Missing only are the antenna band markings. The Blade S6 exceeded my admittedly low expectations -- I'm not a fan of the design, given that most copycat phones from China tend to focus on imitating a popular design while failing on the software part. That said, ZTE has done well to get the software part right -- adding some useful gesture features -- and the copycat design makes the phone look refined and cool, even if it does feel like a cheap plastic phone at the end of the day.
It's no iPhone though. At best it's a decently performing Android phone with some interesting features, a disappointingly plastic build and a poor camera. It definitely shouldn't be your first choice, but if you're on a budget and looking for a unlocked phone with some design panache and interesting features, it's worth looking into. Let's be brutally honest here.
When they picked it up, however, they discovered two things: one, the phone feels much lighter than you'd expect, and two, it doesn't feel as classy as the Cupertino-designed handset. The Blade S6 is slightly larger with a 5-inch display and thicker at 7. It's also no surprise to find that the phone's front glass display shares the same rounded corners as the iPhone 6.
You'll find the home button at the bottom of the display, a round circle that seems to invoke Apple's TouchID sensor but there isn't one. There are two additional buttons, the back and menu, but these are hidden when not in use. You're able to switch the back button to either the right or left, too. These keys are touch sensitive and vibrate when tapped. Turn the phone around and you'll find a faux-aluminum plastic rear. It feels cheap to hold, and there's even a "Designed by ZTE in California" marking, seemingly just to further emulate Apple. Located further up on the back is the megapixel camera, and the placement's pretty similar to where you'll find it on the iPhone.
As it's quite close to the edge, however, you'll have to make sure not to block it with your fingers when taking landscape shots. The audio jack is located right at the top of the phone. On the whole, I didn't like the Blade S6's design. It seems to blatantly rip off Apple's thoughtful design process, which is not uncommon with some China-made phones.
Other Chinese companies such as OnePlus and Xiaomi have already shown they are capable of being original, however, so it just seems to be bad form on ZTE's part. Furthermore, the liberal borrowing of Apple design elements means it's unlikely to be released in the US, where I suspect Apple would be more than happy to take legal action to defend its work. Of course, to get hardware like that at this price point, compromises need to be made -- particularly the screen.
It has a p display, not the p resolution usually found on higher-end devices. This isn't necessarily bad, since it's usually very hard to tell the difference between these resolutions on a smaller device. The colors, vibrancy and viewing angles of the display are pretty good as well, so it's no loss here. The phone is powered by a 2,mAh battery, which is a tad on the low side these days see below for my battery test.
Like newer phones released this year, the Blade S6 comes running Android Lollipop 5. The skin comes with its own color schemes, themes and the ability to change the animations of the home screen easily. To stand out from other Lollipop phones, ZTE has included a software tweak called Smart Sense, which are basically gesture commands you can use to quickly access certain features. Before you get all hung up over the custom skin job though, ZTE has kept some elements of stock Lollipop, such as the notification system and the dialer.
The Smart Sense features aren't turned on by default, so you'll need to enable them in the settings. From there, you can select the various features you want enabled. For example, shake the phone to turn the flashlight on and off, or raise the phone up to a landscape position and hit the volume up button to turn on the rear camera. The middle of Samsung's new Galaxy S20 devices is powerful and large, without being ridiculous.
The lowest brightness level still has a luminosity of 5. If PWM was detected, an average of minimum: 5 - maximum: Hz was measured. Our measurements show that the Blade V10 has a great contrast ratio of and an only slightly elevated black value of 0. The results are the same in the APL50 test. This makes colors appear well defined. Black content appears to have a slight grey cast.
Users can adjust the colors in settings using the pre-defined modes "standard", "warm" or "cold" or otherwise using the freely adjustable scale. The brightness is sufficient to display content legibly on very bright days. However, reading the display in direct sunlight becomes rather difficult due to reflections. This means that screen content can be read from almost any angle without the image being distorted or colors appearing inverted.
As long as there are no reflections, the affordable Android smartphone can be used in unusual positions. This is a typical hardware configuration for a mid-range smartphone. The benchmark results of our tests are varied. The other tests place the ZTE phone in the mid-range of our comparison devices. The Blade V10 reached good mid-range results in our browser benchmarks. Websites are loaded quickly in everyday use and the browser is easy to use. Graphics-heavy pages do take a second or two to be loaded. Our storage benchmark gives the Blade V10 comparably good scores, although the Random Write 4K value is a little lower than expected.
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The difference is particularly noticeable in comparison to the Wiko View 3 Pro. Storage can be expanded thanks to the microSD card reader, which reaches average read and write rates using our reference card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M The results are very similar to the competition.
ZTE Blade™ Vantage - Turn GPS Location On / Off
Its performance is sufficient to display modern games at low to medium settings. Only " Asphalt 9: Legends " showed noticeable judders occasionally. The touchscreen responds reliably while gaming and the high resistance of the screen surface can become a little uncomfortable on the fingertips. The gyroscope can also be used to control certain games reliably. This makes the Android phone feel warm but never too hot to hold.
We did not notice any limitations that could have been caused by high temperatures during testing. The speaker of the Blade V10 reaches a comparably high volume and the focus of the sound spectrum is on highs. These characteristics emit voice nicely and clearly, but are not ideal for listening to music of watching series. We would recommend headphones or external speakers for these situations, which you can connect via Bluetooth 4. The jack is nice and tight and does not have a negative impact on sound quality.
This is average for today's comparison devices and around 19 percent below the average of all smartphones we have tested. The included charger has a rated output of 7. The Blade V10 scored an average rate in our comparison field. However, the Android phone has difficulty setting itself apart from its competition. The performance of the back camera is average and fulfils the expectations of a mid-range smartphone. System performance is mostly average as well.
This leaves the advertised MP selfie cam, which takes good portrait pictures, but basically turns out to be the device's only distinguishing feature. The ZTE Blade V10 scores high points in terms of contrast and a good selfie camera but is still only an average mid-range smartphone in the end.
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The Blade V10 does offer a high-contrast display with slightly above-average brightness as well. The battery life is what you would expect from a mAh battery and there are no real issues here. The Blade V10 is a decent, reliable smartphone that will not disappoint its users - but it will not surprise them either. Mediatek Helio P ZTE homepage. Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.
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GPS test indoors. GPS test outdoors. Telephone and Voice Quality - good connection on the Blade V Cameras - smartphone with strong selfie camera. Photo taken with front camera. Image Comparison Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 click to load images.
Case - solid Android smartphone
Canon EOS 70 D. Samsung Galaxy J6. Xiaomi Mi 9. ColorChecker Passport. ZTE Blade V10 - test chart full resolution. ZTE Blade V10 - test chart detail. ZTE Blade V10 - test chart low light full resolution. Accessories and Warranty. Buyers of the Blade V10 are given a month warranty. Display - large screen and good contrast. Subpixel array. X-Rite i1Pro 2. CalMAN - color accuracy. CalMAN - color space.