ZTE has launched the Blade V9 (and a smaller Blade V9 Vita) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

With an aspirational “Life without limits” tagline, you would well expect the Blade V9 to carry some important enhancements for the mid-tier market, and you’d be right. It is indeed bringing the increasingly-common 18:9 display and some important new low-light camera technology advances to consumers.

The Blade V9 is powered by a Snapdragon 450 – a 1.8Ghz octa-core processor – paired with 3GB RAM in the 32GB model and 4GB of RAM in the 64GB model. That’s not going to break records for processing speed, but it’s no slouch in the mid-tier. Powering it all is a pretty impressive 3100mAh battery. With a FHD screen resolution and the Snapdragon 450 processor, we’d expect this phone to last a while in day to day usage.

The phone’s display is 5.7 inches diagonally and is “FHD+” – that’s basically Full HD (1960×1080) with some extra pixels to extend out to the 18:9 resolution. As 18:9 displays push into the midrange, this will be common. The face of the phone is all screen (well, 83.6% screen), with minimal bezels helping create an immersive experience for users. It’ll also sit quite comfortably in the hand with the narrower width brought about by the aspect ratio.

ZTE is proud of their new Aurora Glass, which sees the company’s design language move to a more premium look – there’s a glass front and back on the device, with special attention paid to the reflective nature of the rear glass, so that reflected light takes on something of an aurora-like look as you might see in the sky around the arctic circle. It’ll be available in Black, Gold, Blue, and Grey colours.

The Blade V9 will be equipped with a dual rear camera setup – this will be a 16MP autofocus with Phase Detection Auto Focus, and 5MP fixed focus lens to help reduce distortion. The 5MP camera allows the phone to achieve a bokeh-like effect, and the phone’s software will allow you to redo the effect – a re-bokeh, if you will – after the shot is taken.

ZTE’s entering the low-light photography fray with the Blade V9, saying it’s got a larger aperture to let in more light but hasn’t actually specified that larger aperture. With the company bringing increased attention to the phone’s low light shooting capabilities we’re pretty sure it’ll be sub-f/2.0 but we’ll update when we have specifics.

The Blade V9 also has a little brother in the Blade V9 Vita. It’s a slightly smaller body with many of the same features.

European pricing for the Blade V9 starts at €269 (about $420) for the 3GB RAM / 32GB storage model, and €299 for the 4GB/64GB model – both feature a Micro SD slot for expansion. The Vita has a similar split in its specs with 2GB/16GB starting at €179 (about $280) and 3GB/32GB at €199 (about $315). The phones are rolling out over the next few months to Europe, China and Russia.

We’re yet to hear of Australian launch details for either phone, but think they’d make great additions to ZTE’s local offerings.

ZTE’s demo area was a little dark for product shots but we’ll be stopping by their stand during the show proper, and are hoping to get some hands-on time with the newest members of the Blade family.

Ausdroid attended MWC 2018 with financial support from ZTE and other brands.