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ZTE Brings Two Unlocked Smartphones To U.S.

Richardson, Texas — Chinese handset maker ZTE is expanding its selection of unlocked smartphones available to U.S. consumers.

In August, ZTE began offering the unlocked Open to consumers on eBay. The phone was the first in the U.S. with the open Firefox OS developed by Mozilla. To that, ZTE is adding the unlocked Grand S at $399 and the $449 nubia5. Both Android models operate in U.S. GSM/HSPA+ networks and will be available through Amazon, and other channels, ZTE said. Both phones will work on the T-Mobile and AT&T networks.

The devices can be ordered on Amazon starting Oct. 5 and will be shipping from Amazon and on Oct. 16, a spokesman said.

The unibody Grand S, unveiled at January’s CES, is promoted as the slimmest ZTE smartphone available in the U.S. with a 0.27-inch thickness. The Android 4.1 smartphone features a 5-inch FullHD 1,920 by 1080 display with 440 ppi and scratch-resistant glass. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 1.5GHz quad-core CPU and features 2GB RAM, 16GB memory, 13-megapixel autofocus main camera with flash and 1080p capture, 2-megapixel front camera, 1,780 mAh battery and MicroSD card slot.

The step-up Nubia 5, targeted in part to photo and music enthusiasts, is 0.3 inches thick and features Android 4.1.2, 5-inch 1,920 by 1,080 display with 443 ppi and 16.7 million colors, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 1.5 GHz quad-core CPUs, 2GB RAM, 16GB memory, Konica-Minolta lens for the 13-megapixen main camera with LED flash and sapphire lens, 2-megapixel front camera and a 2,300 mAh battery.

Three photography modes include fun mode, auto mode and pro mode. Fun mode is used for taking quick snapshots and applying filters, while auto mode adds such features as smile recognition and HDR. Pro mode adds such SLR functions as four-direction panoramic shooting, burst mode continuous shooting, and putting control of light, focus and gradient into the user’s hands, the company said.

For music enthusiasts, the phone features Digital Dolby Plus audio technology and specially designed ear buds.

 The Nubia 5 industrial design includes low-profile bezel, matte finish and glowing-red fixed buttons.