Vizio reveals 5-inch and 4.7-inch Android handsets bound for China, we go hands-on

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Vizio reveals 5-inch and 4.7-inch Android handsets bound for China, we go hands-on

We figured Vizio would bring new laptops, All-in-Ones and HDTVs to CES this year, but as companies are often wont to do here in Vegas, Vizio had a Jelly Bean-flavored surprise for us -- in the form of a pair of unlocked Android handsets. There's a 5-inch model with a 1920 x 1080 LCD, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front-facing shooter and a dual-core Qualcomm SoC. It's got 32GB of built-in storage and 2GB of RAM, plus there's a microSD slot should you need more room. Its sibling is a 4.7-inch model packing a 720 x 1080 display powered by a dual-core MediaTek chip, the same 8-megapixel rear cam, and a 1.3-megapixel unit on the front. It also has a microSD slot, 16GB of onboard storage and 1GB of RAM. Each phone comes with AT&T band radios, including HSPA+ 42, and will run bone-stock Jelly Bean (save for a minor tweaks). Want to know more? join us after the break for our full impressions.

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The 5-inch model has a mundane appearance. It's clad in navy blue plastic that has a slight sheen to it, with shiny silver volume rocker and power buttons on the left and top edges, respectively. Vizio is embedded in chrome lettering in the backplate and a lengthy silver speaker grille resides across the bottom, while the rear camera is ringed in chrome. Build quality is good, and the screen is top-notch, with good viewing angles, deep blacks and vibrant colors.

Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch phone is a looker, and constructed just as solidly as Vizio's other phone. It has a unibody design crafted of white matte-finish polycarbonate, with chrome strips adorning the top and bottom of the device. A smaller, square metal speaker grille is round the back, along with the same chrome power and volume buttons as its larger brother.

Alas, neither is destined for use here in North America, as the company opted to make its mobile debut in China instead. The reason? It's easier to bring a phone to market because China had fewer hurdles for Vizio to clear than here in the US. Plus, the massive (and growing) customer base doesn't hurt, either. It took about a year to develop these first two handsets, and Vizio assured us that more models are in the pipeline. Want one for yourself? Well, the company hasn't ruled out the stateside market, but it's only focused on gaining a foothold in Asia... for now.

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