CTIA 2013 seems to be dedicated to some of the lesser-known names in the US wireless industry, so it’s fit that Chinese manufacturer Coolpad should take advantage of the situation to steal the show. Indeed, we were able to take a look at the phone maker’s upcoming stateside model, the lower-end Quattro II 4G. In the past year, its predecessor cranked out roughly a million units on MetroPCS, and Coolpad is hoping to build upon that success to get a foothold in the US. This sequel, which offers stock Android 4.1.2 with a 4.5-inch qHD TFT display, 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8930 chip, 5MP rear camera and VGA front-facing cam, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 1,800mAh battery, isn’t going to satisfy the tastebuds of power users or high-end flagship seekers, but it’s a quality option for those who aren’t planning to spend a ton of money on a decent handset. Given the intended audience, the device is perfectly solid with reasonable performance; we appreciated the company’s use of a textured back cover. One nitpick: despite our best efforts to get rid of fingerprints, smudges remained with no hope of removal in sight.
Coolpad wasn’t able to give many details on pricing or availability, but reps confirmed that it should arrive on C Spire in late June / early July, with it likely hitting other regional prepaid carriers after. Given the original Quattro’s $80 price point on MetroPCS last year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the next-gen version offered for around the same cost. The company’s still working to expand its presence on some of the larger networks, but it hopes to make its debut in the postpaid world early next year.
Not least, we also got a sneak peek at the Coolpad 8920, which was released in China this past month and is the first TDD-LTE / FDD-LTE hybrid phone in China. The 8920 is designed primarily for China Mobile and China Unicom, but the five-mode, ten-band device also uses 900/1800/1900 GSM/ EDGE/HSPA+. The stock Android 4.1 device has a little more premium feel than the Quattro series, with a glossy white plastic casing (it’s also available in black, we’re told) that feels a little slippery in the hand. The build quality is a little above average: it doesn’t feel cheap at all, but it’s also not as solid as many of the flagships we’re used to handling. Specwise, it offers a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1GB RAM, 5-inch 720p display, 8MP rear camera and 3,000mAh removable battery. We have galleries of both devices above the break for you, if you didn’t already check it out.
Joseph Volpe contributed to this hands-on. by engadget