Notebookcheck

ZTE Blade A452 Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/05/2016

Big battery. While focus is placed on a thin-as-possible line in many other smartphones, ZTE's Blade A456 sacrifices that for a relatively generously sized 4000 mAh battery. Our report reveals whether that also ensures a long battery life.

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For the original German review, see here.

With ZTE's Blade V6 and Blade S6, we have had two 5-inch smartphones from the Chinese manufacturer in the test. The new Blade A452 attempts to distinguish itself from them with its lower list price of approximately 150 Euros (~$167) and the especially big 4000 mAh battery. While the screen's resolution of 1280x720 pixels is the same as the more expensive models, the 8 GB of internal storage and 1 GB of RAM are considerably lower. In addition to the white model we tested, black and gold-colored devices are also found on the market.

Rivals of the Blade A452 are LG's Bello II, the somewhat more expensive Huawei P8 lite and Samsung's Galaxy J5 among others. Beyond that, ZTE's Blade V6 is now sold for considerably less than 200 Euros (~$222).

ZTE Blade A452 (Blade Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 2.78 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 32 GB officially, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, brightness sensor, proximity sensor, compass, OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G dual-band (900/2100 MHz), 4G quad-band (800/900/1800/2600 MHz), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.4 x 145.4 x 71.9 ( = 0.37 x 5.72 x 2.83 in)
Battery
15 Wh, 4000 mAh
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix (auto focus f/2.4, 720p videos @ 30 fps)
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix (fix focus f/2.4, 480p videos @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: rear-sided mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, headset, 7.5 W charger, Mifavor Desktop, FM radio, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
157 g ( = 5.54 oz / 0.35 pounds), Power Supply: 57 g ( = 2.01 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
150 EUR

 

Case

As usual in this price range the casing's back is also made of plastic in ZTE's Blade A452. The back and the lateral keys can be removed completely. The micro-SIM card slot and micro-SD slot are found under it. Unfortunately, the battery is non-removable. The back cover's material features a matte surface with a pearlescent finish that upgrades the looks. The fact that fingerprints are barely visible on it is positive. The front is completely covered in glass that is framed by a chrome bezel. The sensor buttons marked in dark blue add a dab of color. The relatively wide black edging around the screen is also an eye-catcher.

The review sample is considerably bigger than, for example, the ultra-slim Blade V6 with a measured thickness of 9.4 to 9.6 millimeters (manufacturer's specs: 9.25 millimeters) and a weight of 157 grams, but it does not make an unhandy impression. Thanks to its solid build, it barely twists. However, moderate pressure on the screen is, unfortunately, enough to cause visible wave formation. The very good build has to be lauded especially in view of the low price. The gaps are narrow and even, and all edges have been rounded impeccably.

Audio jack
lateral buttons
Opened back
MicroSD- and micro-SIM card slots
Micro-SIM card slot

Connectivity

The Blade A452's relatively low purchase price becomes obvious particularly in the storage configuration. The internal eMMC has a capacity of just 8 GB, and only 2.78 GB of that is available for the user in delivery state. Thus, it could soon happen that larger apps, such as intricate games, will not have enough space for installation. Expanding the storage via the micro-SD slot will not help much here since App2SD is not supported. Cards with a maximum capacity of 32 GB are officially supported, but a 64 GB micro-SDXC card also functioned when it was formatted in the FAT32 file system in the test. The Blade A452 cannot cope with NTFS or exFAT storage formats. This restriction is just as true for the USB OTG micro-USB port.

On the other hand, it is practical that a micro-SD and two SIM cards can be inserted at the same time. While the first SIM slot supports 3G and LTE networks, the second can only handle GSM frequencies.

A multi-color notification LED has also been incorporated on the left beside the earpiece. However, it is very tiny and invisible from flatter viewing angles.

Software

The Android 5.1 operating system alongside ZTE's "Mifavor Desktop" launcher is used. Like common for all devices from this manufacturer, the stock Android app drawer has been omitted. Therefore, all new programs end up on the home screen or on its right. The second preloaded launcher (Launcher 3) that contains an app drawer can be enabled optionally. It is not yet known whether an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow is planned.

Unlike the Blade V6, the review sample is delivered without a rights manager for apps that the user can define. However, multiple apps like Facebook, Instagram and Avast Mobile Security are preloaded ex-factory despite the tight storage capacity. The latter cannot be uninstalled (only disabled) and annoys the user with recurrent notifications about failed updates despite an existing Internet connection.

Just as annoying is the fact that the loud sounds when creating screenshots or shooting photos cannot be deactivated - no matter which audio profile has been selected.

Lock screen
Home screen
Preloaded apps
Preloaded apps
Awkward translation
Storage capacity ex-factory
Android version
Stagefright Detector

Communication & GPS 

GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors
GPS indoors (supermarket)
GPS indoors (supermarket)

The Blade A452 can access the network via Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz band. A maximum (gross) data rate of 135 Mbit/s was achieved in conjunction with an Asus RT-AC56U router. The reception was throughout decent.

The smartphone's first SIM slot supports data transfer via LTE (800/900/1800/2600 MHz) or 3G (900/2100 MHz) on the go. The second is limited to GSM networks. Bluetooth 4.0 can also be used for wireless near field communication.

The installed GPS module only finds relatively few satellites. However, it located us with an accuracy of one to three meters outdoors. Tracking us in a supermarket was also possible although the handset needed a few minutes.

Telephone & Call Quality

Android Lollipop's stock phone app is used in the Blade A452. That does not have to be a drawback since accessing the call and favorite lists as well as contacts is easy with it.

The smartphone gathers points in normal calls - neither static nor sound quality gave reason for complaint in the test. The contact noticed the non-automated microphone control unfavorably when using hands-free mode. The smartphone user sounds much louder at a distance of 20 centimeters than with a stretched arm. Furthermore, certain voice frequencies lead to an audibly distorted sound impression. The included headset is not compelling, either. On the one hand, very clear cable noises are heard from even the slightest movements in the in-ear headset and on the other, the ZTE user sounds much too quiet on the contact's side.

Cameras & Multimedia

Front-facing camera HDR (click for original)
Front-facing camera HDR (click for original)
Primary camera HDR (click for original)
Primary camera HDR (click for original)
720p video with primary camera - screenshot (click for original)
720p video with primary camera - screenshot (click for original)

The ZTE Blade A452 is furnished with a 13-megapixel primary camera that is supported by an LED flash. It clearly outclasses many other low-cost handsets on paper, such as LG's Bello II (5 megapixels). However, theory and practice diverge: Although it is still possible to shoot relatively good photos in sunlight using the HDR feature, the results are often poor under less ideal conditions or in other settings. For example, the photos frequently suffer under a grayish tint, blurred details and an off-center auto-focus (scene 2). Furthermore, visible color noise (scene 3) accompanies that in even lower light. The front-facing 2-megapixel webcam presents a very similar behavior apart from the technically-related non-existing focus issues.

The primary camera records videos at a maximum of 30 frames per second in HD resolution. However, they suffer under poor soundtrack recordings. Only clips in VGA resolution are possible with the webcam.

Our photos taken in the studio also relate the lack of details well. Besides that, a bright haze that covers the photo is visible. It is only positive that the color shifts in the screenshots of the ColorChecker test chart are within limits. However, the reproduction of brighter colors is too dark.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of every field.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of every field.
Section of test image (center)
Section of test image (center)
Test image (click for original)
Test image (click for original)

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the zoom step. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

Besides the 7.5-watt charger (1.5 A, 5 V), ZTE adds an in-ear headset despite the low price point. A printed quick-start guide is also included. ZTE does not offer any Blade A452 specific accessories.

Warranty

ZTE includes a 24-month product warranty on the smartphone that cannot be extended.

Input Devices & Handling

The Blade A452 uses the stock Android keyboard ex-factory. Thus, all important features can be accessed quickly. However, swiping is not supported. Users who miss this or other features can alternatively use the preloaded SwiftKey keyboard app that offers considerably more customization options.

While the touchscreen functions quite inconspicuously, the very strong and relatively inaccurate vibration feedback is sometimes irritating. It can, however, be disabled in the keyboard settings.

The physical buttons do not give reason for complaint. They are mounted tightly in their recess, and present a crisp pressure point. The three sensor buttons below the screen that light up when touched also function impeccably. The "back" button can be placed on either the left or right in the settings according to personal taste. In contrast to stock Android, the third button does not open the overview of recently used apps, but the context menu instead. The overview can, however, be opened directly via prolonged pressure on the button.

Handling is generally quite smooth despite the sooner low-end hardware configuration. The handset only sometimes needs a moment before displaying the home screen when larger apps are closed.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

A 5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels is installed in ZTE's Blade A452 - the more expensive Huawei P8 liteSamsung Galaxy J5 and ZTE Blade V6 do not have more to offer, either. The brightness measurement performed on a completely white screen results in a maximum of 446 cd/m², which is the top rate in the comparison group. The contrast ratio of 686:1 is poorer than that of the opponents and is related to the relatively high black level of 0.65 cd/m². However, the measurements performed when bright and dark areas are distributed evenly over the screen are more significant (Average Picture Level / APL 50). They lead to the same results in the case of the Blade A452. The results remain consistent even when the brightness sensor is enabled.

378
cd/m²
438
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
372
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
375
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 446 cd/m² Average: 411.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 446 cd/m²
Contrast: 686:1 (Black: 0.65 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.29 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.58 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.04

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5069 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

ZTE Blade A452
1280x720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
ZTE Blade V6
1280x720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
LG Bello II
854x480 px 5.0'' (IPS)
Samsung Galaxy J5
1280x720 px 5.0'' (AMOLED)
Huawei P8 lite
1280x720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
Screen
Brightness
411
315
-23%
333
-19%
353
-14%
353
-14%
Brightness Distribution
83
81
-2%
90
8%
93
12%
93
12%
Black Level *
0.65
0.39
40%
0.23
65%
0.42
35%
Contrast
686
862
26%
1448
111%
869
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.29
8.29
-32%
9.41
-50%
5.22
17%
5.2
17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.58
8.57
-54%
11.15
-100%
3.96
29%
5.85
-5%
Gamma
2.04 118%
1.96 122%
2.17 111%
2.08 115%
2.17 111%
CCT
7636 85%
8172 80%
12959 50%
7308 89%
7252 90%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.7
91.25
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
70.86

* ... smaller is better

The Blade A452 delivers a middling outcome in terms of color accuracy. Although average DeltaE rates of 6.29 (colors) and 5.58 (grayscale) are remote from the target range (DeltaE <3), the screens in the more expensive Blade V6 and LG's Bello II present much stronger shifts. The ascertained color temperature of 7636 K is also higher than the ideal of 6500 K, which results in a light bluish tint in the grayscale reproduction.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Grayscale
Grayscale
Colorspace
Colorspace

The Blade A452 benefits from its relatively high screen brightness outdoors. The screen remains well legible when avoiding extreme reflections and direct sunlight.

Screen in direct sunlight
Screen in direct sunlight
Shadowed screen in sunlight
Shadowed screen in sunlight

Only a reduction in brightness becomes visible when tilting the screen horizontally or vertically. However, when looking at the screen diagonally from flatter viewing angles (see screenshots), more deviations than just a clear IPS glow effect that visibly brightens up dark image areas is seen. While minor inverting can be observed when looking from the left, a yellowish haze covers the screen from the right.

Viewing angles from left...
Viewing angles from left...
...and right.
...and right.

Performance

Like in the more expensive ZTE Blade V6, a Mediatek MT6735 quad-core SoC powers ZTE's Blade A456. However, it clocks at 1.0 GHz rather than 1.3 GHz. The integrated Mali T720 MP2 GPU, which also supports modern graphics standards like OpenGL ES 3.1, takes care of video output.

As expected, the more expensive Huawei P8 liteZTE Blade V6 and Samsung Galaxy J5 rivals have a lead in most benchmarks. The Blade A452 can marginally defeat Samsung's smartphone only in the Geekbench 64-bit single-core test and Linpack. The review sample mostly keeps LG's Bello II well in check, but the competitor benefits from its lower screen resolution in the graphics benchmarks. The performance measurements of the 3DMark Slingshot and GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 were aborted prematurely (out of memory error) so that we cannot provide any results for them. The Blade A452 usually ended up in one of the last two places in the browser benchmarks.

The review sample's poor outcome in the Basemark OS benchmark is mainly due to its rather weak storage. Androbench 3 also illustrates that. The Blade A452 alternates with LG's Bello II at the end of the chart. Primarily, the sequential write rate of approximately 8.5 MB/s is unusually bad. However, a clear gap to the top comparison devices is also evident in other sectors.

AnTuTu Benchmark v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
20471 Points ∼25%
Samsung Galaxy J5
21641 Points ∼27% +6%
ZTE Blade V6
28064 Points ∼35% +37%
Huawei P8 lite
34247 Points ∼42% +67%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
1358 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1403 Points ∼4% +3%
ZTE Blade V6
1807 Points ∼5% +33%
Huawei P8 lite
2754 Points ∼7% +103%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
485 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy J5
464 Points ∼10% -4%
ZTE Blade V6
626 Points ∼13% +29%
Huawei P8 lite
588 Points ∼12% +21%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
211.03 MFLOPS ∼7%
LG Bello II
185 MFLOPS ∼6% -12%
Samsung Galaxy J5
201.99 MFLOPS ∼7% -4%
Single Thread (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
89.28 MFLOPS ∼9%
LG Bello II
72 MFLOPS ∼7% -19%
Samsung Galaxy J5
87.69 MFLOPS ∼9% -2%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
7568 Points ∼11%
LG Bello II
8886 Points ∼13% +17%
Samsung Galaxy J5
9079 Points ∼13% +20%
ZTE Blade V6
9542 Points ∼14% +26%
Huawei P8 lite
8206 Points ∼12% +8%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
2605 Points ∼1%
LG Bello II
2391 Points ∼1% -8%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3782 Points ∼1% +45%
ZTE Blade V6
4415 Points ∼1% +69%
Huawei P8 lite
5167 Points ∼1% +98%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
3049 Points ∼2%
LG Bello II
2855 Points ∼1% -6%
Samsung Galaxy J5
4345 Points ∼2% +43%
ZTE Blade V6
5013 Points ∼3% +64%
Huawei P8 lite
5629 Points ∼3% +85%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
6726 Points ∼10%
LG Bello II
5536 Points ∼8% -18%
Samsung Galaxy J5
8732 Points ∼13% +30%
ZTE Blade V6
8399 Points ∼12% +25%
Huawei P8 lite
7399 Points ∼11% +10%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
1653 Points ∼0%
LG Bello II
1591 Points ∼0% -4%
Samsung Galaxy J5
2193 Points ∼1% +33%
ZTE Blade V6
2753 Points ∼1% +67%
Huawei P8 lite
3676 Points ∼1% +122%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
1985 Points ∼1%
LG Bello II
1890 Points ∼1% -5%
Samsung Galaxy J5
2631 Points ∼1% +33%
ZTE Blade V6
3236 Points ∼2% +63%
Huawei P8 lite
4138 Points ∼2% +108%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
1.6 fps ∼0%
LG Bello II
0 fps ∼0% -100%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1.8 fps ∼0% +13%
ZTE Blade V6
2.8 fps ∼1% +75%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
3.4 fps ∼1%
LG Bello II
0 fps ∼0% -100%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3.8 fps ∼1% +12%
ZTE Blade V6
5.8 fps ∼2% +71%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
3088 points ∼67%
LG Bello II
3170 points ∼69% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3197 points ∼70% +4%
ZTE Blade V6
3985 points ∼87% +29%
Huawei P8 lite
3753 points ∼82% +22%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
4129 points ∼22%
LG Bello II
2913 points ∼15% -29%
Samsung Galaxy J5
4944 points ∼26% +20%
ZTE Blade V6
4797 points ∼25% +16%
Huawei P8 lite
2941 points ∼16% -29%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
642 Points ∼42%
LG Bello II
671 Points ∼44% +5%
Samsung Galaxy J5
615 Points ∼40% -4%
ZTE Blade V6
699 Points ∼45% +9%
Huawei P8 lite
616 Points ∼40% -4%
Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
174 Points ∼2%
LG Bello II
138 Points ∼2% -21%
Samsung Galaxy J5
314 Points ∼4% +80%
ZTE Blade V6
287 Points ∼3% +65%
Huawei P8 lite
303 Points ∼4% +74%
Memory (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
262 Points ∼6%
LG Bello II
402 Points ∼9% +53%
Samsung Galaxy J5
399 Points ∼9% +52%
ZTE Blade V6
922 Points ∼22% +252%
Huawei P8 lite
816 Points ∼19% +211%
System (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
916 Points ∼14%
LG Bello II
976 Points ∼15% +7%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1058 Points ∼16% +16%
ZTE Blade V6
1200 Points ∼18% +31%
Huawei P8 lite
1467 Points ∼22% +60%
Overall (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
405 Points ∼11%
LG Bello II
437 Points ∼12% +8%
Samsung Galaxy J5
534 Points ∼14% +32%
ZTE Blade V6
687 Points ∼19% +70%
Huawei P8 lite
687 Points ∼19% +70%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
4.9 fps ∼0%
LG Bello II
9.1 fps ∼1% +86%
ZTE Blade V6
8.5 fps ∼1% +73%
Huawei P8 lite
9.9 fps ∼1% +102%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
8.4 fps ∼2%
LG Bello II
4.1 fps ∼1% -51%
ZTE Blade V6
15 fps ∼3% +79%
Huawei P8 lite
15.3 fps ∼3% +82%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
4.76 MB/s ∼3%
LG Bello II
5.4 MB/s ∼4% +13%
Samsung Galaxy J5
7.2 MB/s ∼5% +51%
ZTE Blade V6
3.66 MB/s ∼2% -23%
Huawei P8 lite
8.32 MB/s ∼5% +75%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
16.1 MB/s ∼9%
LG Bello II
17 MB/s ∼10% +6%
Samsung Galaxy J5
19.25 MB/s ∼11% +20%
ZTE Blade V6
27.08 MB/s ∼16% +68%
Huawei P8 lite
18.46 MB/s ∼11% +15%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
8.53 MB/s ∼4%
LG Bello II
8 MB/s ∼4% -6%
Samsung Galaxy J5
39.4 MB/s ∼19% +362%
ZTE Blade V6
37.37 MB/s ∼18% +338%
Huawei P8 lite
52.79 MB/s ∼26% +519%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
125.68 MB/s ∼16%
LG Bello II
126 MB/s ∼16% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J5
145.47 MB/s ∼18% +16%
ZTE Blade V6
269.31 MB/s ∼34% +114%
Huawei P8 lite
139.48 MB/s ∼18% +11%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
1835.8 ms * ∼46%
LG Bello II
1810 ms * ∼45% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1021.9 ms * ∼25% +44%
ZTE Blade V6
1692 ms * ∼42% +8%
Huawei P8 lite
1985.6 ms * ∼49% -8%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
2348 Points ∼5%
LG Bello II
2352 Points ∼5% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3038 Points ∼6% +29%
ZTE Blade V6
2978 Points ∼6% +27%
Huawei P8 lite
2483 Points ∼5% +6%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
17651.6 ms * ∼30%
LG Bello II
15874 ms * ∼27% +10%
Samsung Galaxy J5
14074 ms * ∼24% +20%
ZTE Blade V6
25141.4 ms * ∼42% -42%
Huawei P8 lite
15866 ms * ∼27% +10%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade A452
15.3 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy J5
18.424 Points ∼6% +20%

Legend

 
ZTE Blade A452 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG Bello II Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite HiSilicon Kirin 620, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Although the Mali T720 MP2 GPU is sooner located in the entry-level category, games like Angry Birds 2 are rendered without issues. Even performance-driven games like Asphalt 8 are well playable in medium graphics settings. However, there is another problem here: Very tight limits are set for installing larger apps with only 2.78 GB of available storage ex-factory. For example, it was no longer possible to download Asphalt 8 after various apps were updated and some essential test programs were installed. The smartphone first had to be reset completely.

The quite sensitive position sensors and inputting via touchscreen function without problems. We also noticed that the speaker's sound is barely affected when gaming in landscape mode despite its rather unfavorable positioning on the back.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2

Emissions

Temperature

The Blade A452 heats up quite homogeneously during load - a maximum surface temperature of 36.6 °C is also very low. Only LG's Bello II can shine with similarly low rates in the comparison field. No irregularities were noticed in idle mode, either. The handset reached a maximum of 32.4 °C. The GFXBench battery test did not disclose throttling.

GFXBench: Performance
GFXBench: Performance
GFXBench: Frame times
GFXBench: Frame times
GFXBench: Battery consumption
GFXBench: Battery consumption
Max. Load
 35.1 °C33.7 °C33.5 °C 
 35.9 °C34 °C36.6 °C 
 36.5 °C33.7 °C33.9 °C 
Maximum: 36.6 °C
Average: 34.8 °C
34.3 °C35.6 °C35.8 °C
33.6 °C34.3 °C35.3 °C
32.1 °C34.3 °C34.6 °C
Maximum: 35.8 °C
Average: 34.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.8 °C | Room Temperature 21.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker characteristics: Base noise (green), 50% volume (blue), 100% volume (red)
Speaker characteristics: Base noise (green), 50% volume (blue), 100% volume (red)

The rear-sided mono speaker delivers a decent presentation. Although its maximum volume of 82.24 dB(A) is not particularly high, its relatively balanced playback of mids and trebles ranging from 750 Hz to over 10 KHz ensures a quite natural sound impression. However, bass is virtually non-existent. We also noticed another drawback: The speaker causes the casing to vibrate at certain tones. That blends into the rendered sound, which could lessen the audio quality.

A subliminal noise disturbs when connecting headphones to the 3.5 mm audio jack. It is still heard a few seconds in silent moments and ends with a crackle. Furthermore, the sound of the included headset is very subdued and unnatural - that prevents enjoying music.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Despite rather weak components, ZTE's Blade A452 delivers a poor presentation in terms of power consumption. The handset drains approximately 60% more power from its battery than LG's Bello II despite similar performance rates. Even performance-superior opponents are throughout more frugal.

The included 7.5-watt power supply averagely needs 4 hours to recharge the big 15.2 Wh battery fully. The smartphone's charging and depleting behavior proved a bit unusual: The battery's first and last 15% were recharged or depleted within a few minutes, which suggests that its display has been calibrated inaccurately. That is somewhat aggravating in real-world use since the user will usually take a consistent progress either way for granted.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.89 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.7 / 3.08 / 3.25 Watt
Load midlight 4.81 / 5.27 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
ZTE Blade A452
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade V6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei P8 lite
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 620, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
25%
60%
21%
14%
Idle Minimum *
1.7
1.2
29%
0.6
65%
1.5
12%
1.4
18%
Idle Average *
3.08
1.8
42%
1.1
64%
2.2
29%
2.3
25%
Idle Maximum *
3.25
2.1
35%
1.3
60%
2.4
26%
2.5
23%
Load Average *
4.81
4.1
15%
2.1
56%
3.5
27%
3.9
19%
Load Maximum *
5.27
5.1
3%
2.5
53%
4.8
9%
6
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Despite the high power consumption, the review sample's big 4000 mAh battery shines with very good runtimes. It lasts 13 hours and 36 minutes in the real-world Wi-Fi test, which even marginally surpasses the long-enduring LG Bello II - but it also has a smaller battery. The more expensive ZTE Blade V6 is depleted after only half the time.

The Blade A452 cannot offer any special energy-saving features. However, the Android-integrated energy-saving mode can be enabled when required. That extends the runtime by reducing the performance, limiting background programs and disabling the vibration feature.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Chrome 47)
13h 36min
Load (maximum brightness)
7h 30min
ZTE Blade A452
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade V6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei P8 lite
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 620, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-50%
-18%
-31%
-57%
WiFi v1.3
816
400
-51%
797
-2%
495
-39%
351
-57%
Load
450
230
-49%
301
-33%
350
-22%
194
-57%

Pros

+ superb build
+ very long battery life
+ low temperature development
+ decent voice quality
+ useful speaker
+ micro-SD card slot
+ USB OTG
+ dual-SIM support
+ bright screen...

Cons

- ...with middling contrast
- weak camera
- tight storage
- no App2SD
- inaccurate battery charge display
- Wi-Fi in 2.4 GHz band only
- non-removable battery
- headset's poor quality

Verdict

In review: ZTE Blade A452. Review sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.
In review: ZTE Blade A452. Review sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.

ZTE's new entry-level smartphone offers some configuration details that are often first found in higher price ranges. For example, the bright HD screen, LTE functionality and a high-resolution primary camera. However, especially the latter was not very convincing in the test: The photos lack details when the sun is not out, and the auto-focus is unreliable. The Blade A452 does a better job in routine. It scores with dual-SIM support, a micro-SD slot, decent call quality and a very long battery life. However, there is room for improvement just in terms of endurance: The handset could gain some sympathy with a more reliable rest capacity display and lower power consumption. The combination of a very tight storage and not being able to move apps to the micro-SD card is particularly unfavorable. Thus, the smartphone can only be primarily recommended to users who do not want to install many programs.

Considering the Blade A452's moderate price of below 150 Euros (~$167), the buyer gets a lot of smartphone for little money. Especially the well-built casing and long battery life are compelling. A significant minus point is the very tight storage.

ZTE's higher performance Blade V6 is now sold for considerably less than at its market launch since it has been available for a while now. That shrinks the price difference to the review sample to below 50 Euros (~$55). Therefore, it should be carefully considered whether investing in the Blade A452, which is especially enduring but comes with only 8 GB of internal storage, is really worthwhile.

ZTE Blade A452 - 01/29/2016 v4.1(old)
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
79%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
92%
Battery
95%
Display
80%
Games Performance
53 / 63 → 84%
Application Performance
25 / 70 → 36%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
56 / 91 → 62%
Camera
55%
Average
71%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > ZTE Blade A452 Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2016-02- 5 (Update: 2016-02- 5)