ZTE Grand X 2 Z850 Smartphone Evaluation - Final Thoughts

Article Index
ZTE Grand X 2 Z850 Smartphone Evaluation
Features and Specifications
General Usage
Camera Testing and More
Battery Life, Calling and More
Final Thoughts

 

Final Thoughts:

Up until the Grand X Plus, I'd never used a ZTE device before and just like many other people here in North America, I thought that ZTE might be more of a "budget quality" device. After using these last two devices exclusively for over a month each, my thoughts have changed a bit. The phone certainly isn't a flagship device, but it's a whole lot more than a budget device as well. The screen resolution of 720p may be a turn-off for some resolution snobs, but the screen quality is actually really good. The bonus of fewer pixels is that the phone is much easier on the battery and I have come to the conclusion that I'd gladly give up a few pixels for an extra day of usage.

That brings us to the battery and CPU. With a 1.21GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, the phone isn't the most powerful - but in turn, it gives you better battery life here as well. For pretty much any non-gaming App, the CPU and GPU combination is a great match and provides more than enough power for most applications and does so while sipping power. I was able to consistently get two days of use out of the device with moderate usage - much better than my Nexus 5 and slightly better than my Nexus 6.

 

Another great feature - and really a must-have is the removable back, battery and MicroSD card slot. The Grand X 2 comes with 16GB of internal storage and supports a MicroSD card up to 32GB – according to ZTE. I tested it out with a 64GB card and it worked just fine. I wish that every phone had additional storage options like this as not everyone wants to stream everything from the cloud – or has a data plan that allows them to keep everything off-device. I love the fact that you can turn a 16GB device into an 80GB device for about $35.

As far as network performance goes, the WiFi is limited to 802.11n - not 802.11ac - which is the new industry standard. Still 802.11n is likely faster than your home internet connection and the cellular radio inside this device is capable of LTE. The radio scales and transitions nicely between 3G, 4G and LTE and I never dropped calls while hopping towers or changing bands. It's rock solid in terms of wireless performance.

While the majority of my experience with the ZTE Grand 2 has been positive, there are a couple of things that let me down a bit. The camera quality is not quite as good as my Nexus 5 and that camera isn'€™t as good as many others. The camera is not horrible, and it seems to do white balance better than the Nexus 5. Still, when you view the images at 1:1, there is a lot of compression and artifacts that I'd rather not see on my photos. Keep in mind that this device costs 25% to 50% of other devices with the better cameras that I mentioned.

In Canada, this device will set you back $149 without a contract and for that price, you really can’t go wrong. Bell Mobility is currently stocking the device up north, and it's free on contract. For $149 you're probably better off buying it outright, but if you can't afford that, a subsidized phone is not a bad way to go. For $149, it makes a great backup device for your main phone if you drop it in a puddle, and it is more than adequate to be used as a main device by all means.

 

Battery life on this device is great. It's better than any other Android phone I’ve used to date, and while it might suffer if you punish it with loads of games, for moderate usage, it lasts two days easy. Two days. That will save you the pain of waking up in the morning and realizing that you forgot to plug in your device overnight. It will keep you running that extra day and even more, if you're a light user.

If you're in the market for a new Android device and don't want to strap yourself into a long contract or grab a cheap Samsung Galaxy Ace, the ZTE Grand X 2 will impress. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and a MicroSD card slot for total storage up to 80GB at least. All those features considered, the ZTE Grand X 2 is a slight evolution of the Grand X 2 - and it does it at a slightly lower price tag - with more storage to boot. The excellent performance for the dollar you get out of this phone makes it well worth your money, and a "Gold Award" winner.

Pros:

  • Bright 5-inch IPS screen
  • Fast LTE performance
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 1.21GHz CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Great battery life
  • Amazing value
  • Bare OS runs nice and fast
  • MicroSD slot

 

Cons:

  • Camera quality is less than I'd hoped
  • Lack of accessories such as cases and screen protectors here in North America
  • WildTangent Games installed

 

I'd like to thank ZTE Canada for sending out the Z850 for us to review. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum here.