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ZTE Blade V review

Andrew Williams



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Our Score:



  • Great value
  • Neat-looking metallic rear
  • Decent screen


  • Poor camera
  • Some lag
  • Quad-core CPU a red herring

Key Features

  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A5 Qualcomm MSM8225Q CPU
  • 1GB RAM, 4GB storage
  • Android 4.1
  • 4-inch 480 x 800 pixel LCD screen
  • 5-megapixel main camera with LED flash
  • Manufacturer: ZTE Corporation
  • Review Price: £99.99

What is the ZTE Blade V?

The ZTE Blade V is one of the lowest-cost quad-core phones ever made. You can buy one for under £100, making it a quarter the price of high-end quad-core phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Given the low internal memory and the laggy interface, the benefits of such a processor are limited. But this remains a solid budget phone that looks better that most cheapo mobiles.

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ZTE Blade V - Design

The ZTE Blade V is a plastic phone – it’s all you ever get at this price – but it’s one with a rather snazzy finish. Taking inspiration from the original ‘pebble blue’ Samsung Galaxy S3, it has a brushed metal effect on the back, designed to make it look upmarket.

It doesn’t do a bad job either. With a small-but-chunky body you would never mistake this for a top-end phone, but the blue metallic rear looks more luxurious and more exotic, than the black plastic used in most budget phones. However, look closer and it suffers from the same sort of aesthetic problems as most cheap phones – the three-tone, seam-heavy sides are not beautiful.

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At 10.9mm thick, the ZTE Blade V is quite chunky by current standards, and its screen bezel is fairly wide too. However, that’s not to say it’s much worse than the competition. The pricier LG L5 II and Galaxy Ace 3 are around 1mm thinner, but don’t offer hugely better style or build quality.

Thanks to its mid-size 4-inch screen, the Blade V is perfectly comfortable to operate in one hand despite its chunkiness. There are no layout surprises here, either – aside from that the microUSB socket is on the left edge rather than the bottom.

The blue back of the ZTE Blade V comes off, revealing the removable (therefore replaceable) battery and the microSD card slot. Expandable memory is a necessary feature here as the phone only has 4GB of internal storage.

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Although stripped-back in some respects, the Blade V does have some extras generally missing from bargain basement phones. For example, there’s a multi-colour LED indicator above the screen that flashes green, red and amber depending on the notification in waiting. It’s a neat addition in a phone like this.

The ZTE Blade V also uses light-up soft keys, making it a pretty handy phone in the dark. You can turn the notification light off if you find it a night-time annoyance, though.

Read more: Best Android Phones

ZTE Blade V – Screen

With a 4-inch display, the ZTE Blade is nowadays among the smaller-screened phones. It has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, giving a pixels-per-inch rating of 233.

It’s not sharp enough to produce the immaculate text and images you’d see on a higher-end phone. Display quality is sound but – as we expected at the price – not fantastic.

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Colours are solid but a little muted and top brightness is good, but the reflectivity of the screen makes it a bit of a pain to use outdoors when it’s sunny. It has an IPS panel, making angles viewing no problem, but the screen is really a bit too small to share videos longer than a short YouTube clip.

There were always going to be compromises involved in a sub-£100 phone display, but ZTE has made the right ones. Many phones at the price have lower-resolution screens, where ths Blade V's 480 x 800 pixels is the acceptable baseline these days. The screen cover of the phone is glass rather than plastic too, which is less likely to get scratched in day-to-day use.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Zte Blade V

February 5, 2014, 8:02 pm

Did anyone buy it? I would like to know if the camera rumors are right. Thank you:)


February 11, 2014, 8:27 am

Blade V is only for Virgin Mobiles, is it please?
Or can anyone just buy to use in any Mobile Courier in any country? (I'm from Singapore) If then where can i buy it Online please? (I can not find any without Virgin Contract.. on either Amazon or Ebay)

Please kindly reply. I'm so interested in this one.
Thank you.

rob davies

March 24, 2014, 9:12 pm

I bought it, yes the camera is not the best, it seems to me the auto exposure doesnt read the light conditions properly ? sometimes turns white into yellow. sometimes under/over exposes . you can manualy adjust it but it takes so long the subject has gone !! the screen, battery life,phone and text performance is very good. internal memory is barely adequate some apps.can be transfered to mic/sd card but a lot cant. They havnt written user manual yet !!! im still altering settings trying to work it out !!

Nathan Berry

October 29, 2014, 12:54 pm

hi want to know can use internet for free on this phone whant use it in pub wifi or al college with out paying anything

Nathan Berry

October 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

hi can ask you about the internet on phone can put in other internet conction on phone go on internert for free

rob davies

October 29, 2014, 4:30 pm

Not sure what you mean? I use internet on zte a lot but not free😞

Nathan Berry

October 29, 2014, 9:08 pm

tnxs i mean like in coffiee shop wifi think call it hotspots want know if use coffiee shop internet for free tnxs for your help:]

rob davies

October 29, 2014, 9:30 pm

Yes, no problem, I use zte in bar's hotspots here. It just tell you 'wireless network available'

Nathan Berry

October 29, 2014, 9:45 pm

thank you rob for your help :]

rob davies

October 30, 2014, 12:41 am

mind you i think the 'moto G' is a better phone for the money now !!

Nathan Berry

October 30, 2014, 8:41 pm

tnxs but my parents bought this phone for chirstmas dont know anything about phone tnxs for your help

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