Alibaba and Haier unveil Zing smartphone, to start selling in China on June 15 for $157

June 7, 2012
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Alibaba and Haier might not say much to the mainstream Western technology user, but the Chinese smartphone lovers (on a budget) should definitely remember the two companies’ names. The two companies are planning to release a jointly-developed Android phone named Zing, which will hit China in a matter of days, at a very affordable price.

E-commerce giant Alibaba and multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company Haier are advertising Zing as the “cheapest waterproof smartphone”. Aside from being resistant to spills of any kind, the device is also dustproof and shockproof.

As far as hardware and performance goes, you shouldn’t expect much from Zing. Powered by a 1 GHz processor (probably single-core), the 4-incher comes with 512 MB of RAM and a 800 x 480 pixels resolution display, some pretty modest tech specs even for a mid-ranger.

Other features include a 5-megapixel rear-facing shooter, a 0.3 MP front-facing camera, a microSD card slot, and a 2,000 mAh battery. We don’t know how much internal storage space will the phone feature and what ports and connectivity options will it come with, but, based on its price, we would expect no more than 2 GB of on-board memory, a standard micro-USB 2.0 port, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Taking a cue from Baidu (or could it be the other way around?), Alibaba and Haier are providing Zing with a “forked” version of Android. Aliyun is the name of this little guy’s OS and, for the time being, we can’t tell you exactly what are the differences between it and standard Android.

Aside from functionality and sturdiness (“zing” does mean “powerful” in Chinese), the new phone will try to draw users’ attention with its great price. Set to start selling on June 15, the Haier Zing will go for just 999 yuan (around $157), so, overall, the quality-price ratio here looks quite good.

We’re pretty certain we won’t be seeing Zing hit the US or Europe anytime soon, but, just for kicks, tell us if you’d ever consider getting it.

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