The original Blade is the first ZTE phone to really grab any attention in the UK, despite the fact it was sold as the Orange San Francisco, thanks to how easy it was to unlock and flash a custom Android ROM on to it.
ZTE launched the Blade II sometime later, but it never caught on in the same way, however, it has now announced the Blade III, which gets two important specification changes over the previous models.
The first is that the Blade III will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed, and as ZTE rarely covers its operating systems up in a custom UI, it should be garnish free. The second is screen size, as the new model has a 4-inch screen with an 800 x 480 pixel resolution.
A 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor hides inside, with 512MB of RAM by its side, plus there’s 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot to boost this to 32GB.
Like previous Blade’s, there’s a 5 megapixel camera mounted on the rear of the 10mm thick chassis, plus other features include DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio, GPS, Wi-Fi, dual microphones and a 1600mAh battery.
The Blade III will go on sale before October in Sweden and Finland, before spreading out over the rest of Europe before the end of the year. The price? Converting the Swedish cost over to Sterling puts it around £140. Not bad for a 4-inch, Android 4.0 smartphone.
We’ll wait to see of Orange snaps up this Blade and calls it the San Francisco III.