Review: ZTE Grand X 4

ZTE has proven that they can make a phone for a low price that packs a lot of value. Their latest effort is the ZTE Grand X 4. Let me get to the price right off the bat. If you’re on Freedom Mobile, you can get it for $99 on a two year plan if the plan is $45 or more. What do you get for that price? A lot actually. Here’s the specs:

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

  • 5.5-inch 1280×720 LCD

  • 1.4 GHz quad-core processor

  • 2 GB RAM

  • 16 GB Storage

  • microSD slot

  • 13MP rear camera

  • 5MP front camera

  • USB-C

  • Bluetooth 4.2 LE

  • 4G LTE

  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi

Those aren’t lightweight specs.

The ZTE Grand X 4 is not a small phone. That said, the curved edges, textured back and a solid in-hand feel make the phone much easier to handle than you might expect. It’s also light. I used it all day to shoot pictures and video at the Canadian International Auto Show media day and I never found it to be bulky and heavy. It also feels solid and well constructed. 

Some features stand out to me. First is the fingerprint scanner. A smartphone with a fingerprint scanner isn’t common at this price point. This this is a plus. The second is the screen. Okay, you will notice the pixels on it. But colors were vibrant and images seemed bright to me. I seriously doubt that anyone who sees it will complain. Fingerprints on the screen are a bit of a problem though.

Performance is pretty good. Apps open quickly and I never noticed any significant lag or real slow-downs during casual usage. I have no complaints on this front. But what’s missing is NFC which is understandable as you have to cut costs somewhere to hit this price point. For the record, another area that ZTE saved a few bucks on is WiFi. It only has 802.11b/g/n WiFi in an age where 802.11ac is common. The software is pretty much stock Android with some slight (yet helpful) additions. The most obvious difference will be on the notification area, which does look rather unique.

The camera on the Grand X 4 is pretty decent. I used it to shoot this 1080p video at the Canadian International Auto Show. Set it to 1080p and full screen to see what I mean:

Sound quality is a bit tinny. You’ll also note the fact that it constatly tried to autofocus. To be fair, you can turn that off if it bothers you which is a good thing. In terms of stills, they were decent. Here were a few examples:

IMG_20170216_131810.jpg

IMG_-rmhck9.jpg

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There is some pixelation. However, these pictures are decent. Considering that this is a $99 phone, that’s to be expected.

Battery life was great. I started using it at 7:10 AM to tweet, take photos and videos almost non stop, and upload a video to YouTube and got to 3PM with 46% of the battery left. That’s pretty impressive as I was hammering the phone pretty hard. That means that battery life under normal usage will be in the two day range. Pretty impressive from a $99 phone.

The bottom line? If you want a phone at this price point, the ZTE Grand X 4 is hard to beat. Sure it’s not perfect, but this phone has a lot going for it. Enough that you should put it on your shopping list.

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3 Responses to “Review: ZTE Grand X 4”

  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve read online that it doesn’t allow transfer of apps to the SD card. I read this on a website where the reviewer was using the phone on Cricket Mobile. Is that true? did you find this to be an issue with your phone? I’m considering the phone but it would be a deal breaker for me if it didn’t allow transfer of apps to SD card

  2. […] If Mom needs a great smartphone, have a look at the ZTE Grand X 4 which is a phone at a low price that packs a lot of value. You can get it for $99 on a two year plan if the plan is $45 or more and you get flagship phone level features as part of the bargain. Read my review of the Grand X 4 here. […]

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