In an interesting announcement earlier today, Chinese smartphone maker ZTE announced the impending arrival of a still unnamed premium handset and the reintroduction of a mid-range device dubbed the ZTE Blade Vec 4G (already available in China and Europe).
Where you’re probably not too excited to hear about another mid-range handset, here’s where things get really interesting: the Blade Vec 4G (as well as their unnamed premium Android device) will be the first Android smartphones (outside the Google Nexus/Google Play edition devices) to offer the Google Experience Launcher out of the box.
In a new partnership with Google, ZTE will now pre-load the Blade Vec 4G with Google’s launcher for its Hong Kong debut later this year and says it’s the first of many of their new devices to feature a stock Android experience free from the UIs that normally muddying up the user experience. This will help give ZTE’s devices the added benefit of having GEL’s hands-free hotword detection.
Custom manufacturer UIs have long been Android’s greatest strength, as well as its greatest weakness and something many Android enthusiasts have taken issue with since their introduction. With ZTE making a commitment to keeping the UI free from excessive customizations, it just might be the little something they need to help give them the edge over the competition.
No word on when ZTE plans on updating existing ZTE Blade Vec 4Gs with the Google Experience Launcher, but we’re sure to learn more come July 24th when both devices are scheduled to be officially unveiled/re-unveiled.
Yes!! Please let this be the start of a trend.
Choice is always good.
Lawrd I thank you
Where dem updates coming from, though?
Samsung, HTC and LG please pleaseee follow suit
I’d actually rather they didn’t. Ive been using the GEL launcher on the nexus 4 for some time (nit really all that different from stock). and the g3 launcher was a nice change. I like HTC skin as well. Touchwhizz can kick rocks.
What they should do is release it in the play store. Also, I don’t understand why they don’t just turn GEL into stock android.
GEL is basically stock to me at this point.
Does it come with the old browser, message, and camera apps?
I should hope not. If that’s the case they’ll smother it before it catches on. People don’t really know or trust ZTE devices in North America or Europe, really, for that matter.
Android One more like given ZTE’s record of cheaper handsets.
Make that bezel bigger and I’ll buy that phone.
Your excessive customizations are my useful options. The Google iPhone (ahem) Experience Launcher is not better than the stock Android launcher, which stood out from iPhone and is far superior.
Zte went from a brand I didn’t consider to a brand worth checking out
Great idea! Really ugly phone though.