Quite aware that India is where there is real actiona market in which foreign and domestic device makers are fiercely contesting to grab customersthis Shenzhen-headquartered company has introduced not one but six new smartphones in one go, including the latest models in the bestselling Blade series. All the six smartphone models run on Googles Android operating system and are priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000. It is hopeful that a large number of consumers who are looking to upgrade from feature phones to nifty smartphones at affordable price points, will show preference for its offerings. The company plans to build further on its handset portfolio in the months to come.
ZTE is the fourth largest mobile handset manufacturer globally. It has aggressively focused on the smartphone market in recent years. Its new offerings in India are the Grand X priced at R14,999, Blade G2 priced at R9,999, Blade C (dual SIM 3G) priced at R7,599, Blade L priced at R12,599, Kis Flex (dual SIM) priced at R5,799 and Blade E priced at R11,999. These devices come with 512 MB internal storage, and varying screen size, processor speeds, camera and other features to meet the unique needs of a broad customer base. The hip and trendy design of these smartphones will appeal to younger consumers, company officials feel.
We got the Blade G2 for a product evaluation so let us stick to that only. Out of the box, it becomes evident that it is a budget Android phone with a stylish design. The handset combines stylish design and modern technology. Its elegant design will catch your eyes instantly. Although the handset feels strong and quite robust, it does also feel plastic and tackysomething fairly common with budget devices. It is fairly light at 145 grams. The rear cover is removable giving access to the dual SIM-card slot, removable battery and microSD card slot.
A long press unlocks the Blade G2 rather than the traditional swipe. The phone has a fairly large screen (11.43 cm); the navigation buttons are at the bottom, thereby making the screen look larger compared to other Android offerings. It has a standard 480 x 854 pixel resolution. ZTE knows how to make a LCD display and the Blade G2 trumps other Android offerings in its price range. Fonts are crispy, blacks are dark, viewing angles are good, and photos look fabulous.
This ZTE offering is also one of the cheapest phones around with a quad-core processor. In this case, it is a 1.2 GHz processor which is accompanied by 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. In my usage, the Blade G2 came across as a fast device with no observable screen lagging. For a budget smartphone I must admit that the performance is good, above average. Movies and videos can be played in outstanding quality with its sharp high definition display.
In addition, high quality pictures can be taken quickly and easily with the handsets 5 megapixel auto focus camera. Storage is however a real issue with the Blade G2. As mentioned earlier, it has only got 4 GB of internal storage and only a quarter of this is available to the user. Luckily there is a microSD card slot which can accept up to 32 GB so this will be a must.
When it comes to the software, the phone runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. There is full access to the Google Play store for apps, games and media content. ZTE has also pre-loaded a number of apps onto the phone including Kingsoft Office, Twitter, Facebook, Maps, Navigation and YouTube.
With a 2,000 mAh battery inside the Blade G2, I didnt expect something special but I was wrong. Users are most likely to get two days out of the handset before needing to recharge it. Lighter users may find themselves getting three days. Of course, if you pushed it and used the camera for an hour or two then you could kill it faster, but that is not a typical usage scenario.
My closing thoughts: the Blade G2 is definitely one of the most exciting pieces of hardware under 10k that we have seen in a long time. It is a smooth and fast phone with good build quality. If you havent got much money to spend on a smartphone then the Blade G2 is the one to get.
* Dimensions: 133 x 66 x 9.9 mm
* Display: 11.43 cm FWVGA touchscreen
* Processor: 1.2 GHz quad core
* Operating system: Android 4.1
*Memory: 1 GB RAM
*Storage: 4 GB internal storage
*Camera: 5 MP auto focus camera
Estimated street price: Rs 9,990