ZTE Blade Q Mini: Battery Life
Where the Blade Q Mini doesn’t let you down is battery life. In general use, you can comfortably get a day’s play and manage two to three days if you are simply making calls and sending texts. There’s a removable 1,500mAh battery, so it’s a smaller capacity than that found inside the £100 ZTE Blade V and the same as the now very old Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. There’s nothing in the way of power management options but running a mostly bloatware-free version of Android certainly helps here.
In more intense testing, running a 720p HD video on loop with 50% brightness it manages on average 6-7 hours, although it’s highly unlikely you’ll want to be watching many feature length films on here. It’s a quick charger at least, jumping up around the 30% mark from a flat battery with a 30 minute charge from the supplied mains adaptor.
ZTE Blade Q Mini: Call and Sound Quality
We were not expecting wonders from the Blade Q Mini for call quality and it doesn’t break the mould for cheap phones. While calls don’t come out in crystal clear clarity, there’s not a substantial amount of muffling either and it doesn’t sound as thin as we’d expected. ZTE also includes a secondary mic to offer active noise cancellation, which is always a nice feature to have when you have to make a call in busy environments.
One of the most surprising Q Mini features is how decent the speaker is. Situated at the back of the phone, it actually offers some warmth and decent clarity at mid volumes. Crank it up high and things inevitably are not as good, but it definitely outperforms more expensive phone speakers we’ve tried. One issue however, is that holding the dinky little phone in landscape mode often leads to muffling the audio.
Should I buy the ZTE Blade Q Mini?
The ZTE Blade Q Mini is far from perfect but, for £50, it’s giving you a lot for your money.
It nails the phone basics you’d expect at the very least from a cheap phone. It’s easy to use, there’s great battery life and it’s wrapped up in a comfortable albeit pretty plain design. When you factor in the camera quality and even the speaker performance, you are getting some nice extras as well.
In the same price range, you are drawing comparisons with the likes of the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini (£50) and the slightly more expensive Doro PhoneEasy 621 (£59.99). Even then the Q Mini stands out despite struggling to handle some of the more demanding smartphone tasks. The only caveat is we’d consider the £80 Motorola Moto E before it as it’s only slightly more, but a noticeably step up.
If you can look beyond the stuttery performance and keep in mind the price, the ZTE Blade Q Mini is one of the best really cheap phones you can buy outside the second-hand market.
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Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 6
Screen Quality 6