In order to set itself apart in an already very crowded smartphone market, ZTE’s thrust has been to bring down last year’s high-end tech into this year’s midrange phones.
Here at MWC 2018 in Barcelona, the company is introducing its sub-US$ 300 Blade V9 smartphone.
The phone is familiar, and in many ways reminiscent of a flagship phone from late 2017.
It is ZTE’s first full-screen 18:9 phone with a pretty decent 84 percent screen-to-body ratio, and with dual cameras for better low-light performance.
In the hands, the phone’s all-glass build and metal frame give it a solid, premium feel. The back of the phone shimmers when it catches light; the company is calling it Aurora Glass.
ZTE reps tell GadgetMatch that the phone was designed “with a lot of emphasis on battery, camera, and display.”
The phone is powered by a 3100mAh battery with software that switches off infrequently used apps to maximize battery life.
It’s dual main cameras (16- and 5-megapixel) both work in tandem to provide better exposure when light is scarce and enable bokeh mode for portraits. The main camera shoots at f/1.8, and in our limited tests, did a good job at managing tricky lighting situations.
The Blade V9’s camera also has “AR mode” and can overlay 2D objects into photos.
International versions of the phone will run stock versions of Android Oreo and the company promises speed updates. The phone runs on a Snapdragon 450 processor and comes in 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB memory and storage models. It retails for EUR 269, or around US$ 330, and is available in blue, black, gold, or gray.
If that’s still too high an asking price, ZTE is also offering the Blade V9 Vita, which costs only EUR 179 (US$ 220). It has lower specs like a Snapdragon 435 processor, up to 3GB of memory, and up to 32GB of storage. It has a slightly smaller 5.45-inch 18:9 display but with strong battery life and a dual-camera setup.
Colors options for the Blade V9 Vita are blue, dark blue, pink, and black.
Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco Hands-On
Testament to Nokia’s craftsmanship
Two years after making its big comeback, Nokia is slowly filling in the pieces of its Android smartphone lineup. The star of course has to be the new Nokia 8 Sirocco, the most premium from the announcements at Mobile World Congress.
But our favorite is the Nokia 7 Plus, a near-borderless Android One phone with Zeiss optics and a beautiful build.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Review
Are these new features worth the price increase?
In our Samsung Galaxy S9 Review video, we hope to answer questions you may have to help you make an informed decision before buying the phone.
Is Dual Aperture a gimmick? How good is the S9’s camera? S9 or S9+? Is it even worth it?
YouTubers React to the Samsung Galaxy S9
Do they look like their AR Emoji?
A new color, internal camera upgrades, and a few minor changes here and there don’t necessarily make the S9 look or feel new.
But is retaining the same beautiful, sleek design such a bad thing? Are the subtle improvements worth the high price tag? Is AR Emoji a gimmick?
YouTubers Mrwhosetheboss, Joshua Vergara, GadgetsBoy, GadgetsJon, The Tech Chap, David Imel, PC Centric, and Isa Rodriguez tell us what they think about the the Samsung Galaxy S9.
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Refinement of a modern classic
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Bang for the buck, at a cost of key features
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Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 120W will fully charge your phone in an instant
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