Germany’s third largest operator with over 19 million subscribers, E-Plus, is now offering consumers a rebadged ZTE Android smartphone under the name “BASE Lutea“. It runs stock Android as far as we can tell, but we can’t say which version. If you look at the press shot above it has the old Android 2.1 application launcher icon, but you never know if it’s just public relations people tinkering with Photoshop. It’s got a 3.5 inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 480, but sadly it’s only capable of rendering 65,000 colors. There’s also a 5 megapixel camera, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 2 GB microSD card thrown in for free. The Lutea measures 114 mm x 56 mm x 11.9 mm and weighs 130 grams. The 1250 mAh battery should give up to 6 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time. It’s going to cost 14 EUR per month with a 2 year contract, and yes, that includes data. You get 200 MB at 7.2 Mbps, then the speed gets capped to EDGE levels.
The only reason I’m bothering to even mention this device, since many of you will never be able to purchase it, is to ask why don’t more operators do something like this? HTC used to be the go to company for operators to call up and ask for various customizations, but more recently the Taiwanese firm that’s given us such devices as the Nexus One and the Desire Z has been increasingly trying to make a name for themselves. There’s still ZTE and Huawei, who don’t really care about building a brand, they just want to sell units.
Huawei recently came out with the Ideos and T-Mobile USA picked it up and started reselling it as the Comet. Orange picked up what’s believed to be the ZTE Blade and are calling it the San Francisco. Renaming products isn’t anything new, look at the multiple names America’s operators gave the Samsung Galaxy S, but what ever happened to operators flat out calling a factory and getting hardware made with their name on it?
[Via: Call Magazin]