ZTE is launching two super-affordable handsets in the USA

ZTE may be waiting a while before launching its near-bezel-less Nubia Z9 flagship in the States, but the company is certainly making use of its time currently, by attempting to capture the attention of affordable phone shoppers. Just a month ago, we saw the LTE-capable, Lollipop-loaded Overture 2 come out for Cricket Wireless, with a price tag of just $50. Now, ZTE is launching two more affordable smartphones on AT&T and Cricket – the Maven and Sonata 2.

The ZTE Maven will be available in AT&T stores, or the att.com website. It will cost $59.99 off-contract. Loaded with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC, it's a 64-bit handset with LTE connectivity. Its 4.5” display glows with a 480 x 854 resolution, which makes for a pixel density of around 215 PPI. On the memory side, it's modest – 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD up to 32 GB. The main camera has a 5 MP sensor, while the front-facer sports only a 0.3 MP resolution. A non-removable 2,100 mAh juicebox keeps the lights on and the Android OS that's on the device out of the box is 5.1 Lollipop.

The ZTE Sonata 2 will have a $29.99 price-tag in Cricket stores or cricketwireless.com, provided it's bought with a phone line activation / upgrade. It sports a 4” screen with a 480 x 800 resolution (229 PPI). With only a Snapdragon 200 humming under its hood, the Sonata 2 remains firmly planted in 32-bit land, and even comes loaded with Android 4.4 KitKat. It has 1 GB of RAM and just 4 GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32 GB. At least in the camera department, the Sonata 2 seems to be doing a bit better than the Maven – the main camera still has a 5 MP resolution, but the selfie snapper has been bumped up to 2 MP. As far as battery goes, the Sonata 2 sports a modest 1,650 mAh juicer.

So there you have it, folks. These two handsets are obviously entry-level devices, a good choice for smartphone first-timers, more casual consumers, or just ones that need a spare device to use as substitutes in the upcoming holiday activities.

New reasons to get excited every week

Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox

FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless