ZTE is mostly known in the states for supplying certain carriers with cheap phones that carriers often rebrand - though recently, ZTE has been successful in growing a very small brand presence for itself. Android has done a lot to help manufacturers such as this, as it's much cheaper to build a smartphone when the OS is provided, pre-optimized for your chosen chipset.
Despite the fact that these two phones offer last year's spec sheets, they're last year's high end spec sheets - meaning that they're still totally relevant in today's marketplace. In many respects, mobile computing has failed to capitalize on the power offered by some of today's flagship phones, which means that good phones with a year-old chipset are still good, usable devices.
Both phones offer a pretty similar spec sheet:
The Grand S offers "scratch-resistant glass" and a 1780 mAH battery, while the nubia 5 brings along a larger, 2300 mAH battery, and a Konica Minolta lens with image stabilization. The nubia also features ZTE's set of camera apps design to make the most of the camera features, and give those who want it a substantial amount of control over their images.
Since these phones are coming direct and unlocked, they'll cost users more than a carrier-subsidized model, but still a fair amount less than a typical full-price smartphone. The Grand S will debut on Amazon at $399.99, while the ZTE nubia 5 will run you a bit more at $449.99. Both are currently selling with a $50 pre-order discount, bringing the starting price down to $350 - which is Nexus 4 level pricing.
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