ZTE V969 review

Dick Smith ranges the first ZTE-branded smartphone in Australia

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ZTE V969
  • ZTE V969
  • ZTE V969
  • ZTE V969
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5

Pros

  • Dual SIM
  • 5.5in screen

Cons

  • Slow
  • Outdated Android
  • Poor Camera

Bottom Line

Slow, cumbersome and outdated, that's how the ZTE V969 feels. It’s a shame it is the first smartphone to don the ZTE branding in Australia. First impressions stick and the V969 simply does not do the Chinese smartphone leviathan justice.

Would you buy this?

ZTE has sold 80 different devices in Australia since 2005, but the V969 is the first smartphone to wear the company’s brand. The 5.5in Android smartphone accommodates two SIM cards and is conservatively styled with its gloss white casing and silver edging.

Few dual-SIM smartphones offer such a large screen, but the display is let down by a low 960x540 resolution. The resulting 200 pixel-per-inch density makes for some mediocre picture quality when watching movies.

Proving problematic is the dated software. The V969 uses the now outdated 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Android, and ZTE isn’t in a rush to deliver an update to the current 4.4 KitKat. ZTE’s rendition of Jelly Bean benefits from a light overlay with few changes being made to the OS other than the iconography.

Globally ZTE is the fifth highest selling smartphone manufacturer in 2013, according to research firm Gartner. The company has shipped 500 million smartphones.
Globally ZTE is the fifth highest selling smartphone manufacturer in 2013, according to research firm Gartner. The company has shipped 500 million smartphones.

Powering the smartphone is a 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and a limp 4GB of internal storage. The inclusion of a microSD memory slot is fortunate as the OS leaves just 1.5GB of storage free. Multimedia enthusiasts buying this smartphone for the large screen should invest in a microSD card.

The result of this hardware-software combo is an alarming degree of lag. The animations transition with stutter, and that’s before we put any of our music, movies or photos on the smartphone. (Mind you, doing so would’ve maxed the internal storage.)

The V969 has the distinction of being a dual-sim smartphone. One of the SIM trays is compatible with a 3G SIM card, while the other will be reserved for phone calls alone over 2G. There are various cost benefits to owning a dual-SIM smartphone.

The bland back of the V969 is punctuated by a 5 megapixel camera that uses clever software to stitch photos at 8 megapixels. Capturing photos at these resolutions is pointless because photos, when viewed on a larger screen like a computer, are plagued by image noise, feathering and bleeding colour. The cameras are sub-par at best and are best viewed in small sizes.

Captured with the ZTE V969
Captured with the ZTE V969

Captured with the ZTE V969
Captured with the ZTE V969
Read more: Galaxy S5: Samsung Australia launch event confirmed for 26 March

Final thought

The ZTE V969 is sluggish, has a low resolution screen and a sub-par camera. Motorola's Moto G, which is sold at Dick Smith for $50 less at $249, is this smartphone's biggest problem. The bigger screen simply isn’t reason enough to buy the V969 over Motorola's fantastic budget buy.

It’s a shame the V969 is the first smartphone to don the ZTE branding. First impressions stick and the V969 simply does not do the Chinese smartphone leviathan justice.

Read more: Dick Smith awards SIM-enabled tablet purchases with $30 Globalgig credit

The ZTE V969 is compatible with up to 32GB microSD memory cards
The ZTE V969 is compatible with up to 32GB microSD memory cards
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