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3 and ZTE launch basic Android smartphone

The Android 2.1-based Racer is the first UK smartphone to be launched by ZTE, which is best known for its low-cost mobile broadband dongles and Skype phones
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1 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The mobile operator 3 has launched ZTE's first UK Android handset, the Racer.

The device, launched on Wednesday, costs £99 on pay as you go, which is the same amount that T-Mobile charges for its Pulse Mini Android handset. The ZTE Racer is also available for free on a £15-per-month contract.

ZTE has produced low-cost handsets and dongles for the UK market for a while, including 3's Skype phones, but has not sold smartphones here until now.

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2 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

Like the Pulse Mini, the ZTE Racer runs Android 2.1, also known as 'Eclair'.

The handset runs on an ARM11-based Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset, which cannot run Flash Player 10.1. This means that even if the Racer were to get an upgrade to Android 'Froyo' 2.2, it would be without the Flash implementation that commonly accompanies that version of the operating system.

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3 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Racer has a 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels.

The type of touchscreen being used helps to bring down the cost of the phone, but it does mean the Racer cannot handle multitouch.

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4 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Racer has a 3.2-megapixel camera without a flash.

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5 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Racer does not have many buttons, and it is notably missing the search button sported by most Android phones.

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6 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

ZTE's Racer is fairly lightweight at 100g.

According to the manufacturer, the quad-band phone has a talktime of 3.5 hours and a 200-hour standby. The Racer has 256MB of internal memory and comes with a 2GB microSD card.

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7 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Racer, which has an built-in FM radio, provides a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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8 of 8 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Racer is a small device, as can be seen when it is compared with HTC's Hero Android phone.

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