ZTE Introduces Two Colorful Budget Smartphones to Their Blade V8 Line

The V8 Lite and V8 Mini combine premium looks with budget specs.

At CES earlier this year, ZTE showed off the Blade V8 Pro, a midrange phone with a handful of premium features, including a dual camera array. At the time, it was the cheapest phone at retail with such a camera system, but it seems like that reign is about to end. At Mobile World Congress this weekend, the company is introducing two cheaper options, the Blade V8 Mini and the Blade V8 Lite, with the Mini getting the same dual camera system as the Blade V8 Pro.

With budget phones, you know you’re going to get lower specs, but hey, they might as well look nice! ZTE is using all-metal builds for both, with the Mini getting some nifty slanted lines on the back near the camera area as accents (and get a load of the pretty colors!). But, this means that even budget phones are moving away from plastic builds and removable batteries — apologies to the battery replacement stalwarts. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.

The Blade V8 Mini is more similar to the Blade V8 Pro. As the name suggests, it is smaller — 5.0″ to the 5.5″ V8 Pro — and moves down a tier in processing power to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC. With just 2 GB of RAM, the phone will be noticeably slower to anyone used to more expensive phones, but it’ll do nicely as a starter smartphone for teens. The display is listed as HD, so it’s somewhere between 720p and 1080p.

Like the Blade V8 Pro, the Blade V8 Mini has a dual camera array on the back, made up of a 13 MP sensor and a 2 MP sensor, the latter of which collects depth of field information for better up-close photography. There’s even an option to use both cameras to create a 3D picture using that depth information, so it sounds like this camera app will be pretty fun to use.

Rounding out the hard specs are a 5 MP front camera, 16 GB of storage (with a microSD card slot), a 2,800 mAh battery (Micro USB charging port), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1. While Wi-Fi will be a bit slower than it is on more expensive phones, the V8 Mini can be equipped with an LTE modem that supports carrier aggregation, which lets the phone connect to multiple bands to optimize network speed.

The Blade V8 Lite is the same size as the V8 Mini, but has a different assortment of specs. Most notably, there’s no dual camera system here — just a single 8 MP sensor on the back and the same 5 MP sensor as the V8 Mini on the front. The V8 Lite uses a 1.5 GHz octa-core MTK 6750 chipset, also with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. But, the Lite steps up to a 1080p display, so it’s not just a cheaper version of the Mini.

Don’t expect either of these budget phones to arrive in the United States. The Blade V8 Mini will get released widely in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, while the V8 Lite will only come to Italy, Germany, and Spain. ZTE hasn’t confirmed pricing for either.

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