ZTE has lifted the veil on its first smartwatch, the ZTE Quartz. The company has always focused on affordability, and it's sticking to the same principles for its new smartwatch.
The watch, which boasts Android Wear 2.0 and Google Assistant powers, is aimed at first-time smartwatch buyers and people looking for something cheaper; ZTE isn't trying to compete directly with the likes of LG or Samsung.
Wareable verdict: ZTE Quartz review
Our full review is in progress, but in the meantime we've collected everything you need to know about this affordable smartwatch.
ZTE Quartz: Design
Sitting on top of the Quartz's stainless steel case is a tachymeter, but it's just for show and doesn't offer any functionality. The faux tachymeter sits around the 1.4-inch AMOLED display with 400 x 400 resolution. Up at the 2 o'clock mark sits a single button used to access the Android Wear menu.
Flip over the watch and you'll see a plastic back, which protects a 500mAh battery, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, 4GB of RAM, 3G connectivity and built-in GPS. All of this sits in an IP67 water and dust resistant frame with a 46mm diameter and 14.5mm thickness. While it's a chunkster, it's just about the same size as both the LG Watch Sport and Gear S3.
If you'd like a little variety, the Quartz is also customizable, allowing you to swap out its bands for any 22mm strap. This way you can dress down for the gym or dress up for a fancy dinner. Of course you'll be able to change the watch face to jazz up the look further.
ZTE Quartz: Connectivity
The Quartz sports 3G connectivity, and ZTE is partnering with T-Mobile exclusively for the release. This allows T-Mobile customers the chance to tie the watch to their phone number. And yes, this means that the Quartz does not have LTE support, nor will it launch in a non-cellular variation.
ZTE told us the reason it jumped into the wearable market was Android Wear 2.0 and Google Assistant. The company is so high on people talking to their wrists-held AI assistants that it's the primary reason it decided to add 3G connectivity. That way, whether or not you have your phone, your Google Assistant is always with you.
There's also GPS support, so if you need to go on a quick run and track your progress without your phone, you can.
ZTE Quartz: Activity tracking and features
Unlike many other smartwatches, the Quartz does not feature a heart rate sensor. It's a strange choice given how cheap heart rate sensors have gotten, but it isn't as strange when you realize that ZTE isn't really aiming this at fitness heads (despite that GPS support).
In addition to GPS support, it also has 4GB of space for music and built-in speaker and mic that ZTE is awfully proud of. And despite having Android Wear 2.0 and all that it comes with, including Google Assistant, the Quartz does not feature support for Android Pay.
One thing that is missing from the Quartz is NFC support, so if you're looking for Android Pay support you're not going to find it here. ZTE told us that it ditched NFC support to slim the device down a bit.
ZTE Quartz: Battery life
As for battery life, ZTE says the 500mAh battery can power the watch for up to 40 hours, but the company also told Wareable that its smartwatch has "all day" battery life. Further, a couple weeks ago the company listed 36 hours of battery life as its official number. So you may want to stick around until our full review to see exactly how that plays out.
ZTE Quartz: Price and release date
The ZTE Quartz will be available for $192 exclusively from T-Mobile online on 14 April and in stores one week later on 21 April. Additional bands and straps will vary in price, since the Quartz is compatible with any 22mm watch strap. ZTE tells us it's got nothing to share on launching outside of the US just yet.
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