China’s ZTE today launched its slimmest Blade model, which it has positioned as an “affordable, premium” 4G smartphone aimed at the mass market.
The head of ZTE’s mobile devices unit, Adam Zeng Xuezhong, told the audience of media and ZTE partners that 2015 is a critical year for its transformation as a major global player: “We have sought to push the envelope with the S6”, which features time-saving gesture and motion controls.
The 5-inch screen Blade S6 is 7.7mm thick and weighs 132g. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core chipset and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Its ‘Smart Sense’ gesture control allows users to turn on/off music, the camera and the torch (flashlight) by moving the device. The torch, for example, can be activated by shaking the device. Users can take pictures by pressing anywhere on the screen.
Initially it will be available in silver and pink and offered in six markets (Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia) on 10 February online and at retail shops. It is priced at $250. In the second phase, ZTE will add gold and dark grey versions and aims to offer it globally by April.
The global launch in Hong Kong was a flashy affair, complete with a local pop star.
ZTE also announced that the S6 will be available on AliExpress, Alibaba’s online retail marketplace. The companies recently signed a deal, which will waive shipping fees when it is ordered by phone through AliExpress.