ZTE Blade S6 puts an octa-core chip in your pocket for $250

iPhone-like edges and impressive specs. Photo: ZTE

iPhone-like edges and impressive specs. Photo: ZTE

Who says speedy smartphones have to be expensive? ZTE’s new mid-range Blade S6 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor and Android 5.0 Lollipop, and at just $249.99 off-contract, it’s still affordable.

The Blade S6 isn’t a typical mid-range smartphone; in addition to its snappy processor, it has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 5-inch HD display, and a 13-megapixel rear-facing Sony IMX214 camera.

It also has a “u-shaped curved edge,” which has obviously been designed to resemble Apple’s latest iPhones, and capacitive buttons along its bottom edge that negate the need for virtual buttons and maximize the screen space.

The Blade S6 is one of the few mid-range handsets you can buy that ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it’s combined with ZTE’s own MIFAVOR 3.0 launcher and apps. There’s also a feature called Smart Sense, which lets you control all kinds of functions with motion gestures.

It sounds wacky, but I could actually see a scenario in which Smart Sense would be useful. How many times have you had to fish around for a flashlight app when you need to find something in the dark? With the Blade S6, you can just shake to activate the LED flash — even when it’s asleep.

At just $249.99, then, the Blade S6 looks like a pretty attractive smartphone. It’ll be available globally via AliExpress on February 10, and also via Amazon and eBay in select markets.