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Hands-on with HiSense's first quad-core Android phone, the U958

Brad Molen

Chinese manufacturer HiSense has taken over Microsoft's old booth at CES, and it's mainly showing off its latest and greatest televisions. But the company has a dirty little secret that not too many gadget fans know: it sells phones and tablets as well. While these devices may not be on the bleeding edge, HiSense's new Android smartphone, the U958, actually sports a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Play processor (the MSM8225Q, to be precise). Aside from the inclusion of Android 4.1, the rest of the spec sheet doesn't impress: a 4.5-inch FWVGA (854×480) display, 5MP rear camera, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD, 1,700mAh battery, dual-SIM support and a thickness of 9.5mm.

It's pretty clear that the phone is geared primarily toward emerging markets; the specs and overall design seem to indicate that the company's trying to keep costs down to a minimum. To the seeker of high-performance flagship devices, the U958 will likely get lost in the sea of competing budget-friendly phones at CES; we're interested to see, however, if we're witnessing the start of HiSense's attempt to snag up crucial smartphone market share. Check out a few pics of the phone in action below.

Gallery: Hisense U958 hands-on | 13 Photos

Joseph Volpe contributed to this report.

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