ZTE made quite a few waves in the Western media when it finally rolled out the Grand S and Nubia 5 stateside, but now the Chinese are looking to move up to the next level with a Snapdragon 800-powered Nubia Z5S.

ZTE Nubia Z5 Baby steps: ZTE prepping minor S800 based Nubia Z5 upgrade dubbed Z5S

As the name suggests, we’re not looking at a groundbreaking device per se here. That should be the Nubia Z7, which, according to official word, is a work in progress also, but unlikely to materialize before the second half of 2014.

Bottom line, between next month and possibly July of next year, you’ll have to settle for the Z5S if you’re looking for a top-shelfer from ZTE. The bad news? The chances of seeing Nubia 5’s follow-up on the Western hemisphere in time for this holiday season are slim to none.

The good news? Well, if you didn’t catch it the first time, I’ll say it again: Snapdragon 800 speed. Quad-core Snapdragon 800 speed clocked at 2.3 GHz. And TD-LTE and FDD-LTE support. Plus, a Full HD screen with a diagonal of 5 to 5.5 inches.

nubia z5s Baby steps: ZTE prepping minor S800 based Nubia Z5 upgrade dubbed Z5S

Now, though the upcoming handheld has been caught on camera in the wild, just chilling on a messy desk, we don’t really have enough to judge its design and compare it with Nubia Z5’s aesthetics. Still, expect something with a wasp waist, industrial overall vibe, sharp edges and, oh, classic and classy black and white paint jobs.

As for pricing, I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, even if knowing ZTE I feel pretty confident when saying it’s bound to be competitive. Translation: possibly maybe south of $550 in China. Which sounds like a bargain with all of those above mentioned features and other predictable treats like a 13 MP cam, Android 4.2 or 4.3 Jelly Bean and 2 GB RAM, don’t you think?

Sources: Gizchina, My Drivers