ZTE Grand X Plus Z826 Smartphone Review - General Usage

Article Index
ZTE Grand X Plus Z826 Smartphone Review
Features and Specifications
General Usage
Camera Testing and More
Battery Life, Calling and More
Final Thoughts

 

Using the ZTE Grand X Plus:

I’ve been using Android devices for quite a few years – since the Nexus One actually – and I’ve owned a few. While there is always room for improvement in any operating system, I’ve found the hardware to be pretty awesome. While there are a few big companies that are trying to get you to fork over a month’s rent for a device, ZTE is hitting a very sweet spot with their Grand X Plus and it is this price-point that intrigues me.

For less than half the price of a Nexus 5, you expect to get a bit less – and you do – in theory. The screen has a lower resolution and there is less internal storage, but the addition of a memory slot (something that EVERY phone should have) makes up for that. With that in mind, I powered up the Grand X Plus, dropped in my SIM, a 64GB MicroSD card and booted up to see if I could live happily with this device instead of my Nexus 5.

Main Screen Folder
   
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Right off the bat, I really appreciate the basic interface of the device. ZTE doesn’t skin it up with TouchWiz or any other interface that drains battery life, hogs space - and while pretty, doesn’t really add anything extra to the device. Nope, their interface is pretty plain-Jane - much like a Nexus device. I’m quickly impressed.

After playing around with the device, I noticed a few additions that ZTE threw in that stand out. There are great file manager, task manager, and note apps that I would be glad to pay a few bucks for these apps.

 

The Grand X Plus has a ambient light sensor that detects the surrounding light and brightens and dims the screen depending on the environment. This is a great feature that many phones have and it can be useful when using your device out doors and then indoors. The screen seems to be bright enough outside and doesn’t blind you when you answer your phone in the dark when you’re lying in bed. The downside of this particular sensor is that it is very sensitive and located in a spot that causes some issues for me. When I use this phone two-handed (portrait mode) with the home button positioned to the left, my thumb covers enough of the light sensor that the screen dims. When typing it will dim, brighten, dim and so on and this is a pain when trying to use the phone outdoors and it keeps thinking that it’s dark. If you hold the phone with one hand, or with the home button located on the right, it’s not a problem, but it’s a quirk that is a bit frustrating at times.

Messaging Notes Stopwatch

 

The ZTE Grand X Plus had pretty mainstream features overall and offers better than mainstream performance and user experience for day-to-day tasks. On the next page we’ll take a look at the camera quality, functions and features as well as do a bit of video recording and picture taking for samples.