It seems that all smartphone manufacturers are increasing their efforts in the Indian market. Entering the fray is a spate of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, including Gionee, Oppo and Xiaomi.
ZTE is trying to get itself into the headlines through ZTE V5, a smartphone that is priced directly against the Moto G (Gen 2) ZTE V5 has slightly better features than its rival, including a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. ZTE’s phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat but has a custom skin on top of it called Nubia v2.5.1, which we haven’t seen before.
Look and feel
In this day and age when smartphone makers are praying for the thinnest and lightest smartphone, ZTE V5 feels like an anomaly. At 165 grams and 8.9 mm thick, the phone is definitely good. This is definitely not a bad thing as it is reassuring and the build quality of the phone is really good. The black and white exterior of the two heads looks cool, but once the back cover opens, you can see that ZTE V5 has a bright blue interior.
This setup is similar to the Xolo Win Q900s (review) phone that we reviewed recently. In the case of Zulu, the buttons are designed to send Android or WP8.1 to the same hardware. We think this is a confusing setup that ZTE could have avoided.
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Specifications and software
Like Moto G (Gen 2), this ZTE V5 has Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SOC. The quad-core processor is clocked at 1.2GHz and has an integrated Adreno 305 GPU. It has 1GB RAM and 4GB internal storage space.
The 13-megapixel primary camera has a Sony Exxor RS sensor and LED flash for low light conditions. The ZTE uses a 2400mAh battery to power the phone. It can be connected to the 850/900/1800/1900/2100 MHz frequency band. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth version 4.0 are available for wireless communication options.
The 5-inch screen has a display resolution of 720×1280 which changes to a pixel density of 294ppi. It is a spectacular, lively show with vibrant colors. Viewing angles are great because the screen doesn’t fade. However, since the screen has the highest reflectivity of the sun.
While ZTE V5 runs on Android 4.4.2, the company has added its Nubia V2.5.1 skin on top. The problem with this skin is that it is full of animations, which slows down the device during daily use. In addition, there are some differences, such as spelling mistakes that can be seen in some places.
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Most importantly, there is no multi-tasking option, which we believe is a mistake from the developers.
The camera app has also been completely eliminated. Circular buttons are placed on top of the on-screen viewfinder area. There are three main modes: Auto, Entertainment and Pro. Filters are available in entertainment mode, while Pro mode includes a ton of controls. However, some options in entertainment mode, such as alpha, background, and combinations are simply useless because it is impossible to get good shots. All three methods demand the use of tripods.
Thanks to the Sony Exomore RS sensor, the 13-megapixel primary camera captures really good details with noise levels that are kept to a minimum. These images have warm, natural colors, provided they are captured from a distance. The lens cannot easily focus on subjects close to the camera, and we end up with mostly focused subjects as a result. However in low light conditions, the camera is not so good and it was a disappointment for us. The 5-megapixel front camera captures soft-focus images and smoothes out most details, leading to a watercolor effect. The captured 1080p video looked great with great detail but was off-screen for most of the episode and that’s why our recorded clip looked so slow.
The software is the culprit given the day-to-day performance of V5. Moving through screens, opening web pages and apps is frustrating. In general, we slowed down and the launcher force stopped us even once or twice. However, the number is a different story.
In our CPU tests on AnTuTu and Quadrant, ZTE V5 scored 16,549 and 8,433 points respectively. The built-in video player manages to play all of our full-HD videos without any difficulty, even at most 40 Mbps encoded.
The loudspeaker is loud enough to distort the volume. The phone has SRS TrueSound HD which slightly enhances the listening experience. Bundled earphones are serviceable. The sound quality during the call was good and we did not experience any deficiency in the network where there was congestion. The performance of such a battery indicates that users should be able to squeeze in half a day’s use.
ZTE V5 exclusively on Snapdeal Is available in 10,999 and this has reduced the price of Moto G (General 2). 2,000. However, the performance of the middling software looks better than phones and other options such as Asus Zenfone 5 image and Lumia 630. Buy this phone only if you want a good battery life and a good camera, and don’t worry about sluggishness during daily use.