shitty build of Gingerbread, but thanks to hard working devs, my DInc is running current software.

Screw you HTC.

Well it just shows how much carrier and OEM customizations factor into this. When they add in all of that, it takes up extra time and space on the phone so the updates can't always happen.

I just remembered that Google themselves left the Nexus One behind & that has a 1GHz processor & 512MB of RAM.

But the point is the same, (for the most part) if manufacturers & carriers left the software alone, our devices would have a lot longer life span.

I can barely fit any apps on my Nexus One with Gingerbread. ICS+ literally wouldn't fit on the phone. Not Google's fault once the phone was already built.

Yea, HTC pulled this crap on all the Desire HD and Inspire 4G owner's too. When my Inspire ran great on AOSP ICS. HTC lost a lot of customers over this. Including me.

I get a little frazzled about these update cycles too, but I've learned to first consider that these OEMs make money and stay alive by selling and supporting new devices. Sure, we'd all be better off if they didn't make so many devices in the first place, but competition is exceedingly fierce in the mobile device industry and expectations are extremely high on all sides. I can totally empathize with not wanting or needing to buy a new device every year or two but the OEMs still need to sell and support new devices.

I've come to the conclusion that, if I can get maybe one or two significant updates (two significant updates being an unlikely best case scenario) with one or two minor updates for bug fixes and the like, then the device being a piece of technology, which we all know evolves at a ridiculous rate, has served me pretty well. Beyond that,I understand that it's time to look to the development community. In fact, the very fact that there is a non-OEM development community for so many of these devices is one of the most beautiful and outstanding things about Android. Its the very reason that I chose Android when I decided to transition to a smartphone to begin with. We have to take the bad with the good.

Do I get irritated that the OEMs say things that aren't true instead of just admitting that they choose to no longer devote time or effort to specific devices because its simply not profitable? Hell yeah, but that's just business. Its annoying, but its the way things work and its really unlikely that it'll change, no matter how much we whine and complain. It might improve if OEM s stop making such a profusion of different models, but consumers push them to it by expecting bigger and better every six months to a year and market competition pushes them to it by adopting and integrating fresher technology at such an alarming rate while vying for consumer dollars. Its cyclical.

One issue that you may not have considered is that drivers are needed for ALL components in these devices(tablets included). Now, if you look at how much official driver support shows up for Linux 3.3, you might understand why many older devices don't get Android updates. Samsung can develop drivers for ITS parts, but not when they use comm chips, or components from other vendors.

Before an official update can be released, drivers for ALL components are needed, and it seems that may have only started to really kick in around five months ago for OLDER parts. Remember when a bunch of older devices suddenly were on a list for ICS updates starting back in August or so? That implies that component makers are FINALLY starting to take Android seriously and are releasing drivers for older components that had previously been abandoned. It still takes work from the actual handset makers to build an Android 4.0 or newer, but at least with the drivers available, it becomes POSSIBLE.

Again, Linux 3.3 is still lacking drivers for many things, so if component makers can't be bothered with THAT, then Android must be pretty high up on the priority list to get drivers that Linux 3.3 does NOT get.

Linux is not Windows, Linux drivers does not break so easily due to kernel updates and even if it do (like some function been change and doing something wrong) they can change it... it's open source, the don't need ask anyone to edit any driver :p Linux kernel still support very old that not drivers did not been touch for long time like drivers for very old ISA sound cards and they still work. So i don't think "old drivers" is a problem, it's mostly due cost of all official industry formal stuff (QA and so on) as OEMs tend to push there own software with linux and replacing viral points of UI.

In fact if driver breaks badly enoth that it does not compile they need to be fixed or else whole kernel won't be pushed, if company won't fix it others will do for them.

Ahhh you might mean binery drivers :) then yes thats a problem in that case, but everything open source should not have that problem

HTC lost a loyal customer in me. They've burned me twice now with their condescending "best user experience" reason for not updating their devices. FU HTC, just FU.

Mmmm what else are they going to advertise with the new 4.2 if they just update there old ones right away. It's a bummer but if you really need it just root and install a ROM onto your device and if you are someone who doesn't like to root but still wants the latest version for there device go buy an iPhone or better yet a Nexus (not from Verizon, still learning this the hard way..) from the Google Play

This just proves that skins need to go. Skins are 99% of the reason devices dont get updates and if manufacturers all went stock it would become a war to make the best looking phone rather than trying to load all the specs into the phones because it has a crappy skin on top.

Thats the thing, not much people care about specs but mostly how it looks and what feature. And keep in mind those phone does not just fighting with iPhone and WM Phones.... they fight each other too, no body will pay money to Samsung for each Sony phone sold for example only Google can gain like that, so they trying to individualise themselfs. You see exact same trand on laptop market where there branding too, but there you can always kick out original system and install your own without much of a problem.

Good luck with the buggy 4.2. Trust me I have a nexus 10 and 4.2 is buggy with random reboots and unusable Bluetooth. Want to go back to 4.1 until they sort 4.2 out.