ZTE enters Singapore with three Android devices that are cheap, pale severely in comparison to Xiaomi’s offerings.

ZTE, one of the top global handset manufacturers today announced the launch of three new Android smartphones running – Blade VEC 4G, Blade L2 and KIS 3, which will be available in Singapore for the first time from August 23. The mobile handsets will be distributed exclusively via leading mobile solutions provider, Polaris Ltd, and are extremely cheap.

ZTE Mobile Devices is a division of ZTE Corporation, a global telecommunications equipment and mobile devices company headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and have achieved a sizeable market share locally. Only recently have they begun expanding internationally.

Blade VEC 4G – S$299 (off contract)

Blade VEC 4G

The flagship, ZTE Blade VEC 4G comes in a polished design with a glass fibre backing and black pinstripe design. With a 5-inch 720p IPS Display, 8 MP camera and preloaded with work-smart apps such as Evernote and Dropbox, the handset is a must-have for executives who work on-the-go. It is also the first non-Nexus device to be preloaded with Google Now Launcher (GNL) worldwide, and is also the first non-Nexus systemic terminal voice control device.

Unfortunately, ZTE’s main offering pales severely in comparison to the Xiaomi Mi3, and recently announced Mi4. While the Blade VEC 4G only has a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the Mi3 and Mi4 house the quad-core, flagship level 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 and 2.5 GHz 801, respectively – and the Mi3 is available for just S$339.

Blade L2 – S$169 (off contract)

Blade L2

The Blade L2 is another sharply designed all-rounder gadget that comes with a sleek white finishing. Less than 9mm thick, the spectacularly thin handset boasts a 5-inch 480p TN display, a 5 MP camera and dual-SIM functionality, and is preloaded with popular social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi has got this price range more than well-covered. Their Redmi 1s is also dual-SIM and runs a much more powerful quad-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 (yes, it’s even more powerful than the VEC 4G), compared to the 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6582m in the L2. MediaTek is an extremely poor SoC manufacturer, with their cores only achieving 50% of the power of Qualcomm’s offerings. The Redmi also manages to squeeze in a 720p display spread over 4.7 inches.

KIS 3 – S$99 (off contract)


The KIS 3, an entry-level smartphone, sports a clean design in cobalt blue. A compact mobile phone aimed at for the tech-savvy seniors, the gadget features a large 4-inch screen, 2 MP camera and dual-SIM capabilities, and has an elderly-friendly mode that enlarges font and widget sizes to accommodate the vision of the elderly.

For this price, there aren’t any true competitors in Singapore (and hardly even a market for these devices), so it’s hard to be disappointed with the dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200, unlike their two more expensive options, which (when compared to Xiaomi) are hardly worth it.

What do you think about ZTE’s entry into Singapore, and how might it sway your decision for a cheap phone?

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