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ZTE Blade III - Camera, Apps, Battery Life, Connectivity and Verdict

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis



  • Recommended by TR
XTE Blade III 8


Our Score:


ZTE Blade III – Camera

The ZTE Blade III only has a single rear-facing camera – there's no front-facing camera for video calls via the likes of Skype or Google Talk. The rear camera has a 5.0MP sensor, though, which is pretty impressive for an £80 handset.

XTE Blade III 2

The camera does have a few weaknesses though, chief among which is the fact that exposure isn't always that accurate. For example, shooting street scenes with bright sky in the background tend to leave the foreground very underexposed. In fact, the camera in general tends to underexpose shots with the result that even photos taken on sunny days can look a bit gloomy.

And while the Blade III's snapper does have autofocus, it's prone to developing a mind of its own should you be trying to shoot anything remotely tricky with it. For example, we couldn't get it to produce a good depth of field effect on our shot with a close up of the flower. It wanted to continually focus on the background rather than the area that we tapped on for touch-to-focus, with the result that it left the flower looking slightly blurry.


But again, these issues have to be taken in context, as the camera is still miles better than any other we've used on sub-£100 handset. Used in good light the Blade III can actually produce some pretty impressive looking shots, with good edge detail and less noise than you'd expect given the Blade III's low price tag. And even through it doesn't have a Flash, the camera's low-light performance isn’t anywhere near as bad as you'd expect either.

ZTE Blade III – Apps and Multimedia

The phone comes with some software preinstalled, including the note-taking app Evernote, a back up and restore utility, a DLNA app for sharing media files with other devices via Wi-Fi, and X-Office for viewing Microsoft Office files with. There are also a few Virgin Media apps, such as one for checking your account status, however there's nothing like the bloatware that some Orange-branded Android phones suffer from.

ZTE Blade III 1

On the multimedia front the Blade III has enough grunt to play standard definition video files, however it fails to play 720p HD MKV files at an acceptable frame rate. And while it can run light games, such as Angry Birds Star Wars without any problems, it struggles a bit with more demanding 3D titles. This showed up in the 3D GLBenchmark where it only managed 22fps in the Egypt Classic test, compared to the 35Fps that the G330 ran the same test at.

The Blade III only comes with 4GB of internal memory, of which 2.56GB is available to the user after the OS and pre-installed apps have been accounted for. In fact, some apps, such as Spotify and our GLBenchmark wouldn't install until we put a microSD card in the phone to boost the storage, so you'll probably want to factor one of these in of you're seriously considering the Blade III – not that they're particularly expensive these days, with an 8GB card costing around a fiver online.

ZTE Blade III - Battery Life

The ZTE Blade uses a 16000mAH battery and, unlike handsets such as the iPhone, the battery is easily removable simply by prising off the rear cover. ZTE's handsets have rarely been marathon runners when it comes to battery life, but the ZTE Blade III actually isn’t too bad in this area. We found that we could easily get a normal day's usage out of it for emailing, web browsing and various calls, leaving us with about 15 per cent charge by the very end of the day.

XTE Blade III 1

ZTE Blade III - Connectivity

As you would expect at this price point the phone lacks support for NFC, but most people probably won’t miss this feature and elsewhere its got all of the key bases covered as there's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth onboard, as well as GPS and support for 3G data speeds.


The ZTE Blade III is far from being the fastest phone around, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for with excellent design, an impressive touchscreen display and a rock bottom price tag. If you're looking for a sub £100 smartphone, we think the ZTE Blade III is a much better option than the likes of ZTE's own Kis handset or Nokia's Asha range.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


March 14, 2013, 1:14 pm

>> The ZTE Blade uses a 16000mAH battery

Wow!, should easy be able to make a full week of constant use with that size battery :)


April 24, 2013, 12:51 pm

keith you plank its 1600mAH


June 28, 2013, 10:03 pm

Considering I got mine brand new at a Virgin store for £57:99 in June 2013, not such a bargain.

Elsi Qi

August 25, 2013, 2:08 pm

This was the worst cell phone I ever have had! No flash. Hardly couldn't see anything on screen outdoors. Difficult to use (I'm used to Nokia and Samsung).
The screen easily broke. Now I'll get me a Samsung!


September 3, 2013, 6:29 pm

This was the best phone I have ever had, I love it! Really worth getting.


September 17, 2013, 11:58 am

"The ZTE Blade uses a 16000mAH battery" Keith is no plank


September 17, 2013, 11:58 am

my samsung screen broke, easily!


September 20, 2013, 8:02 pm

1650mAH battery


September 23, 2013, 1:59 pm

I was quoting from the review mate, it has been edited now!

Vlad Bazarab

September 27, 2013, 9:52 pm

Huawei Y300 is £69 in carphone warehouse, unlocked, IPS screen virtually the same spec + JellyBean. All it needs is to have either Go launcher or Apex launcher installed to get rid of Huawei's interface.

Glad I bought the Y300.

Slightly Confused

November 11, 2013, 3:14 pm

According to Trusted Reviews, the camera on the Huawei Y300 is 'rubbish', yet it gets the same camera score (6) as this one, which they seem to to say is good.

How does that work?

Slightly Confused

November 11, 2013, 3:21 pm

My bad - they actually give the camera on this one 7, but the sample images don't look any better tbh.

Karma O'malley

July 29, 2014, 10:50 am

My ZTE Blade iii lasted 2 days then was returned faulty.Buggy mp3 eq dropout,terrible sound quality with o/s 'noise' ,and completely disfunctional wifi.Waiting for an xperia.

gosarkunal9 .

July 29, 2014, 2:24 pm

This is my second phone from ZTE and it has been horrible. The phone's battery indicator does not work, it jumps between 90%+ battery to 5% randomly. The phone regularly crashes and restarts itself. Applications seldom work as they also force the phone to crash. Overall, the phone is horrible and it is not worth the low price.

Similarly the ZTE Dublin was a horrible phone. Its internal memory could not support applications and transferring them to SD cards did not work.

Don't trust ZTE phones.

Damir Salopek

April 24, 2015, 12:50 pm

Have same problems with Blade III. I even tried to install new Android OS and it was done by person who knows how to do it. Now he hates me. Couldn't do nothing. Doesn't know if the problem is with phone's ROM or with local operator.


July 2, 2015, 8:15 pm

This is by far the worst smartphone I've ever had. It's so bad, that it's extremely hard to find things that actually work. While it was "quite acceptable" for the first days, it quickly started to get worse and worse. Apps are constantly crashing and opening one (just one!) app is the shit! It's extremely slow (for instance, booting takes about 5 minutes, unlocking takes about 30 seconds, opening an app, like WhatsApp... well, better wait for Christmas... or the fucking apocalypse).
There's only one thing you can do with it. As it gets hot in a blink (clicking anywhere on the display is enough), it's actually a good pocket heater.


March 4, 2017, 3:52 pm

The plug adapter doesn't work properly. A weird sound from the wall socket and it takes too long to charge the battery. I put the adapter in the recycle bin.


March 4, 2017, 3:56 pm

The plug adapter doesn't work properly. A weird sound from the wall socket and it takes too long to charge the battery. I put the adapter in the recycle bin. BAd phone quality.

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