CIO

ZTE V9 and V11 Android-based tablets

ZTE shoots for the low-budget Android market with its two new tablets.

The ZTE V9 tablet was a bit of a letdown after seeing some of the other tablets here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. While other companies are rolling out sleek devices running Android Honeycomb, ZTE had on display a number of tablets that looked aimed at tablet buyers on a budget.

One of these, the V9, has a 7-inch touch screen with 800 by 480 pixel resolution. The screen was fairly responsive to my touches, but it had a muted cast to it that somewhat muffled the video I watched. It also felt like there was a distance between my fingers and the Android environment, like the screen was inset a few millimeters into the front of the device

In Video: Hands-On With the ZTE V9 Android Tablet

The user environment is Android 2.1, which, compared with later Android versions, looks flat, one-dimensional, and static-no scrollable screen widgets, no moving 3D background images, no support for e-books. The V9 weighs 14 ounces, and contains a UMTS radio and chipset that can hit download speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second (mbps). It also sports a Wi-Fi radio and support Bluetooth.

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back for shooting pictures and video, and a small front-facing camera for video chat.

My impression is that the V9 is meant to be a budget Android tablet. It will become available worldwide later this year, but no information was available on US pricing or availability.

ZTE also had on display a bigger brother to the V9, the V11. The V11 has a 10-inch screen, runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), and runs on a 1.2 GHz processor. Unfortunately, the one on display at the ZTE booth would not power up, so we'll have to wait until the product launches to learn more.