Notebookcheck

ZTE Blade V7 Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 06/10/2016

All-rounder. The Blade V7 is the newest mid-price product in ZTE's successful Blade lineup. The device offers a decent configuration at a fair price of 250 Euros (~$282, RRP). Read in our report whether the manufacturer has eliminated the former model's drawbacks and improved in the right places.

For the original German review, see here.

The Chinese manufacturer ZTE updates the mid-range of its Blade lineup for 2016 with the Blade V7. Compared with its predecessor, the LTE smartphone's screen diagonal has increased by 0.2 inches to 5.2 inches and now has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The Blade V7 is powered by MediaTek's octa-core SoC that clocks at up to 1.3 GHz. 2 GB of working memory and 16 GB of flash memory that can be expanded by up to 32 GB via micro-SD cards complement it. The Blade V7 can shoot photos in either 13 or 5 megapixels. A 2540 mAh battery supplies the needed energy.

ZTE recommends a price of 249 Euros (~$280) for the Blade V7. Thus, the mid-range handset finds itself in a highly competitive price sector. The choice of potential rivals is correspondingly vast. We use the recently tested lite version of Huawei's P9, as well as Acer's Liquid Z630S and Honor's 5X for comparison. A street price of approximately 160 Euros (~$180) makes last year's ZTE Blade V6 model worth considering, and it is also listed as a comparison model.

ZTE Blade V7 (Blade Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 424 PPI, capacitive, LCD, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.99 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 32 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, OTG, Miracast
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, LTE bands (1/3/7/8/20), UMTS (900/2100 MHz), GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.95 x 146 x 72.5 ( = 0.31 x 5.75 x 2.85 in)
Battery
2540 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 27 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 13 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 340 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 389 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix phase detection autofocus PDA
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: ARKAMYS sound, Keyboard: onscreen, modular power supply, USB cable, headset, MiFavor , 24 Months Warranty, SAR rate unkn., fanless
Weight
136 g ( = 4.8 oz / 0.3 pounds), Power Supply: 60 g ( = 2.12 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
249 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The largely aluminum casing is available in either gray or gold. Not only has the screen in the Blade V7 grown compared with the predecessor, but the handset's dimensions have also grown. Thanks to the display's relatively narrow edges, the screen-surface ratio is approximately 70.4%.

ZTE's smartphone made an attractive and high-quality first impression on us. The curved edges and the low height of almost 8 millimeters make ZTE's handset pleasant to hold. The controls for volume and power feature a solid build and have a well-defined pressure point. A beveled metal ring protects the lightly protruding camera lens on the back. The transitions between plastic parts for antenna technology and aluminum casing are very palpable, but the gaps are even. Cracking noises are not audible even under high pressure. The smartphone makes an overall solid and resistant impression.

156.3 mm / 6.15 inch 77.5 mm / 3.05 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 156.3 g0.3446 lbs151.3 mm / 5.96 inch 76.3 mm / 3 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs146.8 mm / 5.78 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 7.5 mm / 0.2953 inch 147 g0.3241 lbs146 mm / 5.75 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 7.95 mm / 0.313 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

ZTE's Blade V7 has the same storage capacity as most devices in this price range with 16 GB of internal eMMC memory. The user only has 10.99 GB available after initial setup. The non-removable data storage can be expanded thanks to the SD-card slot. According to the manufacturer, it supports cards with a capacity of up to 32 GB. However, the handset identified our 64 GB Toshiba Exceria Pro M401. Apps can be moved to the storage card via App2SD. The hybrid slot can also be used for a second SIM card.

The micro-USB in 2.0 standard can also be used as an OTG host (on-the-go) in addition to recharging the handset. Thus, peripherals like USB flash drives can be connected to the Blade V7 via an adapter. The mid-range smartphone also features FM radio, notification LED and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) besides Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless transmission of video materials (Miracast) to other monitors functioned impeccably in the test.

Software

ZTE relies on Google's latest Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" version as system software. However, the manufacturer has modified the operating system's user interface. Unlike the MiFavor UI version 3.0 that still visibly followed Google's stock Android in the settings menu and notification center, the app and folder design as well as the missing app drawer corresponds to the manufacturer's design language.

In addition to the visibly modified user interface, ZTE installs additional software features to the Android operating system. For example, applications can be launched when the screen is off via the "Smart Sense" function. The Internet browser can be opened by sketching an "O" on the screen when it is disabled. This functioned reliably in the test.

 

Communication & GPS

GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors

Two nano-SIM cards can be inserted simultaneously into the Blade V7. The LTE smartphone accesses the Internet at up to 150 MB/s (download) and 50 MB/s (upload) (LTE Cat.4) - that applies to both SIM-card slots. However, the frequency coverage of primarily the GSM and UMTS standards is relatively low - quad-band GSM and dual-band UMTS are supported. The LTE coverage is, however, available for all frequency bands (3, 7, 20) relevant in Germany. The somewhat outdated Bluetooth version 4.0 is present for wireless near field communication.

The integrated Wi-Fi module only supports the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standards and consequently also only transmits in the 2.4 GHz frequency range. The Wi-Fi signal of our review sample was relatively unstable - connections were often disrupted. However, the signal strength was convincing. The attenuation of -44 dBm was low in the router's direct vicinity (Telekom Speedport, W921V). The signal strength clearly decreased on a patio about four meters away (-68 dBm).

ZTE's handset can be tracked via A-GPS. It quickly connected to satellites outdoors with an accuracy of 9 feet, i.e. roughly 3 meters. A permanent satellite connection could not be established indoors, but occasional tracking was quite possible. We compared the GPS module in the Blade V7 with Garmin's Edge 500 navigation system on our 12-kilometer bike test route. The smartphone exhibits a clear deviation of 290 meters on the total test route due to shortcuts.


GPS ZTE Blade V7
GPS ZTE Blade V7
GPS ZTE Blade V7
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone & Call Quality

The call quality of the Blade V7 is good to very good. Voice is rendered clearly and our contact also described it as clearly intelligible. Annoying interruptions or reception issues did not occur in the test. In contrast to the earpiece, voice quality via speakers is relatively poor. The too quiet and lightly distorted transmission of conversations affected the intelligibility particularly during video calls via Skype.

The phone app corresponds to the stock version of Android 6.0. Besides a quick-dial feature, the app offers call lists and direct access to saved contacts.

Phone app
Keypad

Cameras

The rear-facing 13 MP camera has a wide aperture of f/2.2 and a phase detection auto-focus that should focus in "only" 0.3 seconds according to ZTE. A dual-LED flash is also installed, but an optical image stabilizer (OIS) is not present.

For a mid-range handset, the camera shoots compelling photos in good light conditions. Especially the high dynamic range (scene 1, bridge) strikes the eye compared with pictures taken with current flagship models of other manufacturers (Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Huawei P9). The photos tend to overexpose and look a bit blurry in unfavorable light conditions (sun, shade / scene 2, woods). ZTE's Blade is not very suitable for macro-photos - despite the phase detection auto-focus close-ups look blurred (scene 3, indoors). The aperture's light sensitivity is good; the photos look sufficiently bright even in low-light conditions.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 5 MP. Selfies can be illuminated via a screen flash (white screen) rather than with an LED flash. The quality is decent and selfie-suitable. Videos can be recorded in 1080p at a frame rate of 30 fps.

The camera app is clearly arranged and offers different photo modes. Photos can also be taken without using the release via "SmartSense" gesture control.

Camera app
Camera app
Camera app
Camera app
Front-facing camera photo
 

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
Test chart
Test chart
Test chart, detailed view
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.

Accessories & Warranty

Besides the smartphone, ZTE includes a modular power supply, micro-USB cable and instructions.

The Blade V7 comes with a 24-month warranty period.

Input Devices & Handling

The Blade V7's capacitive multi-touchscreen's accurate and smooth handling appealed to us in the test. The glass surface has a pleasant feel and has good gliding traits. ZTE preloads the keyboard with SwiftKey in addition to the classic stock Android keyboard ex-factory. In contrast to the cheaper Blade V7 lite model, ZTE does not install a fingerprint sensor.

Onscreen keyboard, portrait mode
Onscreen keyboard, portrait mode
Onscreen keyboard, landscape mode

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The IPS panel in the Blade V7 is furnished with LTPS (Low Temperature Poly Silicon) technology. The 5.2-inch screen has a resolution of 1080p and a pixel density of 424 PPI. That leads to a sharp reproduction of content.

The luminosity evaluation using the X-Rite i1Pro2 results in a maximum brightness of 420 cd/m². ZTE has thus clearly increased the screen's brightness of its 2016 model - one point that we criticized in the review of the predecessor last year. The Blade V7's illumination of 96% is also very homogeneous. There is hardly a difference in the more realistic APL50 test (Average Picture Level) where we measured a maximum rate of 411 cd/m².

407
cd/m²
402
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
409
cd/m²
415
cd/m²
408
cd/m²
416
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 420 cd/m² Average: 411 cd/m² Minimum: 10.15 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 409 cd/m²
Contrast: 1076:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 11.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.25
ZTE Blade V7
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
ZTE Blade V6
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Acer Liquid Z630S
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Honor 5X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P9 Lite
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
HTC 10
Super LCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.2
Screen
-6%
20%
26%
10%
30%
Brightness middle
409
336
-18%
350
-14%
535
31%
505
23%
445
9%
Brightness
411
315
-23%
345
-16%
521
27%
468
14%
434
6%
Brightness Distribution
96
81
-16%
84
-12%
85
-11%
88
-8%
93
-3%
Black Level *
0.38
0.39
-3%
0.27
29%
0.43
-13%
0.74
-95%
0.36
5%
Contrast
1076
862
-20%
1296
20%
1244
16%
682
-37%
1236
15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.4
8.29
12%
4.7
50%
4.88
48%
4.1
56%
2.8
70%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
17.6
8.5
52%
8.66
51%
5.8
67%
5.8
67%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.6
8.57
26%
5.6
52%
5.2
55%
4.9
58%
3.7
68%
Gamma
2.25 98%
1.96 112%
1.84 120%
2.26 97%
2.5 88%
2.31 95%
CCT
9597 68%
8172 80%
6795 96%
7766 84%
7116 91%
7164 91%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.7

* ... smaller is better

The screen's good impression continues with the black level of 0.38 cd/m² (APL50: 0.39 cd/m²). Furthermore, the contrast of the IPS panel is very high thanks to LTPS technology (1:1076). However, the otherwise very good screen has to accept some criticism: Both the color and grayscale level accuracy is below the level of the comparison devices. The color temperature (9579 K) is clearly above the ideal rate (6500K), which results in a bluish tint on displayed content. The sRGB color-space coverage is good.

CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB); display mode: standard
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB); display mode: standard
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB); display mode: standard
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB); display mode: standard
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB); display mode: standard
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB); display mode: vivid
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB); display mode: vivid
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB); display mode: vivid
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB); display mode: vivid

Thanks to the liquid crystal display's high brightness, content displayed on the screen remains legible even on sunny days. The viewing-angle stability is very good as is typical for IPS panels. Only minor brightness losses are seen in extreme viewing angles.

Viewing angles
Blade V7 outdoors
Blade V7 outdoors

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
27 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.2 ms).

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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9439 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.


Performance

MediaTek's MT6753 installed in ZTE's Blade V7 is an upper mid-range ARM SoC (system-on-a-chip) from 2015. The eight CPU cores are based on the 64-bit capable Cortex A53 architecture and clock at up to 1.3 GHz.

The combination of an octa-core SoC and 2 GB of DDR3 RAM ensure a mostly smooth system and browser performance in routine use. However, occasional micro-stutters occur during multitasking, and the loading times are noticeably longer. The scores in the processor benchmarks are roughly on par with the comparison devices - in particular Acer based on the same SoC (CPU, GPU) achieves similar outcomes. Some scores of the Blade V7 are clearly below those of Acer's Liquid Z630S handset in graphics-driven benchmarks.

Compared with the predecessor, the performance of the installed flash memory has worsened in sequential read - Acer's Liquid 630S and Huawei's P9 lite also offer a better read rate than the Blade V7. ZTE's smartphone is on par with its rivals in both reading smaller data and its write performance. The memory-card slot in the mid-range handset achieves slightly below average access rates.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
37070 Points ∼14%
Acer Liquid Z630S
35585 Points ∼13% -4%
Honor 5X
37152 Points ∼14% 0%
Huawei P9 Lite
50366 Points ∼18% +36%
HTC 10
131866 Points ∼48% +256%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V6
28064 Points ∼28%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
2669 Points ∼7%
ZTE Blade V6
1807 Points ∼5% -32%
Honor 5X
3047 Points ∼8% +14%
Huawei P9 Lite
3768 Points ∼10% +41%
HTC 10
5117 Points ∼14% +92%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
614 Points ∼12%
ZTE Blade V6
626 Points ∼13% +2%
Honor 5X
698 Points ∼14% +14%
Huawei P9 Lite
883 Points ∼18% +44%
HTC 10
2376 Points ∼48% +287%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
944 Points ∼21%
Acer Liquid Z630S
1113 Points ∼25% +18%
Honor 5X
1089 Points ∼24% +15%
Huawei P9 Lite
1373 Points ∼31% +45%
HTC 10
1512 Points ∼34% +60%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
245 Points ∼2%
Acer Liquid Z630S
229 Points ∼2% -7%
Honor 5X
103 Points ∼1% -58%
Huawei P9 Lite
473 Points ∼4% +93%
HTC 10
4581 Points ∼43% +1770%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
293 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Z630S
278 Points ∼4% -5%
Honor 5X
129 Points ∼2% -56%
Huawei P9 Lite
554 Points ∼7% +89%
HTC 10
3157 Points ∼40% +977%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
10430 Points ∼12%
ZTE Blade V6
9542 Points ∼11% -9%
Acer Liquid Z630S
10508 Points ∼12% +1%
Honor 5X
8174 Points ∼9% -22%
Huawei P9 Lite
13676 Points ∼16% +31%
HTC 10
20344 Points ∼24% +95%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
6170 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade V6
4415 Points ∼1% -28%
Acer Liquid Z630S
6250 Points ∼1% +1%
Honor 5X
7764 Points ∼1% +26%
Huawei P9 Lite
11318 Points ∼2% +83%
HTC 10
30061 Points ∼6% +387%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
6786 Points ∼3%
ZTE Blade V6
5013 Points ∼2% -26%
Acer Liquid Z630S
6868 Points ∼3% +1%
Honor 5X
7852 Points ∼3% +16%
Huawei P9 Lite
11769 Points ∼5% +73%
HTC 10
27176 Points ∼12% +300%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
12 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V6
8.5 fps ∼0% -29%
Acer Liquid Z630S
12 fps ∼0% 0%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼0% +17%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼0% +58%
HTC 10
73 fps ∼1% +508%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
12 fps ∼0%
ZTE Blade V6
15 fps ∼0% +25%
Acer Liquid Z630S
21 fps ∼1% +75%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼0% +17%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼1% +58%
HTC 10
43 fps ∼1% +258%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
4.5 fps ∼1%
ZTE Blade V6
2.8 fps ∼1% -38%
Acer Liquid Z630S
4.2 fps ∼1% -7%
Honor 5X
5.4 fps ∼1% +20%
Huawei P9 Lite
7.8 fps ∼1% +73%
HTC 10
39 fps ∼7% +767%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
4.5 fps ∼1%
ZTE Blade V6
5.8 fps ∼2% +29%
Acer Liquid Z630S
9 fps ∼2% +100%
Honor 5X
5.9 fps ∼2% +31%
Huawei P9 Lite
8.4 fps ∼2% +87%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼7% +433%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
2.9 fps ∼0%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.5 fps ∼0% +55%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼1% +728%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
2.9 fps ∼0%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.9 fps ∼0% +69%
HTC 10
14 fps ∼0% +383%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
3947 Points ∼20%
Acer Liquid Z630S
3814 Points ∼19% -3%
Honor 5X
3794 Points ∼19% -4%
Huawei P9 Lite
5339 Points ∼27% +35%
HTC 10
5809 Points ∼30% +47%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
10 Points ∼0%
ZTE Blade V6
699 Points ∼34% +6890%
Acer Liquid Z630S
627 Points ∼31% +6170%
Honor 5X
9 Points ∼0% -10%
Huawei P9 Lite
765 Points ∼38% +7550%
HTC 10
928 Points ∼46% +9180%
Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
430 Points ∼1%
ZTE Blade V6
287 Points ∼1% -33%
Acer Liquid Z630S
416 Points ∼1% -3%
Honor 5X
763 Points ∼3% +77%
Huawei P9 Lite
818 Points ∼3% +90%
HTC 10
5009 Points ∼17% +1065%
Memory (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
790 Points ∼11%
ZTE Blade V6
922 Points ∼12% +17%
Acer Liquid Z630S
540 Points ∼7% -32%
Honor 5X
787 Points ∼10% 0%
Huawei P9 Lite
1346 Points ∼18% +70%
HTC 10
1772 Points ∼24% +124%
System (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
1188 Points ∼7%
ZTE Blade V6
1200 Points ∼7% +1%
Acer Liquid Z630S
1614 Points ∼10% +36%
Honor 5X
1378 Points ∼8% +16%
Huawei P9 Lite
2438 Points ∼15% +105%
HTC 10
2806 Points ∼17% +136%
Overall (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
249 Points ∼3%
ZTE Blade V6
687 Points ∼8% +176%
Acer Liquid Z630S
691 Points ∼8% +178%
Honor 5X
297 Points ∼4% +19%
Huawei P9 Lite
1197 Points ∼14% +381%
HTC 10
2193 Points ∼26% +781%
AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
20.89 MB/s ∼24%
Huawei P9 Lite
25.1 MB/s ∼29% +20%
HTC 10
65.44 MB/s ∼75% +213%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
43.67 MB/s ∼45%
Huawei P9 Lite
60.81 MB/s ∼63% +39%
HTC 10
83.3 MB/s ∼86% +91%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
7.58 MB/s ∼3%
ZTE Blade V6
3.66 MB/s ∼1% -52%
Acer Liquid Z630S
5.82 MB/s ∼2% -23%
Honor 5X
10 MB/s ∼4% +32%
Huawei P9 Lite
15.35 MB/s ∼6% +103%
HTC 10
15.89 MB/s ∼6% +110%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
28.07 MB/s ∼16%
ZTE Blade V6
27.08 MB/s ∼15% -4%
Acer Liquid Z630S
28.43 MB/s ∼16% +1%
Honor 5X
17 MB/s ∼10% -39%
Huawei P9 Lite
38.22 MB/s ∼22% +36%
HTC 10
29.92 MB/s ∼17% +7%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
39.45 MB/s ∼8%
ZTE Blade V6
37.37 MB/s ∼7% -5%
Acer Liquid Z630S
67.7 MB/s ∼13% +72%
Honor 5X
78 MB/s ∼16% +98%
Huawei P9 Lite
46.24 MB/s ∼9% +17%
HTC 10
115.56 MB/s ∼23% +193%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
196.76 MB/s ∼13%
ZTE Blade V6
269.31 MB/s ∼18% +37%
Acer Liquid Z630S
249.01 MB/s ∼17% +27%
Honor 5X
144 MB/s ∼10% -27%
Huawei P9 Lite
283.55 MB/s ∼19% +44%
HTC 10
275.09 MB/s ∼19% +40%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
13761.1 ms * ∼23%
ZTE Blade V6
25141.4 ms * ∼42% -83%
Acer Liquid Z630S
12876 ms * ∼22% +6%
Honor 5X
12510 ms * ∼21% +9%
Huawei P9 Lite
9396.5 ms * ∼16% +32%
HTC 10
3146.3 ms * ∼5% +77%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
2689 Points ∼5%
ZTE Blade V6
2978 Points ∼6% +11%
Acer Liquid Z630S
2855 Points ∼5% +6%
Honor 5X
3595 Points ∼7% +34%
Huawei P9 Lite
4756 Points ∼9% +77%
HTC 10
8905 Points ∼17% +231%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V7
18.19 Points ∼5%
Acer Liquid Z630S
19.028 Points ∼5% +5%
Honor 5X
21.92 Points ∼6% +21%
Huawei P9 Lite
29.03 Points ∼8% +60%
HTC 10
52.1 Points ∼15% +186%

Legend

 
ZTE Blade V7 Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid Z630S Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 650, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC 10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

The graphics unit installed in MediaTek's SoC is an ARM Mali-T720 MP4 with four clusters and a clock rate of 600 MHz. The GPU's power is enough to cope with current games from the Android Play Store, such as Need for Speed No Limits, mostly without problems. However, stutters and delays sometimes occurred in the first-person shooter Modern Combat 5 during gameplay.

Need for Speed No Limits
Modern Combat 5

Emissions

Temperature

While the predecessor got relatively hot with load temperatures of over 40.3 °C, ZTE's Blade V7 remains pleasantly cool at a maximum of 36.9 °C. However, the maximum temperature does not change much in idle mode. In return, the waste heat is distributed considerably less evenly over the casing.

Front surface temperatures
Rear surface temperatures
Max. Load
 34.7 °C
94 F
34.2 °C
94 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
 35.2 °C
95 F
35.4 °C
96 F
36.9 °C
98 F
 
 35.6 °C
96 F
35.3 °C
96 F
36.8 °C
98 F
 
Maximum: 36.9 °C = 98 F
Average: 35.6 °C = 96 F
35.2 °C
95 F
33 °C
91 F
33.5 °C
92 F
32.9 °C
91 F
33.5 °C
92 F
33.9 °C
93 F
31.9 °C
89 F
33.5 °C
92 F
34.1 °C
93 F
Maximum: 35.2 °C = 95 F
Average: 33.5 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  31.6 °C = 89 F | Room Temperature 21.9 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.6 °C / 96 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 36.9 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.2 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.7 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

The mono speaker in the Blade V7 is situated behind milled boreholes on the casing's lower edge, and it has been developed in cooperation with the French audio expert Arkamys. However, the sound quality is not convincing. Tones from the mid and high frequencies characterize the sound impression as expected. The Pink Noise diagram clearly illustrates that basses are virtually inaudible, but the trebles are very linear.

Furthermore, the speaker only offers average sound and achieves a maximum volume of 85 dB(A) in the test. A satisfactory rate that is absolutely sufficient for everyday use. However, the sound becomes tinnier the higher the volume.

Playback via the 3.5 mm jack is clear and transmits an impeccable audio signal.

Speaker test: Pink Noise

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The idle energy management of the Blade V7 is exemplary. Furthermore, rates of below 1 watt between minimum and maximum consumption are very consistent. Despite high-performance hardware components, ZTE has obviously optimized the Blade V7's energy management compared with the Blade V6. The load power consumption increases to just below 6 watts - an average rate.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.11 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.73 / 0.92 / 0.93 Watt
Load midlight 4.47 / 5.96 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
ZTE Blade V7
2540 mAh
ZTE Blade V6
 mAh
Acer Liquid Z630S
4000 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Lite
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
-53%
-93%
-62%
-46%
-58%
Idle Minimum *
0.73
1.2
-64%
1.82
-149%
0.87
-19%
0.73
-0%
0.68
7%
Idle Average *
0.92
1.8
-96%
2.35
-155%
2.08
-126%
2.09
-127%
1.49
-62%
Idle Maximum *
0.93
2.1
-126%
2.6
-180%
2.22
-139%
2.11
-127%
1.91
-105%
Load Average *
4.47
4.1
8%
3.69
17%
5.26
-18%
4.15
7%
7.4
-66%
Load Maximum *
5.96
5.1
14%
5.98
-0%
6.34
-6%
5.05
15%
9.71
-63%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The non-removable battery in ZTE's Blade V7 has a nominal output of 2540 mAh. That is a bit less than the batteries in the rivals. The mid-range handset takes the last place with 8 hours and 38 minutes in our practical Wi-Fi test using a brightness of 150 cd/m² - which is a good rate for the battery's size. ZTE has managed to also clearly improve the battery life of its latest Blade V7 compared with the Blade V6 (2200 mAh).

The Blade V7 only needs 2 hours and 9 minutes to recharge a completely depleted battery with the included 7.5-watt power supply (1.5 A, 5 V) despite the absence of Quick Charge technology.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 39min
ZTE Blade V7
2540 mAh
ZTE Blade V6
 mAh
Acer Liquid Z630S
4000 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Lite
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
519
400
-23%
681
31%
643
24%
604
16%
413
-20%

Pros

+ bright IPS panel
+ 1080p resolution
+ build
+ decent mid-range camera
+ dual-SIM

Cons

- single-band Wi-Fi
- speaker's sound
- screen's color fidelity
- no NFC
- no fingerprint scanner
- "only" 2 GB RAM

Verdict

In review: ZTE Blade V7. Review sample courtesy of ZTE Germany.

ZTE's Blade V7 is a very good looking, well-built mid-range handset with a balanced pro and con profile. The newest mid-price smartphone in the Blade lineup shines with a bright, high-resolution IPS panel and a very good mid-range camera that can throughout compete with more expensive rivals particularly with its dynamic range. On the other hand, the speaker's sound is unsatisfactory, and the screen's color accuracy is below average. The battery's nominal output of 2540 mAh is also a bit low, and the configuration could be better.

Compared with ZTE's Blade V6, this year's mid-range handset from the Blade lineup presents many improvements. However, the Blade V7 has inherited some points of criticism (color accuracy, speaker quality, Wi-Fi module).

ZTE's Blade V7 is a good all-round handset from the mid-price range where great importance was placed on looks. Anyone who does not need a stylish aluminum casing and 2.5D glass might find an alternative in equally priced devices with better configuration and battery life (Acer Liquid Z630S).

ZTE Blade V7 - 06/03/2016 v5.1
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
87%
Keyboard
71 / 75 → 95%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
43 / 60 → 71%
Weight
93%
Battery
91%
Display
83%
Games Performance
14 / 63 → 22%
Application Performance
33 / 70 → 47%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
58 / 91 → 63%
Camera
76%
Average
71%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > ZTE Blade V7 Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2016-06-10 (Update: 2018-05-15)