Archive for ZTE

ZTE ZFive 2 LTE Smartphone Now Available At Freedom Mobile

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2017 by itnerd

ZTE has announced the ZFive 2 LTE is now available in stores at Freedom Mobile for $170.00 MSRP.  The ZFive 2 is the most affordable LTE device on Freedom Mobile and, with Wi-Fi calling capabilities, ensures consumers can stay connected almost wherever they may be.


For $170.00, the ZTE ZFive 2 LTE provides:

Wi-Fi Calling

Stay connected no matter where you are. In addition to taking advantage of Freedom’s new LTE network, with the ZFive 2 you can also make or receive phone calls or text messages from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi connection.

Compact Size

With a 5-inch screen and weighing less than 6 ounces, the ZFive 2 can fit almost anywhere including a purse, bag or pants pocket.

Long-Lasting Battery

The long-lasting 2,800 mAh battery provides up to 18 hours of talk time, keeping you on the move rather than tethered to a power outlet.

For full list of phone specifications and features visit here.



ZTE Smacked By US Feds To The Tune Of $1.19 Billion

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 8, 2017 by itnerd

The news surfaced today that Chinese smartphone vendor ZTE is $1.19 billion lighter in the wallet today. Apparently they reached a settlement with the US Government because they got caught breaking sanctions and selling electronics to Iran and North Korea:

Starting no later than January 2010 and continuing through April 2016, ZTE conspired to evade the long-standing and widely known U.S. embargo against Iran in order to obtain contracts with and related sales from Iranian entities, including entities affiliated with the Iranian Government, to supply, build, operate, and/or service large-scale telecommunications networks in Iran, the backbone of which would be U.S.-origin equipment and software. 

As a result of the conspiracy, ZTE was able to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with and sales from such Iranian entities.  Additionally, ZTE undertook other actions involving 283 shipments of controlled items to North Korea with knowledge that such shipments violated the EAR.

Shipped items included routers, microprocessors, and servers controlled under the EAR for national security, encryption, regional security, and/or anti-terrorism reasons.  In addition, ZTE engaged in evasive conduct designed to prevent the U.S. government from detecting its violations. 

Oh. I should also note that when the feds started looking into this, ZTE apparently lied to them. That never ends well. I’m pretty sure that this is also going to put a dent in ZTE’s attempts to get a bigger share of the smartphone market in the US as these optics will really suck. Here’s hoping that ZTE keeps their nose clean going forward because ticking off the US is likely not a good idea in this current political climate.

ZTE Unveils Forward-looking “5uper Generation” Smartphone

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 27, 2017 by itnerd

ZTE today at Mobile World Congress unveiled the Gigabit Phone, the world’s first smartphone with download speeds reaching up to 1Gbps. Thanks to ZTE’s independently developed Pre5G Giga+ MBB solution and smart devices, onsite visitors witnessed a successful test of download speeds reaching up to 1Gbps on the Gigabit Phone, an indicator of ZTE’s technology strength in the upcoming “5uper Generation”.

The ZTE Gigabit Phone, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform with an integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, utilizes a combination of carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO antenna technology, and 256-QAM modulation to achieve LTE download speeds that are up to 10x faster than first generation LTE devices.

Thanks to ZTE’s technology strength in 5G and Pre5G Giga+ MBB solutions, the ZTE Gigabit Phone is three times as powerful at improving data processing capability in the current network. It is the cornerstone of ZTE introducing 5G to 4G networks and providing worldwide carriers with Pre 5G solutions.

In the future, with download speeds up to 1Gbps as a standard and ZTE’s technology strength in 5G systems and networks, the mobile experience on smart devices will be enhanced to an unimaginable level.

The Gigabit phone will challenge world limits and transform the ultimate pursuit of human senses. The unimaginable speed of up to 1Gbps will improve users’ lifestyles by allowing for 360° panoramic VR video, instant cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and movies, and instant APP, which removes the need for download or installation of applications.

The introduction of ZTE’s Gigabit-class mobile phone marks an important cornerstone for the 5G mobile era. This phone is not only revolutionizing communication, but also revolutionizing human connectivity with a new standard of speed, bringing a qualitative leap to a new world of mobile experience.

If you are at Mobile World Congress, you can visit the ZTE booth The ZTE booth at 3F30, Hall 3, Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.

Review: ZTE Grand X 4

Posted in Products with tags on February 16, 2017 by itnerd

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:




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.

Android Nougat & Daydream By Google Available Now For The ZTE Axon 7

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 7, 2017 by itnerd

ZTE USA today announced that both Android Nougat and Daydream are available now for its award-winning Axon 7 smartphone.  With these updates, the ZTE Axon 7 continues to deliver the best value of any flagship smartphone on the market today. 

The release of Android N provides Axon 7 users with the ability to personalize the device like never before. With added capabilities at their fingertips such as the ability to run two apps side by side, save battery power while on the go, and express themselves through added emojis, Axon 7 continues to provide a flagship experience at a price that is unbeatable. 

As one of the first companies to support Daydream, Google’s platform for high quality, mobile virtual reality, the Axon 7 is now Daydream-ready. With its powerful audio and visual capabilities, the Axon 7 provides an immersive VR experience and is the most affordable Daydream-ready phone in the US. 

Since the Axon 7 launched in the US in July 2016, members of Z-Community have helped provide insight into what consumers want to see updated in the device. For a full list of phone specifications and features visit

ZTE’s Project CSX Crowdsourced Smartphone Comes to Life As “Hawkeye”

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 4, 2017 by itnerd

ZTE USA today announced “Hawkeye” as the winning name of the Project CSX eye-tracking, self-adhesive smartphone device.  With 540 name submissions from consumers around the world, the Hawkeye phone is available for pre-order today on Kickstarter at for a discounted price of $199.00.

Continuing with the crowdsourced theme surrounding Project CSX, the Hawkeye phone is available for pre-order on Kickstarter and is expected to ship globally in Q3 2017.


Project CSX kicked off at CES 2016 when ZTE announced its plans to completely crowdsource a mobile device that the company promised to build in 2017. In October 2016, thousands of consumers from 176 countries selected the winning concept, a device that aims for an easier and smoother user experience with eye-tracking capabilities and a self-adhesive back.

To learn more about ZTE and to keep up with the latest Project CSX developments visit or to become a member of Z-Community, visit

The IT Nerd Award For The Best Smartphone Of 2016 Goes To: ZTE Axon 7

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 19, 2016 by itnerd


There were two smartphones that stood out for me this year. The Asus ZenFone 3 and the ZTE Axon 7. Both of them deserve a place on your shopping list as they are great phones that have the capability of using two SIM cards and being reasonably speedy and feature rich. But the reason why the ZTE Axon 7 wins the day was because of the fact that it had amazing audio quality and the camera was quite good (though the auto-focus was a bit flaky). This is a great follow up to the ZTE Axon which took home last year’s IT Nerd Award for the best smartphone of 2015, and it will be interesting to see if ZTE can pull of a “three-peat” in 2017.