Sprint sells the ZTE Optik, its first sub-$100 tablet


Sprint(s s) announced on Thursday that it will carry the Optik, a 7-inch 3G-enabled tablet built by ZTE, a China-based company. The Android 3.2 tablet isn’t cutting edge, but has capable components and runs Android 3.2(s goog). The best feature may be the price: just $99 with a two-year Sprint contract or $349.99 without a commitment.

A run-down of the specs indicate the Optik to have respectable hardware:

  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm(s qcom) Snapgragon processor
  • 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 1 GB of RAM; 16 GB of internal storage; microSD card slot
  • 5 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR; integrated GPS

This mix of hardware is compelling, even at the full price. And at $99 with a service plan, I could see Sprint selling more Optiks than other tablets it offers. This device is similar to the HTC Evo View 4G — with a higher resolution display but without the 4G — and is contract-priced $150 to $250 less. Sprint currently has a $100 off web special on the Evo View, hence the price range.

The Optik also illustrates why I keep repeating that ZTE will be a household name in the U.S. within one to two years. The company can build comparable hardware to our current top-tier brands, but does so at far less of a cost.


Ted Bear

I tested it last at the end of last year. Hardware seems to be great, BUT: the charging port is NOT USB based. So if you want to use the device as a navigation unit in your car, so need a 12V/220V converter to connect the power supply. No way to connect to a USB based spare battery while you are around. If they would change the round charging port into a USB based port, it would be a compelling device, but as it is it is nearly unusable, especially as the battery life is not great.

Kevin C. Tofel

Hmm… was the tested model meant for the U.S. market? Just wondering if maybe ZTE made some changes for a U.S.-specific version. Thx!

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