If you’re looking for an entry level smartphone in the Android department, look no further as ZTE, China’s largest smartphone manufacturer introduces the ZTE Acqua V880E. The entry-level ZTE Acqua continues where the success of the ZTE Skate left off.
Design & Build
The ZTE Acqua sports an extremely solid design, a simple 2-piece with a slightly weighty build which isn’t really a bad thing. As entry level smartphones lean more toward functionality than appearance, the ZTE Acqua is no different. Where the original ZTE Skate had a cheap plasticky feel, the ZTE Acqua uses a combination of plastic and metal, giving it better feel overall. It may not stand out in a crowd, but it’s really not a bad looker at all.
Physical & Internals
The ZTE Acqua is powered by a Qualcomm 1Ghz single-core Snapdragon processor (and Adreno 200 GPU) with 512 MB RAM and 4GB of internal memory. With microSD support, you can bump up storage to a maximum of 32GB. The rear camera is worth
5MP (Note: Malaysian market gets a 3.2MP version) and also comes with a 1.3MP camera in the front, capable of 720p video recording. The back cover is an interesting mesh design which feels pretty nice in the hands too.
The display is decently bright and crisp but don’t expect Super AMOLED levels, of course. The 4″ TFT supports 480 x 800 pixels resolution (approx 233ppi).
The ZTE Acqua comes with high-speed HSPA/HSUPA, Wi-FI, Bluetooth and GPS.
The ZTE Acqua comes bundled out-of-the-box with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is great for a phone at this price point. Everything else is pretty standard in the software department and considering its capabilities, that isn’t a bad thing either. Aside from the lock screen, ZTE didn’t do too much with the UI, and I think that’s a good decision.
Tests – Battery Life
I mentioned in my first paragraph that the ZTE Acqua isn’t overly ambitious and here’s why. Despite sporting only a 1,600 mAh battery, this smartphone can last pretty long as having only a 1Ghz single-core processor limits the draw when its idle. This being said, the Acqua (approximated at 250 hours standby) would last you a full day in normal usage, with approximately 360 minutes of talktime. That’s pretty impressive.
As per my usual tests, I played my favourite game from Kairosoft on it, lasted 3 hours or so, which isn’t bad. Heat dissipation during high usage can be on the high side, however, but that is pretty common with smartphones really.
Tests – Video & Camera
A 5MP isn’t much these days, especially when 5MP isn’t normally 5MP (its either software boosted or just plain misleading). The ZTE Acqua picture quality isn’t all that great, but does serve its purpose when you need it. Good enough for Instagram and social-sharing.
How exactly is the ZTE Acqua better?
Firstly, it’s really affordable and a value buy. Secondly, as an entry level smartphone, it isn’t overly ambitious, with solid build quality and decent design. You will be unlikely to find anything else that is within this price range that matches its capabilities.
Here’s a quick look at the specs:
- 4″ Display
- 1Ghz Processor
- 3,2MP Camera (1.3MP Front)
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Memory
- 32GB Memory card support
- ICS Ready
- 1,600 mAh Battery
As an entry level smartphone at only RM699.00, the ZTE Acqua is spot on in terms of value. However, it does have some slight issues with screen response and the lack of RAM causing occasional lag as horrible as my PC attempting to play Skyrim in full-res graphics. But that’s just it, if you’re looking for something affordable, you’d find that the ZTE Acqua works really well.
I would have loved some extra RAM though, which I really think the lack of it being the only real flaw in this phone.
All in all, great value and performance at a small price.
ZTE Acqua is available for purchases through NineZTE’s nationwide dealers. For more information on the phone, log on to www.zte.com.cn or visit ZTE Malaysia’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ztemalaysia.