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ZTE Blade V6 Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian, Tanja Hinum (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 08/24/2015

Sturdy aluminum blade. ZTE’s new mainstream smartphone, Blade V6, attracts attention mainly due to its well-built and slim aluminum chassis. However, is this enough to compete with the similarly equipped rivals?

For the original German review, see here.

The Blade V6, another mainstream smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer ZTE, is very similar to the Blade S6 that we have already reviewed: Both dual-SIM devices have a 5-inch display with 720p resolution, 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM and are based on Android Lollipop with the additional MiFavor UI 3.0. The recommended retail prices of 249 Euros (~$286) for the Blade V6 and 259 Euros (~$297) for the Blade S6  are very similar.

Some other manufacturers also offer similarly equipped models in the price range of the two ZTE devices. Examples are the Huawei P8 liteHTC's Desire 626G dual sim as well as LG's G4c. The following review will show how the two ZTE smartphones differ from one another and how the new Blade V6 can keep up with the competition.

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ZTE Blade V6 (Blade Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.54 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined stereo jack, Card Reader: micro-SD up to 128 GB / combination with Nano-SIM slot, Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Position sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass, GPS, Dual-SIM (1x micro, 1x nano)
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM quad band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), HSPA+ (900/2100 MHz), LTE penta band (800/900/1800/2100/2600) - Cat. 4
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.8 x 142 x 69.5 ( = 0.27 x 5.59 x 2.74 in)
Battery
8 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2200 mAh, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 440 h, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 7 h
Operating System
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP (f/2.2, VGA video @ 30 fps), main camera: 13 MP (autofocus f/2.2, Dual-LED flash, 1080p video @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker (rear), Keyboard: virtual, Power adaptor, USB cable, headset, slot tool, quick-start guide, protective case, Mifavor Desktop, FM-Radio, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
120 g ( = 4.23 oz / 0.26 pounds), Power Supply: 50 g ( = 1.76 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
250 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Unlike the Blade S6, which has a case made entirely of plastic, ZTE mainly uses aluminum for the Blade V6. The two sides and most of the back are made of metal. Plastic is used only in some areas around the camera module and the speakers. The front on the other hand, is completely covered by glass, which is conveniently rounded in the peripheral areas. This means that the device feels pretty sophisticated and good in the hands, despite the low weight of just 120 grams (122 g/~4.3 oz according to the manufacturer).

The very good torsion resistance of the ZTE Blade V6 supports this impression, so we cannot provoke any creaking even with a lot of force. Ripples on the display are only visible with a lot pf pressure on the cover glass and should therefore not be a problem in practice. There is no criticism for the build quality either and all parts are well integrated.

ZTE Blade V6 front
ZTE Blade V6 front
ZTE Blade V6 rear
ZTE Blade V6 rear
ZTE Blade V6 & back cover
ZTE Blade V6 with back cover
ZTE Blade V6 & accessories
146.9 mm / 5.78 inch 70.9 mm / 2.79 inch 8.19 mm / 0.3224 inch 137 g0.302 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 70.7 mm / 2.78 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 134 g0.2954 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 133 g0.2932 lbs139.7 mm / 5.5 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 10.2 mm / 0.4016 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 69.5 mm / 2.74 inch 6.8 mm / 0.2677 inch 120 g0.2646 lbs

Connectivity

SIM-/microSD-card holder
SIM-/microSD-card holder
inserted Micro-SIM
inserted Micro-SIM
inserted microSD
inserted microSD
inserted Micro- & Nano-SIM
inserted Micro- & Nano-SIM

Even though the Blade V6 is a mainstream model, the connectivity is actually pretty good. LTE support, 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM are decent compared to the rivals – only the sibling Blade S6 and the brand-new Huawei P8 lite can keep up. However, NFC and USB-OTG are not available.

The card tray has obviously been designed with very compact dimensions in mind. It can accommodate a Micro-SIM card at the bottom (slot at the side), while the top can be equipped with either a Nano-SIM card or a microSD card. Unfortunately, the manual with its tiny pictures is not a big help with the correct orientation of the cards. Due to its design, you have to choose between a dual-SIM operation and a storage extension via microSD card. The Blade V6 also supports the transfer of apps to SD cards.

Software

The operating system is Android 5.0.2 with ZTE’s slightly adjusted user interface MiFavor 3.0. The main difference compared with Google’s Android version is the implementation of another launcher that does not use an app drawer. New apps are – similar to Huawei’s solution EMUI 3.1 – shown directly to the left of the home screen. However, it is possible to switch to a second preloaded launcher (Launcher 3) with an app drawer.

It is handy that ZTE has included a rights management for apps ex-works. It can be activated in the "App Rights" in the security settings and is indicated by a permanent symbol in the notification area.

Communication & GPS 

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

The wireless module of the ZTE Blade V6 supports all common GSM, 3G and LTE bands. There were no signal issues during the review period in the Vodafone network, so there is no criticism for the Blade V6 in this respect. Unfortunately, we could not use the dual-SIM function of the review unit, because the OS did not recognize the IMEI of the Nano-SIM slot correctly. These problems will probably be solved by the time the smartphone is available at the start of September.

The Wi-Fi module of the Blade V6 supports only the 802.11 standards b/g/n, while the sibling Blade S6 also works with 5 GHz networks as well as the modern ac standard. However, we managed decent transfer rates of up to 150 Mbps in combination with an Asus RT-AC56U router and the signal quality was convincing. Bluetooth 4.0 is also integrated.

The GPS module can quickly establish a satellite connection outdoors and the location is accurate down to 2 meters (~6.5 ft). It is also possible to locate the position indoors when conditions are favorable, in a single-story supermarket, for instance, but we did not find any satellites on the third floor of a four-story apartment building.

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app is the standard Android Lollipop app, but this is not a disadvantage. Besides a speed dial function for favorites, there is a caller list and you have direct access to your contacts. It is also possible to access the numeric keypad for the manual entry of phone numbers via the button at the lower part of the display frame, and there is a search bar for quick selection of contacts.

We can confirm that both sides were easy to understand during a call: The sound was quite natural and free of background noises. The smartphone user is still easy to understand with the hands-free function, so the microphone works pretty well. Unfortunately, the integrated speaker of the Blade V6 is not as convincing: It has a low maximum volume in general, tends to distort, and produces a very tinny sound.

Cameras & Multimedia

Front camera
Front camera
Main camera
Main camera

The ZTE Blade V6 uses a 13 MP main camera with a dual-LED flash and an additional 5 MP camera at the front. This means that the specs are similar to the comparison devices, only the LG G4c falls slightly behind.

The main camera takes decent pictures under good lighting conditions and you can see many details when you enlarge the picture. Colors are always slightly too saturated, but it does create a vivid picture impression. The situation is not that good when the lighting is poor. While the flash can effectively increase the picture quality when you take close-ups, this is hardly possible at longer distances. The Blade V6 uses very high ISO values (more than ISO 1000) in such situations, when you take a picture of a medium-sized room, for example. The resulting picture noise is completely suppressed by a strong soft focus, but it results in blurry pictures without any details.

As expected, the pictures of the front camera cannot keep up with the main camera in terms of the resolution, but they are still decent. We like the natural color presentation in particular. Because of the lower noise reduction, a picture of the front camera can even show a bit more details under bad lighting conditions compared to a picture that was taken with the rear 13 MP camera (without flash).

The main camera can record Full-HD videos that can convince with a good sharpness and smooth presentation, while the front camera only uses a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels. The results are stored in a 3GP container file.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. 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
click to load images

Accessories

In addition to the standard accessories like a power adaptor, USB cable and a headset, our review unit comes with a transparent plastic back cover. It does not really increase the thickness and suits the design of the case well. 

Warranty

There is no warranty information in the box, but according to the ZTE website, the standard warranty period is two years in Germany.

Input Devices & Handling

ZTE has preloaded the keyboard app "Touch Pal X", which is also active by default. It supports certain customization features including the size of the keyboard, the tactile feedback during typing or automatic word predictions. It is also possible to use the standard Google input. The touchscreen is very accurate and ensures reliable inputs.

The three sensor buttons underneath the display are responsive and execute inputs reliably. They are marked by light-blue symbols and are illuminated in dark-blue for a few seconds when you touch a button. By default, the right button opens an overview about the recently launched apps, while the left one acts as a "Back" button. This allocation can also be reversed in the settings.

Both the volume rocker and the power button leave a good impression thanks to the well-defined pressure points and sufficiently sturdy buttons.

Touch-Pal-X-keyboard landscape mode
Touch-Pal-X-keyboard landscape mode
Touch-Pal-X-keyboard portrait mode
Touch-Pal-X-keyboard portrait mode

Display

ZTE has equipped the Blade V6 with a 5-inch IPS display and a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. This is the standard for this device category and all our comparison devices use panels with the same technical specifications.

Despite these similarities, we can see rather significant differences in the measurement results such as the maximum brightness, for instance. While the review unit manages just 336 cd/m² in the center, the HTC Desire 626 dual sim is almost 50% brighter at 497 cd/m². The rather mediocre brightness distribution of just 81% is also beaten by all the rivals, and we noticed some screen bleeding in the corners. This means that the Blade V6 is in the last place within our comparison.

The automatic brightness regulation still needs some improvements, because it changed the brightness noticeably under changing lighting conditions. Other devices manage an almost seamless transition that is much less noticeable.

319
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
279
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 345 cd/m² Average: 314.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: 862:1 (Black: 0.39 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.29 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 8.57 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
89.7% sRGB (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 1.96
ZTE Blade V6
1280 x 720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
ZTE Blade S6
1280 x 720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
Huawei P8 lite
1280 x 720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
1280 x 720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
LG G4c
1280 x 720 px 5.0'' (IPS)
Screen
Brightness middle
336
386
15%
365
9%
497
48%
480
43%
Brightness
315
377
20%
353
12%
483
53%
464
47%
Brightness Distribution
81
90
11%
93
15%
90
11%
92
14%
Black Level *
0.39
0.44
-13%
0.42
-8%
0.67
-72%
0.49
-26%
Contrast
862
877
2%
869
1%
742
-14%
980
14%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.29
7.12
14%
5.2
37%
6.88
17%
8.13
2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.57
6.7
22%
5.85
32%
6.11
29%
6.73
21%
Gamma
1.96 112%
1.98 111%
2.17 101%
1.78 124%
2.69 82%
CCT
8172 80%
7784 84%
7252 90%
6820 95%
7727 84%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.7
91.25
2%
86.5458
-4%
70.038
-22%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
70.86

* ... smaller is better

While the luminance of the Blade V6 is not very high, it manages a very good black value of just 0.39 cd/m². The resulting contrast of 862:1 is roughly on par with the majority of comparison devices and ensures a vivid picture impression.

We used the software CalMAN and a spectrophotometer for more measurements and can determine DeltaE deviations of 8.29 (ColorChecker) and 8.57 (Grayscale), which are not great results (target value smaller 3). White in particular shows a significant deviation compared to the sRGB color space, which is at least covered by 89.7%. The color temperature of 8127 K is also much higher than the ideal value of 6500 K.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Grayscale
Grayscale
Colorspace
Colorspace

The comparatively low display luminance affects the usability outdoors, because the device cannot compensate for the reflections of the touchscreen. Nevertheless, you can see the display content under direct sunlight when you choose a good position, even though the image then appears to have a low-contrast. The situation is obviously better in the shade.

Under direct sunlight
Under direct sunlight
Display in the shade on a sunny day
Display in the shade on a sunny day

The Blade V6 uses an IPS panel, so there are no inversions when you look at the display from the side. However, you will notice that the color temperature changes when you look at the display from an angle above, but the picture is quite stable when you change the viewing angle horizontally or vertically.

Viewing angles diagonally from the left
Viewing angles diagonally from the left
Display from the top
Display from the top
Viewing angles diagonally from the right
Viewing angles diagonally from the right

Performance

The ZTE Blade V6 uses a MediaTek MT6735 quad-core SoC, which runs at 1.3 GHz and is based on a 64-bit architecture. According to Geekbench 3, the single-core performance of the processor is between the slightly faster sibling Blade S6 and the slightly slower Huawei P8 lite. However, the latter is equipped with an octa-core SoC and surpasses our review unit in the multi-core benchmark. The situation is similar in the browser tests: While the Blade V6 is average in Google Octane v2 as well as SunSpider, it is in the last place in the Mozilla Kraken benchmark.

The integrated graphics unit Mali-T720 of the MediaTek MT6735  provides average results compared to the rivals, the sibling Blade S6 in particular has a clear advantage in the benchmarks. A positive aspect on the other hand, is the support of the OpenGL ES 3.1 standard.

The situation changes when we look at the performance of the integrated flash storage. A sequential transfer rate (read) of almost 270 MB/s for the Blade V6 is almost twice as fast as all comparison devices. It is also at the top when it reads smaller files. The writing performance cannot quite keep up with this, but the values are still above average.

The system is always responsive and convinces with a smooth representation of animations.

Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
1807 Points ∼5%
ZTE Blade S6
2291 Points ∼6% +27%
Huawei P8 lite
2754 Points ∼7% +52%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
626 Points ∼13%
ZTE Blade S6
676 Points ∼14% +8%
Huawei P8 lite
588 Points ∼12% -6%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
9542 Points ∼11%
ZTE Blade S6
7526 Points ∼9% -21%
Huawei P8 lite
8206 Points ∼9% -14%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
11165 Points ∼13% +17%
LG G4c
9195 Points ∼11% -4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
4415 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
8933 Points ∼2% +102%
Huawei P8 lite
5167 Points ∼1% +17%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
6487 Points ∼1% +47%
LG G4c
3827 Points ∼1% -13%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
5013 Points ∼2%
ZTE Blade S6
8577 Points ∼4% +71%
Huawei P8 lite
5629 Points ∼2% +12%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
7153 Points ∼3% +43%
LG G4c
4397 Points ∼2% -12%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
2753 Points ∼0%
ZTE Blade S6
5272 Points ∼1% +92%
Huawei P8 lite
3676 Points ∼1% +34%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
4404 Points ∼1% +60%
LG G4c
2188 Points ∼0% -21%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
3236 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
5625 Points ∼3% +74%
Huawei P8 lite
4138 Points ∼2% +28%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
5025 Points ∼2% +55%
LG G4c
2621 Points ∼1% -19%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
8390 Points ∼5%
ZTE Blade S6
7143 Points ∼5% -15%
Huawei P8 lite
7238 Points ∼5% -14%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
9964 Points ∼6% +19%
LG G4c
8632 Points ∼6% +3%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
5677 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
10819 Points ∼1% +91%
Huawei P8 lite
5732 Points ∼1% +1%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
6457 Points ∼1% +14%
LG G4c
4767 Points ∼1% -16%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
6116 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
9709 Points ∼1% +59%
Huawei P8 lite
6010 Points ∼1% -2%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
7005 Points ∼1% +15%
LG G4c
5294 Points ∼0% -13%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
8.5 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade S6
15 fps ∼0% +76%
Huawei P8 lite
9.9 fps ∼0% +16%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
12 fps ∼0% +41%
LG G4c
5.2 fps ∼0% -39%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
15 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade S6
25 fps ∼1% +67%
Huawei P8 lite
15.3 fps ∼0% +2%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
17 fps ∼1% +13%
LG G4c
9.8 fps ∼0% -35%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
2.8 fps ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
5.9 fps ∼1% +111%
LG G4c
1.7 fps ∼0% -39%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
5.8 fps ∼2%
ZTE Blade S6
11 fps ∼3% +90%
LG G4c
4 fps ∼1% -31%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
3985 points ∼87%
ZTE Blade S6
3723 points ∼81% -7%
Huawei P8 lite
3753 points ∼82% -6%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
3490 points ∼76% -12%
LG G4c
3180 points ∼69% -20%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
4797 points ∼25%
ZTE Blade S6
404 points ∼2% -92%
Huawei P8 lite
2941 points ∼16% -39%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
4009 points ∼21% -16%
LG G4c
4678 points ∼25% -2%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
28064 Points ∼28%
ZTE Blade S6
30329 Points ∼31% +8%
Huawei P8 lite
34247 Points ∼35% +22%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
33176 Points ∼33% +18%
LG G4c
21129 Points ∼21% -25%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
699 Points ∼34%
ZTE Blade S6
707 Points ∼35% +1%
Huawei P8 lite
616 Points ∼30% -12%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
605 Points ∼30% -13%
LG G4c
571 Points ∼28% -18%
Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
287 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
800 Points ∼3% +179%
Huawei P8 lite
303 Points ∼1% +6%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
332 Points ∼1% +16%
LG G4c
318 Points ∼1% +11%
Memory (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
922 Points ∼12%
ZTE Blade S6
608 Points ∼8% -34%
Huawei P8 lite
816 Points ∼11% -11%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
305 Points ∼4% -67%
LG G4c
373 Points ∼5% -60%
System (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
1200 Points ∼7%
ZTE Blade S6
1084 Points ∼7% -10%
Huawei P8 lite
1467 Points ∼9% +22%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
1345 Points ∼8% +12%
LG G4c
1054 Points ∼6% -12%
Overall (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
687 Points ∼8%
ZTE Blade S6
782 Points ∼9% +14%
Huawei P8 lite
687 Points ∼8% 0%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
536 Points ∼6% -22%
LG G4c
517 Points ∼6% -25%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
3.66 MB/s ∼1%
ZTE Blade S6
2.85 MB/s ∼1% -22%
Huawei P8 lite
8.32 MB/s ∼3% +127%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
3.16 MB/s ∼1% -14%
LG G4c
1.3 MB/s ∼1% -64%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
27.08 MB/s ∼14%
ZTE Blade S6
7.85 MB/s ∼4% -71%
Huawei P8 lite
18.46 MB/s ∼9% -32%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
16.47 MB/s ∼8% -39%
LG G4c
10.49 MB/s ∼5% -61%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
37.37 MB/s ∼6%
ZTE Blade S6
51 MB/s ∼9% +36%
Huawei P8 lite
52.79 MB/s ∼9% +41%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
7.77 MB/s ∼1% -79%
LG G4c
7.49 MB/s ∼1% -80%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
269.31 MB/s ∼18%
ZTE Blade S6
128 MB/s ∼9% -52%
Huawei P8 lite
139.48 MB/s ∼9% -48%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
125.26 MB/s ∼8% -53%
LG G4c
112.94 MB/s ∼8% -58%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
1692 ms * ∼19%
ZTE Blade S6
1213 ms * ∼13% +28%
Huawei P8 lite
1985.6 ms * ∼22% -17%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
1086.2 ms * ∼12% +36%
LG G4c
1036 ms * ∼11% +39%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
2978 Points ∼6%
ZTE Blade S6
3655 Points ∼7% +23%
Huawei P8 lite
2483 Points ∼5% -17%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
2432 Points ∼5% -18%
LG G4c
3085 Points ∼6% +4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
25141.4 ms * ∼42%
ZTE Blade S6
11668 ms * ∼20% +54%
Huawei P8 lite
15866 ms * ∼27% +37%
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
19204.8 ms * ∼32% +24%
LG G4c
14663.8 ms * ∼25% +42%

Legend

 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade S6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite HiSilicon Kirin 620, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC Desire 626G dual sim Mediatek MT6592, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4c Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Despite the entry-level GPU, the ZTE Blade V6 can also handle more demanding games like “Modern Combat 5” or “Asphalt 8” without any problems. The latter could even be played with high details, even though the frame rate was noticeably lower compared to the medium settings. Simpler games like “Angry Birds”, for example, are not a challenge for the review unit.

Both the accurate touchscreen as well as the position sensor work very well when you play games.

Screenshot Asphalt 8
Screenshot Asphalt 8
Screenshot Angry Birds
Screenshot Angry Birds

Emissions

Temperature

The temperatures of the review unit are normal at 31.9 °C (~89 °F) at the front and 30 °C (~86 °F) at the back. The Blade V6 is average under load: While the LG G4c and the HTC Desire 626 dual sim stay slightly cooler, both the Huawei P8 lite and especially the ZTE sibling Blade S6 are rather warmer. Nevertheless, the comparatively moderate warming is clearly perceptible for the user because of the metal surface.

The power adaptor left a negative impression: Temperatures of up to 52.1 °C (~126 °F) are clearly above the results that we determined for the other comparison devices.

Max. Load
 39 °C
102 F
37.3 °C
99 F
37.4 °C
99 F
 
 40.3 °C
105 F
38.2 °C
101 F
40.1 °C
104 F
 
 37.7 °C
100 F
37 °C
99 F
38 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 38.3 °C = 101 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35.9 °C
97 F
36.4 °C
98 F
35.7 °C
96 F
36.8 °C
98 F
37.6 °C
100 F
35.3 °C
96 F
37.1 °C
99 F
36.8 °C
98 F
Maximum: 37.6 °C = 100 F
Average: 36.3 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  52.1 °C = 126 F | Room Temperature 22.5 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.3 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.3 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.6 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.9 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Unfortunately, there is no good news about the speaker at the rear of the Blade V6. The maximum volume is pretty low, which makes it harder to use the smartphone in a large room or the hands-free feature. It also sounds quite tinny in general and there are audible distortions when the volume exceeds 50%. This would be bad enough, but the music playback also creates strong vibrations in the whole rear part of the chassis.

The supplied headset cannot convince us either. The first impression is already pretty bad: It smelled like chemicals when we took the headset out of the box, and there is no marking of the right and left earpiece, either. It is therefore not surprising that the unbalanced sound without bass is disappointing, and it is very shrill at higher volumes.

The sound of the Blade V6 is much better when you use better headphones. It is also possible to activate the software "ARKAMYS OptimSpeaker" in the settings if you prefer more bass.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the ZTE Blade V6 is usually slightly lower than the rival Huawei P8 lite at 1.2 up to 2.1 watts while idling and 4.1 up to 5.1 watts under load. It is also much more frugal than the sibling Blade S6 that consumes more power in every situation. Another positive aspect is the low standby consumption of just 0.1 watts and that the smartphone does not consume any power when it is turned off.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.2 / 1.8 / 2.1 Watt
Load midlight 4.1 / 5.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

A battery runtime of 6 hours and 40 minutes in our realistic Wi-Fi test is an average result for the Blade V6. Thanks to its larger battery, the LG G4c in particular has an advantage and manages one hour more. However, the competitor from the same company, the Blade S6, also manages 30 minutes more because of the slightly higher battery capacity.

Our review unit is only beaten by the LG G4c under load, all the other rivals have to be recharged sooner. The maximum runtime of 7 hours and 4 minutes in our video test is unfortunately surpassed by many comparison devices.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 44)
6h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
7h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 50min
ZTE Blade V6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei P8 lite
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 620, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC Desire 626G dual sim
Mali-450 MP4, MT6592, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG G4c
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
H.264
424
497
17%
369
-13%
495
17%
709
67%
WiFi v1.3
400
432
8%
351
-12%
398
0%
457
14%
Load
230
149
-35%
194
-16%
220
-4%
252
10%

Pros

+ dual-SIM function with LTE
+ good voice quality
+ sturdy aluminum chassis with good build quality
+ fast GPS fix
+ microSD slot
+ good WiFi performance
+ smooth operation

Cons

- display brightness and color accuracy
- sound of the headset
- sound of the rear speaker
- low-light performance of the camera
- only 2.4 GHz WiFi
- battery integrated
- no NFC

Verdict

In Review: ZTE Blade V6. Test model courtesy of ZTE Germany.
In Review: ZTE Blade V6. Test model courtesy of ZTE Germany.

One highlight of the ZTE Blade V6 is certainly the very sophisticated aluminum chassis for a mainstream smartphone, which can also convince in terms of ergonomics: It feels good in the hand and leaves a sturdy impression despite its lightweight.

The SoC manages average performance results, but is still fast enough to ensure a responsive user experience without delays. Even more demanding games are not a problem. Other advantages are the LTE support as well as the possible dual-SIM operation, which can also be waived in favor of a storage expansion via microSD card. The two integrated cameras take decent pictures in bright environments, but the quality quickly suffers when it gets darker. A nice addition to the usual scope of delivery was the provided back cover.

The biggest issues were the headset that is hardly suitable for music playback, the rear speaker as well as the mediocre luminance of the display. The battery runtimes of our review unit were only average.

The ZTE Blade V6 is a smartphone that can particularly convince us with sufficient performance and a good build quality for a reasonable price of around 250 Euros (~$291). If you need more performance and can live without the nice aluminum chassis, you should have a closer look at the similarly priced sibling Blade S6.

ZTE Blade V6 - 08/19/2015 v4(old)
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 89%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
95%
Battery
90%
Display
80%
Games Performance
54 / 63 → 86%
Application Performance
30 / 70 → 43%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
65%
Average
73%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > ZTE Blade V6 Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2015-08-24 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.