If Huawei can make low-cost, mid-range Honor-branded smartphones (relatively) popular and widely available stateside, why wouldn’t domestic arch-rival ZTE seek a similar global expansion move for its China-first Blade series of mostly non-flagship Android devices?

Already, America’s second largest smartphone supplier in the no-contract market tells us, the Blade family has reached Mexico, as well as various countries “throughout Europe”, finally spreading its wings today to US shores with Amazon, B&H and Newegg’s help.

The ZTE Blade V8 Pro, previewed just last week by the unintentional reveal of a non-Pro model yet to be released anywhere around the world, is up for pre-orders from those three aforementioned retailers, plus zteusa.com, at a more than reasonable price.

Namely, $229.98, or roughly 20 bucks less than Honor 6X’s just-unveiled MSRP, including an impressive-sounding 13 + 13MP dual rear-facing camera, single 8MP selfie shooter, octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, and 3GB RAM.

Think of this new 5.5-incher as a “full-sized” Axon 7 mini, minus the Axon-specific premium design, audio enhancements, and rear-fitted fingerprint scanner. On the bright side, the Blade V8 Pro packs a larger 3,140mAh battery in addition to a bokeh-capable main camera, not giving up on the fingerprint reader either, but merely shifting it to the front, where it doubles as a home button.

Obviously sold unlocked for GSM networks with LTE speeds in tow, the middling 5.5-incher also features expandable 32GB storage, USB Type-C support, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, dual SIM slots, and alas, aging pre-loaded Android 6.0 Marshmallow software.

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