- Analysis by KJ David
Essentially an amalgam of entry-level and mid-range pros and cons, the ZTE Blade X, exclusively carried by Cricket, is a 5.5-incher for those shopping on a relatively tight budget.
Among its key specs are a run-of-the-mill (for mid-level smartphones) 16GB internal memory paired up with a colossal up-to-2TB memory expansion support , which even many high-end devices fail to offer. This Blade model does not rock a very sharp screen, however, coming in the form of a 5.5-inch TFT interface with only a 1280 x 720 (HD) resolution . In contrast, a few of its mid-end competitors boast Full HD (1920 x 1080) definitions.
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In the hardware department, the Blade X features no surprises, running on a low-cost 1.4GHz quad-core processor and a similarly-low-key 2GB-only RAM . Luckily, its endurance does not sound as underwhelming, seeing as it feeds off a 3000mAh battery cell bundled with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 1.0 technology . It also helps that ZTE tests made it score 23.1 hours of talk time and up to 31.8 days on standby .
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A few more appreciable -- though nothing new -- pros include its rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and the Argus health and wellness app suite that lets you keep track of things like heart rate and glucose in one place. The Blade X also features the Dolby Atmos audio technology , which was pretty much the go-to audio system for a good number of ZTE's 2017 prepaid releases.
When stacked up versus many other mid-level smartphones of its time, the Blade X flounders in terms of imaging. Its rear camera is a rather mundane (by 2017 standards) 13-megapixel cam , while up front is a measly 5-megapixel secondary camera. As we all know, 2017 was the year of 13-megapixel-and-up selfie cams, so its sub-par selfie shooter is an outright con.
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Rounding out its pros and cons are 4G LTE connectivity, the Android 7.1.1 Nougat ecosystem, and a plain black finish that we think represents its unambitious feature set. Having said that, for users who appreciate more-than-average battery life and storage memory, the ZTE Blade X likely makes the cut.
** This phone is also known as: ZTE Z965, Cricket Blade X, ZTE X Blade
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