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ZTE Announces Android Wear 2.0-Powered Quartz Smartwatch for Under $200

We first learned about ZTE’s smartwach efforts in a pretty large leak in January, and now we have confirmation that their first wearable is official and is called the Quartz. It features a circular 0.5-inch think design made of metal and has an IP67 certified water/dust resistant rating. There’s also a replaceable strap that’s probably not everyone’s favorite band in the land. Fortunately, other styles will be offered.

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As for specs, the Quartz features a 1.4-inch 400×400 AMOLED display, a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, GPS, and 3G data thanks to a partnership with T-Mobile. As for battery life, ZTE claims the Quartz can achieve up to 36 hours of use thanks to the large 500mAh cell inside. This is big for a smartwatch so it should have no problem reaching this spec. It also charges via a special dock included in the box, so there’s no magnets to manage here.

For software, the Quartz runs Google’s Android Wear 2.0 and features a button along the side of the device to activate the Google Assistant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include NFC which is required for Android Pay payments. On the contrary, this is a small price to pay for such a low cost.

ztequartz_2

The Quartz will launch come April 14th (this Friday) for just $192. Mind you, the device is exclusive to T-Mobile for the time being, but this is nevertheless a really low price when compared to other Android Wear 2.0 watches on the market. You’ll also be able to buy the Quartz in T-Moble retail stores starting April 21st.

So why wearables, anyway? Why should ZTE launch a smartwatch exclusive to the US where the market seems to be struggling? Well, according to Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA, it’s to expand the company’s reach into another market where they can provide a high-quality device at a low cost, similar to how they sell their smartphones.

“The launch of the ZTE Quartz smartwatch officially marks ZTE USA’s entry into the exciting wearable space,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “We are known to push the boundaries of affordable premium smartphones. With this smartwatch, we are expanding our reach into the wearables segment and offering our consumers a rich, connected smartwatch experience while maintaining our affordability value proposition.”

With such a low price, more consumers may be interested in picking up a smartwatch, a device that most people have yet to try out for themselves. Sure, the Apple Watch has basically dominated this area since it’s introduction in 2014, but ZTE’s sell-for-as-cheap-as-possible strategy across their products may cause a disturbance. I mean, just look at the $99 ZTE ZMax Pro that launched first on MetroPCS. Since that phone launched, I’ve seen in dozens of people’s hands (I’m not even exaggerating). Before long, I can expect to see the Quartz on lots of consumer’s wrists, and maybe one day my own.


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Max Buondonno is a technology enthusiast who has been working as a journalist in this industry for more than two years. He has grown up in the age where everyone has a smartphone which has influenced his decision to become a professional technology writer, his passion in life. He's dipped his toes in the development of websites, while you can ask him anything about Apple, Google, or Microsoft and he's bound to give you an answer. He's reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and email.

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