BLU Products: Two of the company’s most recent unlocked phones are the $99 Win JR LTE, available in Microsoft Stores and Amazon.com, and the $199 dual-SIM Win HD LTE, available at Microsoft’s stores and website. They are upgradable to Windows 10 when the OS is released.
Both dual-SIM LTE-equipped phones are powered by a quad-core 64-bit 1.2GHz. The $99 model features 4.5-inch 480 by 854 display, 512MB RAM, 4GB embedded storage, 32GB memory card slot, 5-megapixel and VGA cameras, and 720p video capture. The $199 model steps up to 5-inch 1,280 by 720 HD display, 1GB RAM, 8- and 2-megapixel cameras, and 1080p video capture.
Huawei: The company launched two unlocked phones in as many months following the launch of its first model a year ago as part of a two-prong strategy to sell locked phones to carriers and unlocked phones to consumers via its web site, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Last year at this time, the company launched its first unlocked phone, the $299 Ascend Mate 2 6.1-inch LTE phablet. Huawei followed up in April 2015 with the $179 LTE SnapTo.
The SnapTo features Android 4.4 (KitKat), AT&T and T-Mobile LTE bands, 5-inch HD (1,280 by 720) display, 1GB RAM, memory-card slot, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 720p video capture, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and 2200mAh battery. An Ultra Snapshot feature lets users press the lower volume button twice to quickly activate the camera.
The latest phone, available at GetHuawei.com and Amazon, is the $249 P8 lite with Android 4.4 KitKat, 5-inch HD display, 1.5GHz octa-core processor, dual LTE SIMs, and LTE bands for the TMobile and AT&T networks.
The P8 lite will also be rolled out soon to Fry’s online and offline stores, Best Buy’s web site, B&H’s online and offline stores, and Target.com. It will also be available to other dealers through distributors and master dealers, said Carmen Moreno, senior manager of marketing and advertising.
Nubia: The subsidiary of Chinese smartphone maker ZTE will bring an unlocked premium Z9 Android smartphone to the U.S. in the third quarter in three versions priced from $564 to $725.
The subsidiary “mostly functions independently” of ZTE, a ZTE spokesperson said.
The Nubia Z9 will be available in black and gold at select retailers and online at Nubia.cn.
The Z9 features Android Lollipop 5.0, LTE, 5.2- inch Full HD screen with a near-borderless screen on two sides, 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 816 processor, and Frame interactive Technology (FiT), which enables grip and gesture controls. With FiT, for example, users can launch the camera by turning the phone sideways and placing four fingertips on the edge of the screen. Users can also take a selfie by squeezing the handset.
The Classic model comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage at $564. The Elite steps up to 4GB RAM and 64GB storage at $645. The Exclusive adds fingerprint sensor technology for $725.