If you're tuned into our CES coverage, these new ZTE smartphones might not be your first choice for a handset. But they're aimed at a critical market for phone makers; consumers who don't want to spend flagship prices or get pulled into a monthly financing plan with US carriers. First is the $129.99 Grand X3, an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop handset with a 5.5-inch HD (720p) display, 1.3GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor, and 16GB of storage, which can be expanded up to 64GB with microSD cards. It's got an 8-megapixel camera, with a 2MP sensor on the front. It's not going to win any performance awards, and at this size, 720p is noticeably less crisp than 1080p. It's not a terrible looking display though, and the amount of bloatware is minimal. That's nice to see. This one's headed for Cricket.
On the T-Mobile end, ZTE is announcing the even cheaper $114.99 Avid Plus. And yeah, the specs drop down along with that price. The 5-inch screen isn't HD; it's 480 x 854, and viewing angles are pretty wretched. This one's got a 1.1GHz Qualcomm chipset and ships with a paltry 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, though here again you an expand capacity with microSD (up to 32GB). ZTE and T-Mobile will be positioning this device as a dirt cheap way to get Wi-Fi calling and other niceties. Each should be available soon on its respective carriers.