ZTE Blade V Review – The ZTE Blade V takes the crown as the world’s cheapest quad-core phone, available on a PAYG deal through Virgin Media in the UK for just $82. This feels every bit a budget device – a glossy plastic backplate and fingerprint friendly front are among its telltale signs – yet it remains a step ahead of all but the remarkable Moto G on specs.
ZTE Blade V has a Snapdragon quad-core processor and is available for loose change. What’s the catch?
The design is pretty nondescript. It’s quite thick but not heavy and feels comfortable in the hand, although the ergonomics could be better. The power button located on the top-right edge is hard to reach, especially when holding the phone in your right hand, and the micro USB port is awkwardly positioned.
At four inches and 480 x 800 pixels, the screen has the same spec as the Trooper X4.0, but is in a much higher class. It is brighter, has better colours and much wider viewing angles. We’d have liked it to go brighter still, but for the price point it is satisfactory. The quad-core Snapdragon processor in use here is not up with the latest budget offerings and there is some stuttering when scrolling through lists, although generally it feels responsive, thanks also to the inclusion of 1GB of RAM. 3D gaming is less viable, although with only around 2.5GB of storage you probably wouldn’t be installing many anyway.
The camera is poor. It shoots five-megapixel images at a quality you’d expect at the cheapest end of the market. This might be good enough for quick Facebook snaps, if slow focusing and enormous shutter lag didn’t render it virtually unusable. The software is Android 4.1 with a fairly unattractive and dated-looking skin on top. There’s also bags of bloatware, albeit the kind of apps that are well chosen: Twitter, Facebook, Kindle and so on. On the whole the Blade V does a serviceable job, and for $82 you can’t really complain about its limitations. It shows that reasonably smooth performance can be achieved at a low price.
Although obviously a budget panel, the screen has good viewing angles and a high enough pixel density over four inches to make it easy on the eyes. We would have liked it to be brighter, and in sunlight it does become much harder to see.
By no means a speed demon, the Blade V nonetheless delivers reliable performance for non-demanding tasks. There’s a touch of lag when scrolling long lists, and in our experience, high-end games did not work particularly well.
As you would expect for a phone with a rock bottom price tag there are no surprises to be uncovered. The operating system version is a bit old, and won’t be updated, and the software and available storage is lacking.
The Moto G could easily be used as your main phone, but the Blade V feels more like a trusty backup, or one for an undemanding relative. Mind you, you’re still getting much more than you expect at such a low price.
ZTE Blade V Specifications
- Operating system Android 4.1
- Processor Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core
- Memory 1GB RAM
- Dimensions 126 x 64 x 10.9mm
- Weight 130g
- Display size Four-inch
- Display resolution 480×800 pixels, 233ppi
- Price $82