ZTE is making headlines with its global expansion plans and for its presence at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) to launch the first-ever Gigabit smartphone. But the company is also making smartphones for the budget-conscious shoppers.
ZTE Blade A2 Plus was launched in India earlier this month and the handset is a strong competitor to the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Moto G4 Plus and others. The Blade A2 Plus' price is a competitive one, which makes it a worthy budget premium smartphones in the market. At Rs 11,999, the handset costs lower than Xiaomi and Motorola's offerings.
We received the Blade A2 Plus for a review and after spending some time with the handset, we are able to share our views on whether this smartphone meets the users' expectations or succumbs to the pressure by its rivals.
ZTE smartphones are visually appealing and the look of the Blade A2 Plus is quite impressive. The handset has a premium appeal with its shiny metallic back and slim bezel display. The rear panel has an arc-design, which makes it comfortable to hold in the hand.
As shown above, the fingerprint sensor is placed just below the camera module and the dual-LED flash. There are textured caps at the top and bottom of the rear panel, which gives it a unique look. The speaker grille and the microUSB charging slot is at the bottom, the audio jack at the top and the volume controls and power/lock key on the right-hand side.
The 5.5-inch Full HD display works just fine and it is quite handy as well. Even in bright sunlight, adjusting the screen resolution can help fend off reflection. Overall, the design of the Blade A2 Plus is satisfying.
The biggest USP of the Blade A2 Plus is the battery. The 5,000mAh unit under that metallic body makes sure you don't have to worry about running out of juice mid-day. With extensive usage of data, voice calls, messaging, browsing and some music and videos, the handset lasted well over a day. With limited usage, we were able to manage it for two full days.
ZTE Blade A2 Plus also has this feature where you can use the handset as a power bank to charge other phones. In case you worry about the charging time to fill up the 5000mAh battery, it takes about 3 hours.
In our view, ZTE Blade A2 Plus has a stable performance. Be it multi-tasking or running high-res games like Asphalt, the Blade A2 Plus did not disappoint us. There was some noticeable heating at one point during games and excessive GPS usage, but nothing that we couldn't handle.
The software delivers near-stock Android experience with minimal to none lags. But there's nothing fancy in the interface that will impress you like the OnePlus 3T or OPPO's ColorOS. The handset runs smoothly, which is made possible by a MediaTek MT6750 chipset and 4GB RAM. There's 32GB on-board storage, but the second SIM slot doubles as a microSD card slot for additional storage support up to 256GB.
Given the 13MP lens on the back with PDAF, AF and dual tone flash, we had high expectations. In broad daylight, the handset excels like most of the smartphones in its price range. But the details are lost in low-light conditions.
With proper lighting, you can get true-to-life colours, but the sharpness isn't up to the mark. We have reviewed the Redmi Note 4 and it seems to have an edge over Blade A2 Plus in this category. Below are some sample photos shot using the Blade A2 Plus for your reference:
The front camera is equipped an 8MP lens, which delivers decent selfies. If you are looking for great camera experience with this phone, you might have better luck elsewhere.
ZTE Blade A2 Plus is a good value smartphone for the money spent, but there are some setbacks. The camera could have been better in the phone, considering that most people would love to have this as an added advantage for owning a smartphone. The battery is excellent and the handset has a stable performance. For the price of Rs 11,999, it is a good choice if customers are looking for something fresh other than what Xiaomi, LeEco, Coolpad and Motorola have been offering to buyers.