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ZTE Blade V review

Its cheap, but is it cheerful?

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Our Verdict

It's the best ZTE phone yet, although that isn't saying much as previous phones were pretty dreadful. It's a decent enough cheap handset, but despite the quad-core processor it felt underpowered. The camera is atrocious and there's precious little storage space.

For

  • Cheap
  • Quad-core chip
  • Decent keyboard
  • Good battery life

Against

  • Rubbish camera
  • Laggy in places
  • Poor build quality
  • Low internal storage

Android Jelly Bean on the inside means that the ZTE Blade V comes packed with both the stock Internet app, and the Google Chrome app.

ZTE Blade V review

We can't see why most manufacturers offer both, it takes up more room on already limited internal storage space, and both generally provide similar levels of functionality.

Our suggestion would be to opt for Chrome here, though. The levels of functionality that we have seen the likes of HTC bake into their browsers is missing.

Basic things such as the ability to choose to load desktop pages is missing, and ZTE has still included the menu button, despite having the menu soft key sat below the screen.

We can't envision a lot of heavy internet browsing being done on the ZTE Blade V, for a few reasons. The main reason being that the screen is just not big enough or high res enough to provide anything more than a satisfactory browsing experience.

Browsing speeds were actually pretty decent though, with the quad core helping to keep things moving along pretty smoothly. Even the full TechRadar site loaded in a few seconds over Wi-Fi.

3G speeds were okay, although we wouldn't say that the Blade V had anything to shout about here.

ZTE Blade V review

We also found that the Wi-Fi connection seemed a little poorer than other devices we had, with a full signal registering on our HTC One, yet only receiving one or two bars on the Blade V.

The most disappointing thing about the Blade V's internet experience isn't even the lack of Flash. Yes, Flash doesn't come installed as Adobe has killed the mobile version. We know there are some handsets out there with it, but we're not expecting to see it much these days

What we really miss is text reflow. It's something that we know is missing on quite a lot of modern smartphone browsers, but it is something that is so simple and intuitive that it makes smartphones seem less smart.

Chrome does do a good job of syncing your browsing experience over varying devices, so if you're browsing on Chrome on the desktop and then move to your phone, and then to your iPad, you can always choose to view the same tabs that you had open.

Overall, we can't say that the internet experience is stellar, but it isn't unusable. In fact, if the screen was a little better and text reflow was included, we would suggest that the ZTE Blade V was onto a winner.