Less than a year later appeared Blade V6 successor. It’s got quite the expected name Blade V7, Chinese manufacturer ZTE connects with the new model considerable success. Instead of experiments ZTE focused on the basics. What came out of it, you will learn in our review.
Like its predecessor, the new model Blade is focused on the lower mainstream segment with a price of 249 euros or 15.990 rubles in Russia. From direct competitors can be called the Huawei P9 Lite and the Motorola Moto G4. Both smartphones have improved compared to its predecessors, but ZTE has focused on three main factors.
The first relates to the display. Instead of a diagonal 5.0 inches and resolution of 1.280 x 720 pixels screen from its predecessor V7 reached diagonal 5.2 “, the resolution is now Full-HD. It is a smartphone” grown “to many of today’s competitors, the display detail more than enough.
According to ZTE brightness too pleased. The maximum brightness of 614 cd / m² the display will be enough even for outdoor use.
On a good level are contrast (1,383: 1) and color. IPS Panel gave an almost neutral color temperature of about 6,400 K and saturated hues. Staffing possible to customize the color temperature is not, unlike some competitors.
The second change concerns the SoC. MediaTek MT6735 in the Blade V6 gave way MT6753. Number of Cortex-A53 cores increased from four to eight, but the maximum rate remained at 1.3 GHz. GPU promises a higher level of performance. Still using ARM Mali-T720, but instead of two now set three clusters, and the frequency increased to 100 MHz.
MT6753 again made on 28-nm process technology, so miracles do not have to wait for efficiency.
Unfortunately, the performance gain compared Blade V6 very limited. In 3DMark test (Ice Storm Unlimited) we received 6,834 points, more than a third more. In AnTuTu 5 an increase of about 16% – 32,667 points. However, both results Blade V7 smartphone lags behind competitors that much and in daily operation. The smartphone responds slowly many other models, sometimes visible small troll.
Part of the reason lies in the slow low-speed flash memory of 16 GB which can be expanded. Read and write speed is only 43 and 16 MB / s.
But if you look, clearly it shows that the bottleneck is the GPU. As part of the CPU in SoC is largely identical to the opponents on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 616/617 (Honor 5X / Moto G4) and other similar chips. RAM is not important, it is set to 2 GB, as well as those of competitors.
SoC has not affected the rest of the equipment relating to the modem and wireless interfaces. Blade V7 can connect to LTE Cat 4 networks with download speeds of up to 150 Mbit / s, also has the support of WLAN 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 and micro-USB 2.0; but no NFC. As a bonus, we note support for two SIM-cards. But if you use two SIM-cards, you have to give up the possibility of expanding the internal memory. Data transmission is supported only one SIM-card of the two.
From Blade V7 predecessor inherited quality telephony. Extraneous noises are suppressed are not as efficient as its competitors. Microphone and speaker basic work well, but from the second speaker, we expect more than low and medium frequencies, at high volume levels quickly appear distorted.
Two ZTE camera decided not to touch – Technical Specifications compared to the Blade V6 has not changed. The front sensor is used on a 5 MP with f2.8 aperture, behind – the sensor is 13 megapixels with f2,2 aperture and dual LED-flash. The optical stabilization system is not available, the ability to record video in higher resolution Full-HD not.
The Hardware remains the same, the same applies to software processing. In bright color and detail are convincing, but the impression spoils noise at the edges. As Blade V6 with a deterioration in the quality of lighting decreases rapidly. Images obtained with excessive harshness, but clearly noticeable noise, the colors look dull.
The same results we got from the front of the camera, in ideal conditions, the average quality. video function is suitable for shooting short videos, artifacts occur only in the fast-moving objects.
Unfortunately, the criticism about the camera application and remained unheard. Application structure more complicated than many of its competitors, not all options are clear at a glance – for example, when you select the video resolution. They include not familiar pixels and quality levels. Compared with the Blade V6 response time of the camera was a little better. Of course, the record for responsiveness, it does not hit, but the problem of inertia is almost completely solved.
The increase in diagonal display ZTE has decided to use to increase the battery capacity. With the level of 2,200 mAh, it increased to 2.540 mAh, that is still not enough for a smartphone with a 5.2-inch screen. At Huawei, for example, in almost the same battery capacity is case 3.000 mAh.
As usual, the battery life depends not only on the capacity. It increased by only 15%, but in the two tests of battery life we got the result by 19 and 70% better. In PCMark smartphone Blade V7 lasted almost 5 hours of streaming video playback test – almost 9 hours. The results are average, but in everyday scenarios, the smartphone is a little better. In our tests, it lasted without charging about two days.
You can criticize the fact that the battery is not removable, wireless charging is not available. In addition, it has a long charge smartphone. Complete power supply provides power only 5 watts, connection to a more powerful charging any advantage does not.
By housing ZTE decided to experiment – in contrast to other components. Visually Blade V7, as before, is trying to be like on the iPhone, you can highlight the similarities are many, although the details of the difference is still there. The camera is now in the middle and a bit is shifted down, hidden antenna insulators, and the speakers moved from the backdrop to the lower end of the smartphone. Finally, the volume rocker “moved” from the right end to the left. On the front side of all remained the same, here the similarity with Apple is clearly seen.
In any case, Blade V7 compared to Blade V6 looks fresh and visually interesting, add to this a better quality production. All components are tight fitting, no backlash buttons, except that the transitions between the aluminum body and plastic covers on the top and bottom are not such perfect as we would like.
The size of 146.0 x 72.5 x 7.5 mm can be called for a given diagonal small as 136 g and weight, however, as in the case of the precursor, it is unlikely you can work with one hand. Display occupies about 70% of the area of the faceplate, the result is not the highest. All of the buttons on the left and right side you can easily reach. For Android buttons below the display have to get used. Instead of the usual icons you get a big circle and two small points.
Software ZTE did not invent anything new. The smartphone is based on the latest Android 6.0 version with some changes. In particular, there is no separate application menu, a large number of available interface settings, but in comparison with the competitors interface may seem too colorful and toy. Supports management of gestures, for example, you can specify an application triggered a gesture.
Compared with the Blade V6 ZTE has increased the number of pre-installed third-party applications that take up a lot of space. Furthermore, in some cases, an application can not be removed.
ZTE has made changes to the housing design, updated the SoC and has moved to a larger display – this is a new generation. Many manufacturers in the past have followed similar evolutionary spiral, in their footsteps went ZTE. Critical comments on the Blade V6 was taken into account in some cases but not all. In particular, we were disappointed by the re-use Blade V7 mediocre camera, this shortcoming can not compensate for any improved display, or a more powerful SoC. At least the manufacturer was able to improve the quality of construction of the body, even if it can not be called perfect. In general, Blade V7 has turned out better than its predecessor, but the changes are not enough to rise above the average level.
For a comparable price, you can buy a better smartphone, here we would like to point out Huawei P9 Lite and Moto G4. The first will cost 280 euros, or by 18.9 thousand. Rubles, which is more expensive ZTE model, the latter with the price of 240 euro a little cheaper (although it has not yet appeared in Russia). Today, a good alternative to the middle class can be called Nexus 5X, the price of which decreased significantly – from 16,990 rubles.
Let’s hope that ZTE will maintain a fast pace of development. And Blade V8 will be a serious competitor.