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Hands on with the ZTE Skate

This morning we attended an event in London where ZTE, maker of the Orange San Francisco (aka the ZTE Blade) was showing off its new range of phones and handsets for the UK.

First up was the ZTE Skate, aka the Skate 4.3. We’re pleased to report that this version feels a lot more refined that the one we saw back in February. Scrolling between homepages is a lot slicker and we got to play around with the camera this time.

Unlike the Blade/San Francisco, ZTE told us that the Skate wouldn’t be rebranded in the UK. This makes the Skate the first phone to be explicitly sold in the UK under the ZTE banner.

The ZTE Skate runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 5-megapixel camera, and a huge 4.3-inch touchscreen.

Obviously the screen size (4.3 inches) is where the phone gets half of its name from. What’s not so apparent is where the Skate part comes – ZTE apparently have named this so due to its slight resemblance to a skateboard from the side.

Though we kind of get it, we don’t recommend actually trying to use one as a skateboard. Look what happened when these guys tried to skate on an iPad.

In the meantime, click through here for some close up hands on action with the ZTE Skate.

The back of the ZTE Skate. Sadly, the Android design from the earlier version we saw appears to have been ditched in favour of this polka-dot style patterning.

The ZTE Skate’s innards torn apart. Note the microSD slot above the SIM slot. Unfortunately to get at it, you’ll have to take the battery out first.

The ZTE Skate from the side (with micro USB slot and on/off switch). If you squint at it and imagine some wheels, it almost looks like a skateboard, we suppose…

The ZTE Skate from the top, where the 3.5mm jack resides.

The default camera app in action. The ZTE Skate’s 5-megapixel camera features a single flash and features a 1.6x digital zoom. That slider tool up on the left corner there allows you to adjust the detail of the picture (i.e. from superfine, to fine to normal).

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