Performance & verdict
First of all, I’m going to say that I like how the Blade V7 Lite looks. I find that it fits great in the hands, and it’s the perfect size for one-handed use. I’m pretty impressed by the build too, with tight tolerances that would shame even flagships like the LG G5.
A fingerprint sensor on the back means it’s perfectly placed for a quick unlock. Quick draw from your pocket with index finger on the sensor, and it’s instantly ready for action.
I like that there’s backlit capacitive buttons at the bottom of the screen, a big plus at this price point.
On the UI side of things, it’s a hit-and-miss. From the offset, it looks good, if iOS is your thing. As I mentioned earlier, there are several annoyances that over-complex otherwise menial things like accessing Settings. I thought this could have been thought out better, or simply just stick to stock.
It’s great that it runs Android M out-of-the-box though, you’re at least using the latest that Android has to offer.
There’s no App Drawer, if you were wondering, but it’s becoming less and less of an issue nowadays as phone makers embrace this direction. If you’re really bothered, a third party launcher will easily put that smile back on your face.
ZTE took a no holds barred approach to packing anything and everything into the device feature-wise. That almost always means features you don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, some of the smart gestures are great. Case in point, off-screen gestures. Fast-launch of the camera app by tracing the letter ‘C’ sounds great on paper. But in real world execution, it’s a little slow to trace, and slow to launch.
Much quicker by unlocking with your finger, and manually firing up the Camera app.
ZTE thought it was also a great idea to introduce even more gestures – Air Gestures. When I saw this demonstrated at the launch, I was a little flabbergasted. Perhaps even shocked. What happened to using your smartphone with your fingers? You now need to burn 150 calories to play music on your phone?
If I were to rate performance on a scale of one to 10, I’d likely say a six. The UI needs a little more optimization, as I’ve seen much more fluidity on other similar-specced phones. Perhaps ZTE has tried to do too much in terms of features. Multi-tasking is not shabby, and app launch speed isn’t bad either. My grievances lie in overall screen redraws and frame rate. Let’s hope ZTE refines the UI and speed things up with a firmware update in the future.
Battery life was expectedly good, thanks to the large 2,500mAh. I averaged 4-5 hours of screen-on time, with the device surviving a full day’s worth of use.
What I like
- Great metal build
- Fingerprint sensor is a huge plus
- Good cameras
- Front selfie flash
- Good battery life
- Fantastic price and outstanding value
- Backlit capacitive buttons
What could be better
- Better optimization of UI
- Air Gestures are gimmicky, unnecessary
- Response could be improved
In the box
- Blade V7 Lite unit
- Micro-USB cable
- Quick Start Guide
- In-ear headphones
Pricing and availability
The ZTE Blade V7 Lite retails at MYR669 (incl. GST), exclusively from Lazada. But wait, the special Lazada offer of MYR499 is still available (can you say, OMG?), plus you’ll also get a Smart Cover, TPU case and screen protector for free (worth MYR69).
If you don’t know what ‘no-brainer’ means, well, this is the perfect example of a no-brainer purchase. Really.
Make no mistake, ZTE is serious about putting metal phones in everyone’s hands. At MYR669, the Blade V7 Lite can’t be beat on price. It offers sheer (outstanding) value thanks to some generous specs and fantastic build.
Talking about build, the all-metal finish is impressive. Trust me, you’ll forget that it costs under MYR700. And that fingerprint sensor is an added bonus.
Sure, performance could be better but seriously folks, if you’re looking for a budget smartphone, this should be on the top of your list (or at least one of the top).
Overall, a neat little package that delivers big. Take up the Lazada offer.
No-brainer buy, really.