ZTE is a name that has been around for quite sometime now. Having to review many of their past devices, I know that ZTE is just waiting for the right time to make a strong comeback into the mobile race. We are also waiting for the 5G mobile technology that is going to be pioneered by ZTE especially with the Axon 10 Plus 5G.
But we are going to talk about the ZTE Blade A7 2019 today, which I think is a good step into making a comeback. The Blade A7 is a sleek device which won’t break your bank while giving you all the power that you need in a reliable day to day mobile device.
Design and Specifications
First, we are going to look at the key specifications of the ZTE Blade A7 2019 in detail.
|Platform||Unisoc Octa-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A55 CPU|
PowerVR Rogue GE8322 GPU
|OS||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Size||154 x 72.8 x 7.9 mm|
|Display||6.088″ HD IPS (1560 x 720), Droplet Display|
|Camera||16MP AI Rear Camera with Flash |
5MP AI Front Camera with Flash
|Battery||3200 mAh with AI Power Saving (Non-removable)|
|SIM mode||Dual SIM (4FF – Nano)|
|Interface||3.5mm Audio Jack, Micro USB 2.0|
|Memory||32GB eMMC + 2GB DDR3 RAM|
Micro SD expansion slot (up to 256GB) – SIM slot 2
The ZTE Blade A7 2019 uses a new SoC called Unisoc. This SoC or processor is a high performance and low power consumption octa-core LTE solution, which let manufacturer to combine high performance and low cost together. More importantly, it enhances camera processing ability, providing customers industry top level user experience. Of course, Unisoc is still new in chipset manufacturing but is making their way up the ladder in the huge mobile semiconductor industry.
Being an entry level smartphone, the Blade A7 2019 does not fail in terms of look and feel. The body is made of plastic but it doesn’t feel cheap. The screen is a bright 6.088″ HD IPS display with a droplet notch in the center that houses the front selfie camera. The back is a shiny plastic surface but somehow it does not smudge as much when I’m holding the phone.
There is only a single camera setup at the back but it does its job in taking a decent photo day in and day out. It also comes with an LED flash right below the single camera.
On the right side of the phone is the volume rocker button along with a red coloured power button below it. I think they made the button red because it is easy to distinguish the difference and perhaps it looks good too. On the left side is the SIM and MicroSD hybrid slot while the audio jack sits at the top of the phone. You can find the micro USB port at the bottom while there is a tiny microphone hole next to it. The speaker is located at the lower back of the phone.
Usage and Performance
The ZTE Blade A7 2019 runs on the latest Android 9 Pie OS which receives monthly OTA updates so that you can stay updated and secured. The OS itself is very polished and stable. ZTE doesn’t come up with their own launcher but instead they opted to use the basic standard AndroidOne type of launcher together with Google Now functions. If you don’t already know what that is, it is the section when you swipe right from the home screen and you can see all the updates from Google stacked in cards style.
I honestly like the Google native launcher because it keep everything basic and easy for you to find your installed apps.
There are only two apps that are pre-installed with the ZTE branding in the phone which is the ZTE Cares and Private Space. ZTE Cares is basically an app that helps you monitor the health of your phone and also to contact the support center when you need a quick assist when using your ZTE phone. Private Space is your own personal private vault to store your personal files and/or photos.
Benchmarking has been done on the Blade A7 2019 and it scored an okay mark in Antutu. With the score of 74412, it is not meant for heavy graphics games such as PUBG Mobile or the likes of it. BUT, I did install PUBG Mobile in the Blade A7 2019 just to give it a try.
Guess what, the graphic is still okay and enough for a decent gameplay. The graphic settings is obviously set to the lowest mode and playing PUBG Mobile on this phone is still, playable. I managed to run 2-3 games and it does not heat up the phone. Graphic rendering is still manageable and it turns out okay. That’s a plus point for this phone.
The 3,500mAh battery can last me the whole day before I plug in the charger late at night before I went to bed. That is also after I played a couple of PUBG rounds which means, the battery’s AI power saving mode works well.
The phone comes with a 32GB of storage supported by 2GB of RAM. Although it only comes with a 2GB of RAM, it still able to run many apps without any hiccups.
ZTE Blade A7 2019 single camera setup is a 16MP AI camera with LED flash that has an HDR function set on auto. When you compose to take a photo of a certain subject, the AI function with automatically set the HDR mode to suit the overall scene. When there is enough light, like outdoors, the HDR is set to “off”. When there are shadows everywhere, it will be set to “on”.
Photos taken with the Blade A7 2019 is pretty decent. I am surprised at some of the shots I got where the subject turns out sharp and clear. Selfie photos are good too. I turned off the preset beauty function and I’m quite happy with the results.
I’ll let the picture explains for themselves.
Most of the awesome shots are done outdoors where there’s enough lights to play with but when it comes to lower light areas, the focus tends to lose out a little. It will be more like a hit and miss kind of situation. But don’t take the camera for a fool because you may end up with good looking photos with this device.
I prefer landscape photos and also portraits. I’m sure the Blade A7 2019 will perform well when you put it to a test like a day out for photography session or something.
Selfies are a definite hit and miss but most of the times I end up with a hit. So how will I rate the Blade A7 2019’s camera functions? I give it a 7 out of 10. That’s not bad for an entry level smartphone.
I love the simplicity of the ZTE Blade A7 2019 and that I came with pure Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. No cosmetic changes are done to the main UX of the home screen so most of the functions are familiar to a seasoned Android user.
It does quite well in the performance department whereby PUBG Mobile works really well at this low price range.
If someone were to ask me whether I will recommend this Blade A7 2019 phone to anyone, I will say yes. I will say yes because the phone it basic yet intuitive, powerful yet stable, cheap yet valuable. ZTE is surely making a comeback and let’s hope this time they will strive better.
The new ZTE Blade A7 2019 is available for only RM469 here.