ZTE today announced that it would pre-load Google’s Now Launcher
(including "OK Google" functionality) on some of its Android handsets, being the first manufacturer to do so on non-Nexus and non-Google Play Edition devices.
The first ZTE handset that will come pre-loaded with Google Now Launcher is the ZTE Blade Vec 4G that’s going to be released in Hong Kong on July 24.
Later this month, the Blade Vec 4G (pictured on the left) should be released in some European markets, too, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The handset is a mid-range Android KitKat one that features LTE connectivity, a 5-inch 720p display, a 13MP rear camera, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and a 2,300 mAh battery.
“ZTE’s strong relationship with Google and Qualcomm Technologies is in line with our focus on developing affordable premium devices that has rich voice control function as well as multimedia solutions. ZTE is continuing to push the boundaries and brings its customers the very latest experience that mobile technology can offer,” said Mr. Zeng Xuezhong, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices.
According to ZTE, the company intends to “pre-load Google Now Launcher on all future Android 4.4 and above smartphones that have Google Mobile Services and Google Play enabled.” Most probably, ZTE’s handsets made for China - like the Nubia
line - aren’t included here.