The Racer is the ZTE’s first Android based handset and one which has been keenly priced at £99 on PAYG from 3 UK – a price that includes a £10 top-up.
It’s also being offered on various contracts, such as the Internet Talker contract which provides 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 500MB of browsing and 300 off-network minutes for £15 a month.
Running on Android 2.1 Éclair sees the Racer off to a good start, given the huge popularity of Google’s platform, and on first powering up the device it’s clear this was a good move, as the layout is intuitive and easily mastered.
The device comes with a 600MHz Qualcomm processor, a 2GB microSD card slot, a 3.2-megapixel camera, HSDPA 7.2Mbps connectivity and a 2.8-inches QVGA resistive touchscreen. Other features on the device include support for FM Radio, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.A pre-installed Skype app lets you make free Skype calls within the UK.
Because of the layer of plastic is resting on top of the phone, so that touch-screen gestures feel as if you’re pressing through the screen, rather than on it, Simple actions like swiping and inputting text feel awkward and more like hitting the screen than anything else, especially for texting which feels a bit like a return to the days of Morse code such is the force of the tapping required at times.
I think the features here are impressive for a sub-£100 phone though the resistive touchscreen may get some of you to frown. For £100 neither of these problems are impossible hardships.