ZTE unveils two new affordable Blade-series phones with fingerprint sensors
You can probably count the top 20 smartphone manufacturers that are yet to launch a flagship model this year on one hand, but ZTE is still in no rush to upgrade the Nubia Z9 and Z9 Max or refresh the Axon lineup.
Instead, the Chinese OEM remains 100 percent focused on the low-cost, mid-range segment, where the Blade V7 Max and Blade A910 today follow in the footsteps of the very recently unveiled Nubia Z11 mini.
With a 5.5-inch Full HD display, undetailed 1.8 GHz octa-core processor, and 3,000 mAh battery, the ZTE Blade V7 Max doesn’t immediately strike us as special or particularly appealing, even for the budget-conscious crowd.
Things change however when you add the robust 16 and 8MP cameras in the mix, as well as a side-mounted fingerprint reader, USB Type-C port, DTS audio enhancements, pre-loaded Android 6.0 Marshmallow software, and up to 4GB RAM.
Free of unnecessary aesthetic bells and whistles, the V7 Max measures a slender 7.2mm in waist, and starts at the equivalent of $280 on Chinese shores. That’s with 3 gigs of memory, of course, while the top-of-the-line configuration is priced at roughly $310.
As for the ZTE Blade A910, the spec sheet is about as lackluster as its name. The rear-facing cam is downgraded to 13 megapixels, the battery to 2,540 mAh, and a modest quad-core 1.3 GHz MT6735 SoC runs the hardware show.
On the software side, you only get Android 5.1 Lollipop, RAM options cap off at 3GB, and the fingerprint scanner is moved to the device’s back, looking eerily similar to a can opener. Good thing this 5.5-incher, which sports 720p resolution, costs just $200 or so in a 2 gig memory variant, though you have to wonder if that’s cheap enough to save the A910 from otherwise near-certain oblivion off the bat.