$100 ZTE Blade A2 amazingly comes clad in metal, with 2GB RAM and fingerprint sensor
America might be widely regarded as the land of opportunity and endless possibilities, but when it comes to ridiculously affordable mobile hardware, China is without a doubt the global leader and trend-setter.
Local veteran and worldwide fame seeker ZTE today throws its hat in the ultra-low-cost Android smartphone ring again, going after Xiaomi or Meizu’s best entry-level models with everything you could realistically hope for at around $100… and then some.
The Blade A2, which follows in the footsteps of the modest A1, is similarly no powerhouse, packing an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor. In terms of pre-loaded software, things are actually painful to watch, as ancient 5.1 Lollipop runs the show, despite build N looming large on the horizon.
On the extremely bright side, however, the 5-incher looks incredibly well-built for its price, with premium metal everywhere, clean lines, sharp corners, not to mention a rear-fitted circular fingerprint reader for enhanced security and futuristic authentication.
The cameras aren’t pushovers either, with 13 and 5 megapixels respectively, LED flashes each way, and PDAF on the back. Smooth multitasking also doesn’t sound like a problem, thanks to 2GB RAM, and there’s plenty of digital hoarding room, both internally (16GB) and externally (up to 128GB microSD card support).
Tipping the scales at 135 grams, and measuring a slim 7.9mm in profile, the ZTE Blade A2 predictably features an average-sounding 2,500 mAh battery, though the 720p screen shouldn’t be such a massive power hog.
Overall, the bang for buck is arguably outstanding, with China Mobile and Unicom planning to charge just 700 Yuan, i.e. $105 or so. Any chances of a Western expansion? Almost none whatsoever.