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ZTE Libra: An Upgrade To The Blade With Gingerbread?

A new smartphone, the Libra, has been launched by ZTE and may well be the direct replacement to the uber-popular ZTE Blade (otherwise known as the Orange San Francisco) given the similarities between the two handsets.

The handset, otherwise known as the X880, first appeared on UK wholesaler Brightpoint (opens in new tab) and shows a completely different handset with a different button layout, although the phone clearly reads ZTE-Blade in the model number field.

Unlike the Blade, the Libra comes with Android Gingerbread (v2.3.4) but still sticks to the same hardware as the former - Qualcomm MSM7220 SoC clocked at 600MHz. There's still a 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen (no news as to whether it is AMOLED or TFT), a three-megapixel AF camera, FM radio, Wi-Fi, Battery, GPS and full access to Android Market.

The fact that it has already reached Brightpoint means that it will be sold through third parties; Brightpoint has been the master distributor for HTC since 2006 in the United Kingdom and is a major Motorola and RIM reseller as well.

The picture of the ZTE Libra on Brightpoint shows a Portuguese mobile network operator called TMN which has rebranded the phone as the A5. Hopefully, the Libra will carry a similar price as the Blade and improve on its (very) few weaknesses.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.