The ZTE N910

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Prior to Mobile World Congress 2012, ZTE had announced two LTE phones running Ice Cream Sandwich, and we got a chance to play with at least one working unit in Barcelona. A rep at the ZTE booth told me that both of these phones are due to drop in North America, but considering the sizable language barrier, they may have been mistaken. 

The specs on both are pretty good, even if the hardware is a little on the thick side. The PF200 is the higher-powered of the two, rocking a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, and a 4.3-inch qHD display. Unfortunately, the demo unit wasn't working at the show. If the ZTE rep was right, and this thing is coming to North America, AT&T is a safe bet because it's got support for UMTS bands.

The N910 followed a lot of the same design queues, but had slightly dumbed-down specs. It's also running Ice Cream Sandwich, only on a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 512 MB of RAM on a WVGA touchscreen. The camera is down to 5 megapixels, but that's still respectable. Luckily, this one was running at Mobile World Congress, and scored some 70+ frames per second in the Neocore benchmark, as you can see above. Nice, but that's got to be a glitch, considering display refresh rates are capped at 60. 

While I'm not particularly thrilled with how chunky these phones felt, they ran reasonably well. ZTE has an uphill battle when it comes to branding, though; even though they're trying to prove to North America that they can make high-end hardware just like anyone else, I think they'll have to make some sacrifices in pricing to get a foothold in the U.S.