ZTE Blade A2 Plus Review


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ZTE launched the Blade A2 Plus smartphone last month for Rs. 11,999. The phone comes with a massive 5000mAh battery. Is the 5000mAh battery enough reason to buy this phone? Let us see if this budget smartphone is worth the price tag in this detailed review.

Display, Hardware and Design

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Similar to a number of phones out there, ZTE Blade A2 Plus also sports a unibody metal design and brings nothing new to the table. However, it does have solid build and feels quiet sturdy to hold. It has large bezels on top and bottom.

There is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, earpiece and proximity sensor. The phone sports a 5.5-inch 1080p 2.5D curved glass display which is good but the sunlight visibility is average. The display is decent for watching videos and gaming.

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A round capacitive home button is present below the display on the bezel while the back button is on the left and multi-tasking button on the right.

The micro USB port is present at the bottom with loudspeaker grills on its either side. Volume rockers and power button are situated on the right while the left side houses the SIM card tray. Finally, the 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top.

The phone measures 155×76.2×9.8mm and weighs 189 grams. It is heavy and feels bulky due to the 5000mAh battery.

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Moving on to the back, the phone has a fingerprint sensor below the camera module and LED flash. The ZTE branding is present in the middle.

Camera

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The phone has a 13MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, PDAF. The camera quality is just average. Macro images came out good while low light ones had lot of noise. The auto focus is also slow. Coming to the camera UI you have the usual settings HDR mode, picture-in-picture mode, panorama and so on. There is a gesture feature that lets you take a photo by making the ‘peace’ sign but it did not work most of the time during our testing period. The 8MP front camera is decent for selfies but mainly when there is good lighting.

Check out the camera samples below. (Click on the images for full resolution quality )

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Even though the spec sheet says that it can record video at 1080p resolution, the stock camera can record only at 720p HD resolution. The video quality is decent. Check out the sample below.

Software, UI and Apps

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The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Mi Favour 3.5 on top. I personally felt the UI is very childish and unattractive especially because of the big app icons. There is no app drawer on the phone and all the apps are front and center.

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The notification panel has usual shortcuts for WiFi, SIM setting, location and so on. You can add widgets as well to the screen. The phone comes bundled with apps like AccuWeather, Calculator, Clean Master, Family Mode, Private Space, Super Key, Gesture Motion and UC Browser. It also comes with usual set of Google apps.

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It has 4GB RAM out of which there is 2.3GB usable RAM, out of which 1.7GB is free when the default apps are running in the background. Out of 32GB internal storage you get 24GB of usable space.

Music Player and FM Radio

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The music player is standard and has equalizer. FM radio lets you record music and you can save multiple radio stations.

Fingerprint Sensor

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The fingerprint sensor which also doubles up as a clickable button is present at the back below the rear camera. It is just not very fast but just does the job for you. You can click on it to take screenshots. The fingerprint addition process is simple and you can add up to 5 fingerprints.

It even offers functions like taking a photo by tapping the fingerprint reader, answering calls. Swiping down on the fingerprint sensor you can unfold the notification drawer and swipe up to fold it. You can swipe up on the fingerprint sensor to check recent apps. Finally, using the fingerprint sensor you can launch the gallery and swipe left or right to view pictures.

Connectivity

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The phone comes with hybrid Dual SIM card slot that can house nano + nano / microSD card. The primary SIM supports 4G while the secondary SIM slot supports only 3G. Call and audio quality is decent while playing music and calling. Connectivity options on the phones include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.

Performance and Benchmarks

The phone is powered by 1.5 GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MT6750T 64-bit processor with Mali T860 GPU. It offers a decent performance that is lag free. The 4GB RAM is good for performance, gaming and multi tasking. However, the phone got heated from about 20-25 minutes of usage

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It scored 44846 in AnTuTu benchmark.

ZTE Bade A2 Plus Vellamo Chrome Browser

It scored 2786 points in Vellamo Browser benchmark.

ZTE Bade A2 Plus Vellamo Metal

It scored 1117 points in Vellamo Metal benchmark.

ZTE Bade A2 Plus 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited

It scored 9388 points in 3D Mark Ice Strom benchmark.

Battery Life

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The phone has a 5000mAh battery that easily lasts for two days with moderate to high usage. It also comes with a Power Manager setting that has a Ultra Power saving mode which when enabled turns off all features like mobile data, Bluetooth, GPS. Only the basic functions like calls, SMS and other run in the background. The phone also displays high power consumption apps in the status bar.

ZTE Blade A2 Plus FA One Charge Rating

The phone achieved one charge rating of 15 hours and 18 minutes which is not the best considering the phone has a 5000mAh battery. Check out our the complete set of battery test results here.

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Conclusion

The ZTE Blade A2 Plus is an average phone that fails to impress in terms of camera performance. The UI on the device is definitely not the best we have seen on phones and needs a major revamp. Although the price tag of Rs. 11,999 looks decent, the phone falls short to justify it. However, one area where the Blade A2 Plus scores is the battery performance and I am not sure how many customers would go for the device only because of the large 5000mAh battery. It is available exclusively from Flipkart. Check out this list if you are looking for smartphones with long battery life.

Pros

  • Massive long-lasting Battery
  • Additional phone controls via fingerprint sensor
  • Decent performance

Cons

  • Average Camera
  • Unattractive UI
  • Average build

Images by Sandeep Sarma

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Author: Sneha Bokil

Sneha Bokil is a tech enthusiast and is currently using OnePlus 3T but she still treasures her Nokia N70 (M). You can follow her on Twitter @snehabokil and on Google+