ZTE’s Blade v7 lite review – feature packed, premium & affordable?

It has certainly been sometime since I’ve written an Android review after basking myself in the world of iPhones… But every once in a blue, purple or pink moon comes a device which catches my eye; behold, a phone that sounds like a hollywood movie title – the ZTE’s Blade v7 lite!

1st impressions
So at a recommended retail price of RM 669, you get a shiny, dual-SIM German designed phone with an all metallic body which is as slim as the iPhone 6S…

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A 5-inch HD screen…

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A fast fingerprint sensor – said to take 0.3 seconds to unlock the phone… I didn’t exactly time it but YES, it was FAST…

Right above it you’ve got a 13 megapixel camera, a 8 megapixel front-facing camera for all you selfie lovers AND get this, a front flash – and it’s not the iPhone-esque make the screen super bright to create a virtual ‘flash’ but this is a true LED flash. Say goodbye to dark selfie pics. 🙂

How does it really feel in the hand?
Cold – when you’re in a cold room (thanks to it’s all metallic body) and light but still feels solid. The tactile buttons feel good and the overall body looks like it can take quite a bit of beating. The metallic finish also helps to keep fingerprints away so that’s quite nice. Built quality – I’d give it a WOOHOO! That’s an A especially at this price point.

Performance
Running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) the phone’s interface is baby bum smooth and has almost no noticeable lag. That said, it is not exactly snappy – like something you’d get from high-end competitors.

When switching from app to app or loading some memory hungry ones, you’ll notice a tiny delay (probably 0.5 – 1 second) before the app fully loads. After which, apps generally run along without drama.

How’s the screen?
I’m not a screen connoisseur. The 5 incher is not bad, it’s also not WOW AMAZING but it works well and pictures generally look good. There is this cool feature called Dynamic Contrast that tweaks the display to look extra vibrant though…

Before…

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After!

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One finger for every app!
Apart from unlocking your phone what else can the fiingerprint sensor do? Open apps!

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Each app can essentially be assigned to a finger providing one-tap quick access. Middle finger to send e-mails? No problem 🙂

It’s also a magic wand…
Here’s one feature I haven’t tried but I’ve found the menu options…

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So if you’ve always dreamt of being Harry Potter, by waving your phone like a wand in the air, spelling letters like M, V, Z or O – it’ll launch an app, make a call, do whatever you’ve assigned to that letter! #magic.

The camera!
This is by the the biggest requirement of any smartphone. ZTE has designed the camera app to cater to both point-and-shoot users like me and those who LOVE tweaking and tweaking and tweaking settings a.k.a Pro mode before hitting that “snap” button.

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How does it fare?
Well, I’ve got some pictures and videos to show. You decide 🙂 (click on the images to enlarge)

Some bright indoor shots

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Macro shots

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Dark-indoor shots

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Video quality

In bright conditions, the camera fares EXTREMELY well – especially in Macro mode which you saw above. #amazing. Darker conditions are okay but I’d highly suggest using both the flashes for front and back cameras.

What don’t I like about the phone?
Maybe it’s a matter of personal preference. I like that ZTE didn’t do too much customization to Android – so the “Settings” screen remain largely Android-esque but I’m not a huge fan of the launcher (the start screen where you launch your apps from).

That’s a quick solve though, I just downloaded the official “Google Now” launcher and TADA!

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Should you buy it?
At RM 669? This is a SOLID purchase.

It may not have the ‘bestest’ camera in the world but it still takes decent pictures – that coupled with dual SIM, 4G LTE, solid metallic body, fingerprint sensor and all the other features including turning yourself into Harry Potter… really, if I was in the market for a mid-level entry phone – I’d get one.

For more technical specs, click here

Quick tip – Seems there are some online promotions going around for RM 499. Do a quick search & have fun!

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