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ZTE Blade 3 review

Mid-range features at an entry level price

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Our Verdict

The ZTE Blade 3 is a capable Android handset at a seriously low price. It's difficult to fault considering how little you'll pay for it. It's not the most attractive phone and won't win any prizes for speed, performance or screen quality, but it could be a perfect first smartphone.


  • Cheap
  • Sturdy
  • Decent feature set


  • Slow web browsing
  • Basic camera
  • UI isn't smooth
  • No front facing camera


The ZTE Blade 3 comes sporting a rear facing 5MP camera giving you the opportunity to snap quick pics on the go, but there's no front facing option for video calls with your nearest and dearest.

Sadly there's no flash incorporated on the rear of the Blade 3 which does put it at a slight disadvantage compared to the competition such as the Ascend G330 and Xperia Miro, and also means you won't be shooting anything in low light or dark situations.

ZTE Blade 3 review

The camera app is the stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich affair, but there are no shooting modes or panorama features to choose from.

What you do get is a couple of sliders on screen for brightness and the 4x digital zoom, while in the menu there are controls for white balance, exposure and focus mode.

It's hardly an awe-inspiring offering, but the app is simple to use and the tap-to-focus is a handy addition.

ZTE Blade 3 review

You can use the volume rocker keys on the left of the Blade 3 to take pictures, or the more traditional shutter key on screen, with the handset taking a couple of seconds to properly focus and snap the image.

As you may expect results are not exactly stunning, but they suffice for a smartphone which will set you back less than £100.

Colours are not overly bright, nor is the image quality razor sharp, but for the occasional Facebook profile pic the Blade 3 just about manages.

ZTE Blade 3 review

ZTE Blade 3 review

ZTE Blade 3 review

ZTE Blade 3 review

ZTE Blade 3 review


As with the camera the video capabilities on the ZTE Blade 3 are basic, with it offering up an average VGA shooting capability.

You can toggle white balance and the zoom level but that's your lot, although the zoom can be adjusted once record has been hit.

ZTE Blade 3 review

At least the app is easy to use, although as you may expect video quality isn't stellar and you won't be shooting the next Harlem Shake YouTube sensation on the Blade 3.