ZTE Blade 3 review: First look
We review the ZTE Blade 3, a smartphone but at a very reasonable, low price for its spec sheet
Phones that make you go 'ooooh' don't tend to cost £69.99, but the ZTE Blade 3 may well be the exception to that rule.
With its 4-inch WVGA screen and 1GHz processor coupled with the 5-megapixel autofocus camera around the back, while pretty modest on the specs front, it's undeniably aweÂsome for the price.
ZTE is no strangers to affordable. In the past, Android smartphones like the ZTE Kis have cost as little as £50 off contract. Before the Kis, the original Blade hit stores in the form of the Orange San Francisco, followed by the Blade 2, unsurprisingly branded the San Francisco 2. Both these Android phones packed sub-£100 price tags and respectable spec-sheets for their time.
It's little wonder therefore that the ZTE Blade 3 continues the legacy of affordable pricing and respectable hardware, but unlike any Blade before and despite being exclusive to Virgin, the Blade 3 will carry ZTE's own branding.
There's a 5-megapixel camera packing both a flash and autofocus around the back, and if you remove the back cover you'll be greeted by both a 1600mAh battery and a micro SD card slot. Couple that with 4GB of internal memory, 2GB of which is user available and you won't be wanting for very much at all.
As for the UI, there's a heavy dose of relatively stock Android 4.0.4, along with a number of Virgin apps and Google's suite of Play Movies, Magazines and Books. A ZTE spokesperson said to expect a Jelly Bean update later in the year, but gave no indication as to when.
With ZTE tiering its hardware across three divisions: Kis, Blade and Grand, the Blade 3 will be the company's low to mid-ranger for the year.
We wouldn't put it past a dual-core Blade down the line to compete directly with the Huawei Ascend G330 and expect to report on other announcements from ZTE in a couple of weeks at MWC.
For now though, we'll leave you with our video. Enjoy and keep an eye on the site for our ZTE Blade 3 review coming soon.