The alternative you were looking for to Xiaomi and realme? We have tested the new ZTE smartphone oriented to the entry range.
Despite its moderate pace of launches, the smartphone-focused division of ZTE still very much alive He showed it to us last year with his excellent ZTE Axon 40 Ultraand wants to convince us again now with a new bet aimed at the most affordable segment of the market, which lands in Spain under the name of ZTE Blade V40 Design.
The Blade series shapes ZTE’s portfolio of entry-level and mid-range smartphones. This particular model is based on the Blade V40 series launched in the middle of last year, and brings interesting news regarding to design (hence its name).
But there is much more to tell about the ZTE Blade V40 Design beyond its physical appearance. And, although I already anticipate that it’s not the revolution that the entry range needs in 2023, it does represent good progress within the catalog of the Chinese company in its objective of gaining a foothold in this difficult market segment.
- careful design
- good autonomy
- fair return
- Dim display with poor viewing angles
- Software inconsistencies
ZTE Blade V40 Design price and where to buy it
The ZTE Blade V40 Design is priced at 199 euros in Spainand can be purchased officially through Amazon and other authorized resellers.
It is available in a single configuration, of 6 GB of RAM with 128 GB of internal storageand in a single color: black.
Through other stores, such as Phone House, it is already possible to buy it at a discount. At the time of publishing this review, you can buy for 169 euros.
Data sheet of characteristics
|Dimensions||163 x 74 x 7.98mm|
|Screen||6.6-inch Full HD+ LCD|
|Processor||2GHz Unisoc T616|
|Operating system||Android 12 with MyOS 12|
|Storage||128 GB UFS 2.2, expandable by microSD up to 1 TB|
50 Mpx main f/1.8
2 Mpx depth camera
22.5W fast charging
|Others||DTS:X Ultra Sound|
Side fingerprint reader
Design and display
With that last name, it’s no wonder design be one of the strengths of this device.
The Blade V40 Design debuts with a more refined aesthetic than other models in the Blade series, and while plastic is used to shape his entire bodythe device gives the sensation of be well built and be robust.
Its back is completely flat and has a nice matte finish. Despite the fact that ZTE announces this color as “black”, the back shows reflections of blue that add appeal to a rear end that might otherwise be excessively sober.
The dark tone goes well with the gold colored accents that surround the two large camera modules located in the back in the form of a ring, protecting the lenses from the three sensors which we found altogether.
As a hit, we could mention the different serigraphs located in the lower right corner. It would have been nice if ZTE camouflage them using a not so flashy color.
Along the edges of the phone, also flat, we find the volume buttons and the power buttonwhich integrates the fast capacitive fingerprint reader.
In the lower part, we also find a USB Type C port, a speaker, a microphone and a 3.5mm headphone port.
Its front is occupied by a 6.6-inch diagonal screen based on LCD technology. Have Full HD resolution and is surrounded by some slightly wider margins than usual in this price range. A detail to note is the inclusion of a small notification LED located at the top right of the screen, which lights up when there are unread notices.
Unfortunately, the screen of the ZTE Blade V40 Design It’s not one of its attractions. The panel offers a good color reproductiona sharpness correct and a sufficient maximum brightness. However, we found large inconsistencies in lighting and color when viewing the screen from some anglesa feature that confirms that we are not facing a very good quality screen.
hardware and performance
ZTE is another of the brands that, like Realme, has decided escape for a moment from the Qualcomm / MediaTek duo to bet on a manufacturer of microprocessors that is not so popular in the telephony sector, but that is also looking for a way to make a name for itself in this field: Unisoc.
Specifically, we find an eight-core Unisoc Tiger T616 manufactured in a 12-nanometer process, with eight cores, two of them high-performance capable of running at 2 GHz.
The chip comes backed by 4GB of RAM Y 128 GB of internal storage UFS 2.2. In addition, ZTE offers the possibility of expand RAM virtually through an option included in your software.
It is laudable that ZTE has decided to bet on a chip that is not too well-known among users, but the reality is that, today, the new from Unisoc is not ready to rival Qualcomm and MediaTek processors in terms of performance and connection speedsprobably due to the use of a somewhat outdated modem.
The Blade V40 Design performance is somewhat poor, even in everyday tasks. The lag It is frequent and, without a doubt, it is not the most suitable model for those who seek to enjoy long sessions of gaming with your smartphone.
However, it is possible that much of the blame for this apparent lack of power has to do with the use of somewhat overloaded software.
In Myself ZTE Axon 40 Ultra review I already talked about the lack of consistency and coherence in the aesthetics of ZTE’s software. To this problem, now, we must add another such as the bloatware, and it is that the customization layer of the Blade V40 Ultra arrives Loaded with pre-installed games and apps which, although they can be easily removed, only serve to consume resources the device unnecessarily.
Although not everything is bad, luckily. The software works fast and moves with agility, in addition to offering a good variety of configuration and customization optionsas well as tools that can be useful on certain occasions, such as a function of face unlock that works quickly and accurately, and perfectly complements the fingerprint reader.
Apart from that, it must be said that ZTE Blade V40 Design hits the market with Android 12a version of the system launched in 2021. At the moment, the brand has not confirmed if you plan to update it to Android 13and if so, when will.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the Blade V40 Design incorporates NFC chip enabled for mobile payments and a more than adequate sound system, backed by support for DTS:X Ultra Audio which gives several extra points to the sound experience.
battery and charging
Their 4500mAh capacity They didn’t promise too much at first glance, but the reality is that the battery of the Blade V40 Design gives more of itself than would be expected.
It is extremely easy to reach the end of the day with battery remaining after a day of normal use, probably due to the use of a processor more focused on energy efficiency that in performance.
I have usually been able to achieve about five hours of screen on with the device, spread over a day and a half of use. It is not a record autonomy, but it is not bad for a device of this price.
The charger included in the box Allows you to recharge the device at a 22.5W powerwhich is enough for fill the battery in about 80 minutes in total.
The Blade V40 Design incorporates a total of four different cameras: three on the back and one on the front. But the reality is that just two They can offer a satisfying experience.
The 50-megapixel main camera doesn’t work wonders, but defends itself in well-lit environments. sin of truth artificial oversharpening and of saturate colors until reaching stridency, but unless the scene to be captured is complex, there will be no problems when taking “usable” photos.
The same happens with the 8 megapixel front camera. It allows take correct selfies with the naked eye, although we begin to see the seams if we enlarge the photographs or view them on a higher resolution screen. The loss of detail is appreciable, and the smoothing of the faces is somewhat excessive.
Best alternatives to the ZTE Blade V40 Design
The Blade V40 Design lands on the market to fight in a hotly contested leaguewhere you will have to see the faces with the reference models of firms such as Xiaomi, realme or Samsung.
His main rival today is the Redmi Note 11 from Xiaomia smartphone that offers a far superior performance, a better photographic experience and slightly better tuned software. Everything, for a price similar to that of the new ZTE smartphone.
On the other hand, the realm 9i competes within this same market segment, also with a somewhat more powerful and reliable processor than the ZTE, in addition to having the added value of equip a higher quality screen with a refresh rate of 90 hertz. Its price is even lower than that of the V40 Design.
ZTE has tried to create a attractive smartphone with which to gain a foothold in the entry-level segment. And although the idea is good, the execution falls short due to the use of a processor that cannot compete with its counterparts from Qualcomm and MediaTek, a screen of questionable quality, and a camera system that does not manage to convince.
Unless its design is especially attractive to youand that you want to give another brand a chance beyond the typical ones, you will probably find better alternatives to the Blade V40 Design on the market.
This device has been thoroughly tested Independent thanks to a transfer by the brand. The article contains purchase links for which Andro4all could receive a commission. join up to the Andro4all bargain channel to find out about the best deals before anyone else.