ZTE Acqua phone – Launch and Review

Just 2 weeks ago I got a new phone!

ZTE ACQUA - signing and launch-002

Well, it’s an android. And it’s pretty affordable at RM699.00 for a phone of its capability.
It is primarily my colleagues’ workphone for company use and works marvelously as a backup for all of us. So far both of them (original phones iPhone and a Samsung S3) had no complains.
We kept our expectations fair of course. 🙂

ZTE ACQUA - signing and launch-006

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At first glance the phone looked solid enough. In the hands it feels decently solid too. (Read: It’s not plastic-ky).  
We are proud to announce that it had survived a few tumbles to the ground (unintentionally of course) and still works just as normally as before.
Well, there were no flat screen fall so far and we do not have any intention of testing that anytime soon! 🙂

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The back panel has mesh effect to it which somewhat gives a better grip kind-of- feel. You may not think that’s much, but a phone that doesn’t slides off the table easily and keeps well to the hand ergonomically friendly somewhat.

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Most reviews tests out a phone’s or a tablet’s processor by running games applications. Since none of us play games, we tested out the camera more than anything else. The 3MP camera is laggy as it takes a few seconds to load up. Same goes to the focus.

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Controls-wise it’s limited to a few basic functions like brightness, auto-focus and zoom. Effects such as (Mono、Sepia、Negative) were rarely used (for us personally) but it’s good to have. Our Acqua’s photo quality setting is always set at Super Fine, with the other available choices of fine and normal.

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BELOW: Pictures taken with the ZTE Acqua. For a 3MP it’s pretty good for normal daylight conditions.

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On a dull or rainy day:

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You get the drift.

Next, is the screen pleasing to the eyes?

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Frankly, the screen is not as sharp as we would have preferred, and we realized at times, it’s not as responsive as we would like either. A quick tap normally doesn’t cut it, and you’re better off with a full finger touch on the particular icon for a few seconds to be ensured of its response.

With a 4-inch display, the phone ensures decent screen real-estate to play with. In my humble opinion, 4-inch screens are just nice for the hand to grip, to carry around, for use and it fits into the pocket easily too.

Karen did love this quick menu function that takes her straight to the 6 most popular menus : Call, Volume, Calendar, Mail, Camera, Message.  With a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, it is fairly easy on the eyes for social networking, emails and so forth; as all basic to mid range smartphones should be able to provide. Youtube videos and pictures browsing is not a problem either.

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You can browse through the technical specs here:

Technical Specs

CategoryDescription
Hardware & Baseband Information
         Model NameModel NameZTE-U V880E
      Design SpecificsID
OSAndroid 4.0
Form FactorCandy Bar
Dimension120.5mm*63.6mm*10.9mm
weight(g) (with battery)about 130g
AntennaInternal
QWERTY KeypadVirtual QWERTY
TouchScreenYes,Capacity touch screen
Side KeysVolume key,power key
              ChipsetChipset (BB/RF)MSM7227A
               BearerGPRS (Multi-slot / MS Class / Coding Scheme)Multi-slot: Class12 MS Class: B Coding Scheme: CS1/CS2/CS3/CS4
EDGE (Multi-slot / Coding Schem)Multi-slot: Class12 Coding Scheme:MCS1~MCS9
UMTS / HSDPA/HSPA/HSPA+MSM7227A: HSPA (7.2 Mbps DL/5.76 Mbps UL)
Power ClassUMTS power class3
Band Mode (GSM / UMTS)GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz UMTS 900/2100 MHz
             DisplayMain Display technology, size,resolution, color spaceTFT 4.0” 480*800, 262K color
Sub Display type, size,resolution, color spaceNone

Camera

Camera Sensor TypeCMOS
Still Image Capture Resolution (in MP)3M AF/0.3M FF Dual Camera
FlashYes
Auto-focusYes
Function1.6× digital zoom, Auto white balance(AWB), contrast,brightness, photo Effects(None、Mono、Sepia、Negative), Photo Quality Setting(Super fine/fine/normal)
Image (formats, preview framerates)Format: JPEG Preview framerates: 15fps
Video (Formats,resolution, preview / record framerates)Recording Resolution :VGA(640*480) CIF(352*288) QVGA(320*240) QCIF(176*144) Previewing Framerates:15fps Recording Framerates: 15fps Recording Video Format: MP4

 Memory

Combo Flash4GB eMMC+512MB DDR2 RAM
Total internal memory (end user available) in MB>2GB
Maximum Capacity of external memory card (GB)32GB
              BatteryBattery capacity(mAh)1600mAh
Standby time (hours)250h
Voice talk time (min)4h
          ConnectivityBluetooth (Version , Power Class, Profile)version: 2.1+EDR power class: class 2 Profiles: GAP, A2DP1.2(source), AVRCP1.4(controller), GAVDP1.2(Initiator), HSP1.2(AG), OPP(Client, Server), PBAP1.0(PSE) HFP1.5(AG),OBEX1.1
Wifi Protocol802.11b, g, n
USB Cable Connector (MiniUSB/8 pin MiniUSB/MicroUSB/Others)MicroUSB
           AccessoryHeadset (3.5mm/2.5mm/others)3.5mm
Charger connector (MiniUSB/8 pin MiniUSB/MicroUSB/others)MicroUSB

MISC

FM RadioYes
FM AntennaHeadset as antenna
GPS ReceiverYes
CarkitN/A
CompassYes
AccelerometerYes

All in all, it fits the profile of a phone of its price and specs range. Well, it is an improvement from the ZTE Skate for sure!

ZTE Skate launch - malaysia - rebeccasaw

zte skate launch malaysia - rebeccasaw

So any comments of ZTE phones?

At the launch we were told that we can expect more ZTE phones coming into the market soon, all higher in specs and performance. Expect consequent increase in price as well. The ZTE Aqua is running 2.3 Gingerbread which I opined is not necessarily a problem. Gingerbread is by far the most popular Android operating system (*more ICS handsets available will change this) and it provides a generally simple and conducive environment that suits phones in the ZTE Acqua range.

ZTE ACQUA - signing and launch