CES isn’t the land of smartphone announcements it once was. Rather, we really only get a few important announcements a year. This year, there were announcements of a couple of flagships, and some mid-range devices. Most of those mid-rangers were very stale and disappointing, but one did actually stand out as a decent choice, the ZTE Blade V8 Pro.

The best gifts for Android users

On paper, ZTE’s latest affordable device actually looks quite decent. It packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 625 chipset, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, and Android Marshmallow. Along with that, it brings a pretty large 3,140 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, a front-mounted fingerprint sensor, a dual-SIM slot (GSM only), and dual cameras on the rear. ZTE uses those two cameras not unlike Huawei/Honor where users can create a bokeh effect using a feature named ‘Mono.’ Another standout feature is the built-in HiFi audio, something few other devices in this price range can challenge.

For $229, this is a pretty decent package, although we wish it would’ve shipped with Android Nougat. We’ve reached out to ZTE to find out when/if this update will be coming. If you’re interested in picking up the Blade V8 Pro, it’s available now from various retailers online, linked below. Newegg even includes a free set of noise-cancelling headphones with early orders.

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