- Analysis by KJ David
Announced by ZTE during the MWC 2018, the ZTE Blade V9 has the makings of a potential contender for a spot in our list of the best phones for photography. As revealed by its pros and cons in other aspects, however, it's not the sharpest Blade model in the ZTE shed. For instance, its specs are powered by an eight-core Snapdragon 450 processor running at only 1.8GHz , whereas most of the top-ranking eight-core smartphones clock in at more than 2GHz. Its 4GB RAM sounds respectable , though. We also found its 8-megapixel fixed-focus camera quite lackluster, knowing that several tantamount smartphones have selfie cams that come with autofocus and even LED flashes.
The V9's selling points are led by a dual rear-facing primary camera (16-megapixel main cam, 5-megapixel deputy cam) , which ZTE infused with Super Night Photo , a shooting mode promising desirable lighting conditions when shooting in night time or in dark environments. It also comes with what ZTE calls Fun Photography , a suite of options like AR Maker and Selfie Stickers, AI technologies (ZTE did not specify what they were exactly as of this technical review), and phase-detection autofocus or PDAF 2.0. Additionally, it offers Real-time Bokeh Portrait (background blurring effect), a shooting mode offered by most dual-lens systems.
Its feature set, which by the way, hovers between the mid-and high-end categories, also includes a large 5.7-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1080) 18:9 display , which may not be the best in the business, but is still a pro, especially since it comes with an Aurora Glass architecture -- a multi-layer screen finish consisting of things like a 2.5D curved-edge glass and an oleophobic coating. While on the topic of large displays, you might want to check out some of the best phablets here.
In terms of security, it goes up versus many other upscale models that came out during the MWC 2018 by offering both a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a facial recognition system , the latter promising a favorable 0.1-second unlocking time. It is powered by a 3200mAh battery , which is a slight con, since it's lower than what we expected out of a phone with an AI-powered camera.
Rounding out its offering is either 64GB or 32GB of expandable memory, VoLTE, and a coating of either Black or Gold.
With its mix of middle-class and high-end pros and cons, the ZTE Blade V9 winds up as a reasonable purchase for photography-driven users who don't want to dive into premium-class territory just yet.
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