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ZTE's Gigabit Phone Is a Stepping Stone to 5G

Despite a slew of announcements expected at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month, ZTE's getting out in front with news about one of its new devices: the Gigabit Phone.

The Axon 7, ZTE's current flagship phone. Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: The Axon 7, ZTE's current flagship phone. Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide)

It's named for its Gigabit LTE speeds (this isn't 5G — that's not here yet), which should allow for high-quality multimedia streaming, mobile VR, "instant cloud storage" and more.

ZTE' is being tight-lipped on other details (it has to save something for its upcoming press conference), so we'll have to wait until the end of the month for specs, price, release date and design.

Gigabit LTE is a stepping stone to 5G, the next-generation wireless technology that isn't expected to be widely available until 2020 at the earliest.

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Qualcomm announced earlier this year that its Snapdragon 835 chip would include the X16 modem, which is capable of gigabit LTE speeds, so it's possible that the ZTE will be using that chipset.

At MWC, ZTE is also poised to mention its Axon 7 flagship getting the Android Nougat update that makes it Daydream VR ready, and to talk about a rumored smartwatch, the ZTE Quartz.