Notebookcheck

ZTE Blade V8 Smartphone Review

Niklas Böhm (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/23/2017

Big mid-range. The Chinese manufacturer enters the next round in the fight for the low-price crown with the ZTE Blade V8. At a current RRP of 269 Euros (~$291), the new device sounds like a bargain and the technical specifications let the heart beat faster. Read whether this sense of delight can be maintained throughout the test.

ZTE has created the successor to the Blade V7 with its Blade V8. Modifications have been made compared with the predecessor. For example, the front-facing camera′s resolution has been increased, it now has a stronger battery, and the internal storage has been expanded from 16 to 32 GB. The dual-primary camera is particularly interesting as it allows shooting Bokeh photos, i.e. photos with different levels of focus that can be edited in the final photo. Furthermore, ZTE has equipped the Blade V8 with an audio chip that supports Dolby sound.

At its current shop price of 269 Euros (~$291), the V8 is situated in the lower mid-range sector. There are quite a lot of devices to choose from since this sector is highly competitive. Huawei's P9 Lite, Honor's 6X, ZTE's Axon 7 Mini, and ZTE's Blade V7 due to its similar design will be used for reference in this test.

ZTE Blade V8 (Blade Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 505, Core: 450 MHz
Memory
3072 MB 
, 2GB or 3GB
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 424 PPI, capacitive, IPS, 5-finger multitouch support, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 23.25 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm jack, Card Reader: microSD, up to 256GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, micro-USB
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM, HSPA, LTE, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8 x 148 x 72 ( = 0.31 x 5.83 x 2.83 in)
Battery
2730 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 19 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 19 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 450 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 450 h
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix 13M AF +2M FF with flash
Secondary Camera: 13 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: speaker with Dolby sound support, Keyboard: virtual, charger and cable, headset, SIM tool, quick start guide, warranty card, MiFavor 4.2, 24 Months Warranty, micro-USB SAR rates: body: 1.500 W/kg at 5 mm distance head: 0.374 W/kg at 5 mm distance, fanless
Weight
142 g ( = 5.01 oz / 0.31 pounds), Power Supply: 45 g ( = 1.59 oz / 0.1 pounds)
Price
230 Euro

 

Case

The casing of the V8 is a combination of glass and aluminum. ZTE has not been tight-fisted with materials despite the relatively low price. The design has not been modified greatly compared with the predecessor. The available colors, gold and gray, are also the same. The V8′s screen diagonal of 5.2-inches, a resolution of 1920x1080, and pixel density of 424 PPI are also identical. The narrow bezels have also been adopted, but its dimensions have increased slightly. This results in a higher weight of now 142 grams rather than 136 grams. The comparison devices Axon 7 Mini and the cheaper Honor 6X also have aluminum casings, but the P9 Lite has only been given an aluminum bezel.

The V8 has an appealing and pleasant feel. The brushed aluminum has a pleasantly roughened finish. It is pleasant to hold thanks to the slightly rounded back and the beveled edges. However, the smartphone can be placed on an even surface without rocking annoyingly. The dual-camera′s bezel could be a reason for this as it is situated in the device′s top center. The V8 makes an overall stable and high-quality impression. It is not possible to twist the casing and cracking or other noises that point to instability are not audible.

The V8 has an almost impeccable build for a smartphone from this price range. The gaps are even, and we did not find any rough corners or edges in the test. Only the power button and volume control are a bit loose in their recesses. Although this is not tragic, it ruins the otherwise good overall impression. A modification is found on the underside. ZTE has installed an analog button instead of an integrated button. This was necessary for incorporating the fingerprint scanner. The back button and application manager are still implemented as touch buttons and can only be felt. The home button fits tight in the casing without play and largely compensates for the loose power button and volume control.

The micro-USB for charging and the speaker are both situated on the lower edge. The 3.5-mm jack is found on the upper edge. The left side houses the slot for either two nano-SIM cards or an optional micro-SD card.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Dual-SIM card tray
Dual-SIM card tray

A Snapdragon 435 octa-core CPU by Qualcomm operates inside the aluminum casing. It clocks at a maximum of 1.40 GHz. An Adreno 505 GPU from the lower mid-range is integrated into it. Apps and data are stored in the 32-GB internal storage, of which approximately 23 GB is available. If this is not enough storage, the user can expand it by up to 128 GB according to the manufacturer. Apps can be moved to the micro-SD card.

The V8 sports the standard configuration of interfaces. A second-generation micro-USB port is found on the lower edge, the jack for the included headset or another headphone is on the upper edge. ZTE has made cutbacks in the Blade V8′s connectivity. For example, Miracast is now absent. NFC would also have been a nice feature considering that the smartphone very obviously comes with a good configuration. Instead, it is possible to use the smartphone as a webcam with a PC via USB. The smartphone simply has to be connected to the PC in the settings and camera PTP has to be selected for this. It is also too bad that there are no settings for the installed status LED. It can only be changed directly in apps, such as WhatsApp.

Blade V8 upper edge: 3.5-mm jack
Blade V8 upper edge: 3.5-mm jack
Blade V8 right: power button and volume control
Blade V8 right: power button and volume control
Blade V8 left: Nano-SIM or micro-SD slot
Blade V8 left: Nano-SIM or micro-SD slot
Blade V8 lower edge: speakers and charging port
Blade V8 lower edge: speakers and charging port

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Software

The Blade V8 uses Google′s Android version 7.0 Nougat operating system. ZTE covers it with its own MiFavor user interface in version 4.2. The biggest difference of this interface is that it does not use an app drawer, i.e. an extra app viewer. MiFavor also offers some setting options to customize the system′s appearance. Diverse security features are installed. For example, the user can unlock the handset when approaching their home or set up voice recognition via Smart Lock. The Blade V8′s software should allow fast and logical work. Consequently, quick accesses and search functions that can be found and used intuitively are embedded. Settings are also found quickly and the menus are clearly arranged.

Communication and GPS

The Blade V8 utilizes the b/g/n Wi-Fi standards. Pages open completely within a few seconds in the browser. Downloading apps is just as fast. We did not experience any connection interruptions during our regular handling. The speeds of 54.4 Mbit/s in receive and 54.9 Mbit/s in transmit are in a good midfield. In contrast to the Axon 7 Mini, the V8 is faster and the Honor 6X is a bit better in transmit. The connection remains stable as long as the user is on the same story as the router. The connection quality decreases when moving to another story. The Blade V8 can also use a bandwidth of 2/3 and 4G up to LTE Cat.6. According to the manufacturer, browsing speeds of 300 Mbit/s in download and 50 Mbit/s in upload are possible.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.6 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
ZTE Blade V8
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.5 MBit/s ∼100%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Adreno 405, 617 MSM8952, 32 GB eMMC Flash
52.7 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash
57.9 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Adreno 405, 617 MSM8952, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.9 MBit/s ∼95% +3%
ZTE Blade V8
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
53.2 MBit/s ∼92%
GPS indoor connection
GPS indoor connection
GPS outdoor connection
GPS outdoor connection

The GPS module can gladly be called a good compromise as it offers a decent solution for occasional navigating. The comparison screenshots with Garmin′s Edge 500 navigation system show that the GPS module tends to cut out some parts of the route and that it takes corners more sharply. Other devices by ZTE appear to have the same problems. The Axon 7 Mini, for example, displays the same behavior. Only the P9 Lite does a better job, while the 6X deviates even more strongly than the V8 from the ideal route. In fact, the GPS test proves that the Blade V8′s accuracy can deviate by approximately 5 to 6 meters outdoors regardless of the available connections.

ZTE Blade V8 - Route
ZTE Blade V8 - Route
ZTE Blade V8 - Underpass
ZTE Blade V8 - Underpass
ZTE Blade V8 - Turning point
ZTE Blade V8 - Turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - Route
Garmin Edge 500 - Route
Garmin Edge 500 - Underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - Underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - Turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - Turning point

Telephony and Call Quality

Phone app: keypad and tabs
Phone app: keypad and tabs
Contact settings
Contact settings

The phone app is kept plain and simple. The keypad is on the start page. It is plain to see that the keys are not separated clearly, and thus the user should pay attention to what numbers are being entered while dialing. The symbol beside the green phone allows directly switching to messages. There are two other tabs for quickly accessing contacts and for organizing contacts into dedicated groups in order to, for example, allocate contacts and make editing easier. The phone app also offers a feature for hearing-impaired users, assigning quick accesses to specified contacts, and many options for customizing caller settings.

Reception is good and we did not experience any significant problems during calls. The V8 benefits from its powerful speakers in hands-free mode. Speech is not distorted but rather transmitted clearly. If at all, only users with big ears should use the included headset. ZTE does not use rubber in-ear plugs. The earpieces are made of hard plastic and thus the plugs do not adapt to the ear's shape. Here, third-party products should be used.

Cameras

3D photo
3D photo

The cameras belong to the highlights of the Blade V8. In total, ZTE has installed two 13-megapixel cameras - both on the front and on the rear. This is not at all a matter of course, and they allow shooting razor-sharp photos. The primary camera has a resolution of 4160x3120 pixels in the 4:3 format and, in addition to an autofocus, a 2-megapixel camera supports it. Thus, the V8 has a dual-camera that allows taking Bokeh photos and stereoscopic 3D photos. Bokeh means that the focus in a picture can be shifted afterward and nice effects can be produced in the looks. 3D in the V8 means that two pictures taken from different angles can be placed beside each other. A three-dimensional impression is produced with the right tools. 

Both cameras record videos in a maximum of 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second. The primary camera also offers the option of recording in 1280x720 pixels (HD) at 60 FPS, and thus creating quite decent slow-motion recordings. This is achieved in favor of details. Eight modes exist for presetting photos and videos. The Blade V8 also supports HDR, a self-timer, a digital image stabilizer for videos, and additional settings in the colors.

The bottom line is basically this: The V8 shoots great photos with high contrast and true colors. Blurriness and artifacts only become visible especially on the outlines of objects. The photos become noisy when its gets darker and the particles in the photo become visible. Thus, the V8 is midfield among the comparison devices. Of course, the V8 cannot compete with good system or reflex cameras or cutting-edge flagships, but the photos have a good quality for a mid-range smartphone. Furthermore, all settings can be selected freely in manual mode. They are not found immediately since the mode is placed rather inconspicuously at the upper edge in the presets.

Camera interface: video mode
Camera interface: video mode
Interface: photo settings
Interface: photo settings
Interface: color settings
Interface: color settings
Interface: dual-camera
Interface: dual-camera
Interface: photo mode
Interface: photo mode
Bokeh photo
Bokeh photo
Bokeh photo
Bokeh 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

It becomes evident that the Blade V8 tends to reproduce colors a bit more intensively than in real life when looking closer at the ColorChecker reference (photographed under defined light conditions). This is not a drawback as the photos of the V8 gain in intensity and brightness. Seen in total, the photos are sharp and outlines are good. However, blurriness and hazy details are seen in higher zoom levels. They also appear when it is getting darker, though.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch
Test photo
Test photo
Test photo - center section
Test photo - center section

Accessories and Warranty

Left to right: headset, charging cable, power supply
Left to right: headset, charging cable, power supply

The accessories are comprised of the charging/data cable and the charging adapter, a headset, a warranty card, and a quick-start guide. The manufacturer's warranty period is two years. Additional gadgets made for the handset are not sold, at least not in Germany. The headset presents a problem at least subjectively. Voice sounds good with them, which is important in telephony, but the earplugs are too big and can only be adapted to the ear with difficulty.

Input Devices and Handling

ZTE uses Google's stock keyboard as the primary input interface. The keys' arrangement allows finding them quickly, and they are big enough to prevent frequent typos. In total, it is a keyboard that is pleasing to use. ZTE does not treat the V8 to its own voice control. Instead, it is possible to use the search feature that Google provides for voice inputs. A window that displays Google-relevant information opens via prolonged pressure on the home button. The symbol for voice input is situated at the upper edge.

The touchscreen allows for smooth workflow. Rarely does the finger "stick" to the screen, i.e. the short-lived feeling of being stopped during its use. This phenomenon appears when scrolling through long menus and swiping over the same place. However, this phenomenon can be explained with moist fingers and the skin's thin, oily layer. Auto-rotate needs a moment before it detects a change in position. This delay is shorter the slower the handset is rotated, but it is still noticed. The fingerprint scanner is very fast and accurate. The fingerprint is identified reliably even when placing the finger slightly slanted on the scanner. The V8 can only be unlocked via the usual methods, i.e. PIN, password, and pattern. Due to the absence of a dedicated voice control, the Blade V8 cannot be unlocked via a voice command.

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

ZTE uses a glossy, 16:9 Full HD IPS panel for its Blade V8. A pixel density of 424 PPI is the result on the 5.2-inch size with 1920x1080 pixels. This places the handset in the midfield in the comparison. The reproduction is very sharp. This, in conjunction with a maximum brightness of 496 Candela per square meter, leads to a very good brightness that even makes outdoor use in the shade possible.

The screen's illumination could be a bit more homogeneous in total. This decrease is sometimes visible when looking very closely, and the screen's upper right corner seems to be darker than the rest. However, this is not annoying during use.

393
cd/m²
475
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
394
cd/m²
482
cd/m²
470
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
466
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 496 cd/m² Average: 448.1 cd/m² Minimum: 15.89 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Center on Battery: 482 cd/m²
Contrast: 753:1 (Black: 0.64 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 3.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.13
ZTE Blade V8
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Huawei P9 Lite
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Honor 6X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.2
ZTE Blade V7
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
-5%
-7%
-47%
-58%
Brightness middle
482
505
5%
547
13%
327
-32%
409
-15%
Brightness
448
468
4%
540
21%
335
-25%
411
-8%
Brightness Distribution
79
88
11%
94
19%
94
19%
96
22%
Black Level *
0.64
0.74
-16%
0.57
11%
0.38
41%
Contrast
753
682
-9%
960
27%
1076
43%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4
4.1
-3%
5.1
-28%
6.3
-58%
9.4
-135%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.5
5.8
11%
9.1
-40%
11.4
-75%
17.6
-171%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.4
4.9
-44%
6.2
-82%
7.1
-109%
11.6
-241%
Gamma
2.13 103%
2.5 88%
2.09 105%
2.25 98%
2.25 98%
CCT
6774 96%
7116 91%
6546 99%
7637 85%
9597 68%

* ... smaller is better

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 detected 5435 Hz ≤ 1 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 5435 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 1 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 5435 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8789 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS screen displays images with high color accuracy, which is owed to the implemented technology and comparatively high brightness. With a black level of 0.64 cd/m², the V8 produces decent black and gray tones without being above average. For example, dark colors in videos look saturated. Nevertheless, the V8 tends to display black more grayish than a rich black. In the brightness comparison, the V8 surpasses the P9 Lite and Axon 7 Mini, but it lags behind the 6X. A positive aspect of the Blade V8 is that a perceptible PWM-flickering first appears at a brightness of 1% - and flickering is not noticed at this point.

CalMAN Natural Warm ColorChecker sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm ColorChecker sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Saturation sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Saturation sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Grayscale sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Grayscale sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Colorspace sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors Colorspace sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors ColorChecker sRGB
CalMAN Normal Colors ColorChecker sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Saturation sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Saturation sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Grayscale sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Grayscale sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Colorspace sRGB
CalMAN Natural Warm Colorspace sRGB

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
22.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10.4 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 19 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. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.2 ms).
Screen exposed to direct sunlight
Screen exposed to direct sunlight

The screen in the Blade V8 allows indoor and outdoor use. The brightness is absolutely sufficient for outdoor use, but the handset should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Content can only be recognized with difficulty if at all in direct sunlight. It is possible to leave brightness control up to the ambient light sensor. It adapts the screen's brightness according to the ambient light.

Thanks to the underlying IPS technology, the viewing-angle stability is relatively high. However, only up to a certain point. At a shifted view of 45 °, colors start fading and darken slightly although content is still well-legible. This is not a problem as such extreme viewing angles are rarely used in everyday handling.

Performance

The Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor by Qualcomm operates under the Blade V8's hood. Thus, ZTE installs a mid-range CPU with enough computing power in its basic architecture to deal with all routine scenarios. The Snapdragon 435 operates in two clusters. The performance has been grouped into four cores in each cluster. One group clocks at 1.4 GHz and the other at 1.1 GHz in the 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 architecture. 3 GB of working memory and a mid-range Adreno 505 round off the package. Expressed in figures, the Blade V8 scores average to good in almost all benchmarks. Although its scores usually lag behind the comparison devices by a few points, they are furnished with somewhat stronger hardware in comparison. However, a performance gain of averagely 15% can be observed compared with the Blade V7.

This image is also reflected in the Chrome browser and internal storage benchmarks. The rivals sometimes have a lead. However, the work performance is good subjectively. Practical tests prove that the V8 can deal with 3D applications, such as games. The performance and multitasking largely function without problems, and short lags are rare and only appear during extremely high performance demand. Switching among applications is also performed without dropouts. The programs continue where they were closed.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
45868 Points ∼20%
Huawei P9 Lite
50366 Points ∼22% +10%
Honor 6X
56764 Points ∼24% +24%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
46968 Points ∼20% +2%
ZTE Blade V7
37070 Points ∼16% -19%
Wiko U Feel Prime
44420 Points ∼19% -3%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
2308 Points ∼8%
Honor 6X
3341 Points ∼12% +45%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
2092 Points ∼8% -9%
Wiko U Feel Prime
2085 Points ∼8% -10%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
577 Points ∼10%
Honor 6X
788 Points ∼14% +37%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
698 Points ∼12% +21%
Wiko U Feel Prime
644 Points ∼11% +12%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
1214 Points ∼33%
Huawei P9 Lite
1370 Points ∼37% +13%
Honor 6X
1440 Points ∼39% +19%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1121 Points ∼31% -8%
ZTE Blade V7
914 Points ∼25% -25%
Wiko U Feel Prime
1034 Points ∼28% -15%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
263 Points ∼5%
Huawei P9 Lite
305 Points ∼6% +16%
Honor 6X
318 Points ∼6% +21%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
327 Points ∼6% +24%
ZTE Blade V7
159 Points ∼3% -40%
Wiko U Feel Prime
250 Points ∼5% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
318 Points ∼7%
Huawei P9 Lite
369 Points ∼8% +16%
Honor 6X
385 Points ∼8% +21%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
388 Points ∼8% +22%
ZTE Blade V7
195 Points ∼4% -39%
Wiko U Feel Prime
301 Points ∼6% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
1127 Points ∼31%
Huawei P9 Lite
1373 Points ∼38% +22%
Honor 6X
1433 Points ∼39% +27%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1102 Points ∼30% -2%
ZTE Blade V7
944 Points ∼26% -16%
Wiko U Feel Prime
1118 Points ∼31% -1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
542 Points ∼7%
Huawei P9 Lite
473 Points ∼6% -13%
Honor 6X
468 Points ∼6% -14%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
606 Points ∼7% +12%
ZTE Blade V7
245 Points ∼3% -55%
Wiko U Feel Prime
514 Points ∼6% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
613 Points ∼10%
Huawei P9 Lite
554 Points ∼9% -10%
Honor 6X
550 Points ∼9% -10%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
673 Points ∼11% +10%
ZTE Blade V7
293 Points ∼5% -52%
Wiko U Feel Prime
584 Points ∼9% -5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
8905 Points ∼11%
Huawei P9 Lite
13676 Points ∼17% +54%
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼17% +52%
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼17% +52%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9670 Points ∼12% +9%
ZTE Blade V7
10430 Points ∼13% +17%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
10271 Points ∼2%
Huawei P9 Lite
11318 Points ∼2% +10%
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2% +11%
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2% +11%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9913 Points ∼2% -3%
ZTE Blade V7
6170 Points ∼1% -40%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
9932 Points ∼5%
Huawei P9 Lite
11769 Points ∼6% +18%
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼6% +19%
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼6% +19%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9858 Points ∼5% -1%
ZTE Blade V7
6786 Points ∼3% -32%
Wiko U Feel Prime
9548 Points ∼5% -4%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
11 fps ∼1%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼1% +73%
Honor 6X
18 fps ∼1% +64%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
17 fps ∼1% +55%
ZTE Blade V7
12 fps ∼1% +9%
Wiko U Feel Prime
17 fps ∼1% +55%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
9.7 fps ∼2%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼4% +96%
Honor 6X
19 fps ∼4% +96%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
18 fps ∼4% +86%
ZTE Blade V7
12 fps ∼3% +24%
Wiko U Feel Prime
16 fps ∼3% +65%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
4.6 fps ∼1%
Huawei P9 Lite
7.8 fps ∼1% +70%
Honor 6X
4.6 fps ∼1% 0%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
6.7 fps ∼1% +46%
ZTE Blade V7
4.5 fps ∼1% -2%
Wiko U Feel Prime
7.1 fps ∼1% +54%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
4.5 fps ∼1%
Huawei P9 Lite
8.4 fps ∼2% +87%
Honor 6X
8.5 fps ∼2% +89%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
7 fps ∼2% +56%
ZTE Blade V7
4.5 fps ∼1% 0%
Wiko U Feel Prime
7.5 fps ∼2% +67%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
2.4 fps ∼0%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.5 fps ∼1% +88%
Honor 6X
2.5 fps ∼0% +4%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
4.2 fps ∼1% +75%
ZTE Blade V7
2.9 fps ∼1% +21%
Wiko U Feel Prime
4.4 fps ∼1% +83%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
4.9 fps ∼3%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.9 fps ∼3% 0%
Honor 6X
4.9 fps ∼3% 0%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
4.5 fps ∼3% -8%
ZTE Blade V7
2.9 fps ∼2% -41%
Wiko U Feel Prime
4.8 fps ∼3% -2%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
4978 Points ∼47%
Huawei P9 Lite
5339 Points ∼51% +7%
Honor 6X
4383 Points ∼41% -12%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
3663 Points ∼35% -26%
ZTE Blade V7
3947 Points ∼37% -21%
Wiko U Feel Prime
3347 Points ∼32% -33%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
744 Points ∼43%
Huawei P9 Lite
765 Points ∼44% +3%
Honor 6X
720 Points ∼42% -3%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
10 Points ∼1% -99%
ZTE Blade V7
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Wiko U Feel Prime
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Graphics (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
787 Points ∼5%
Huawei P9 Lite
818 Points ∼5% +4%
Honor 6X
819 Points ∼5% +4%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
827 Points ∼5% +5%
ZTE Blade V7
430 Points ∼3% -45%
Wiko U Feel Prime
740 Points ∼5% -6%
Memory (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
812 Points ∼17%
Huawei P9 Lite
1346 Points ∼28% +66%
Honor 6X
1779 Points ∼37% +119%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1052 Points ∼22% +30%
ZTE Blade V7
790 Points ∼16% -3%
Wiko U Feel Prime
774 Points ∼16% -5%
System (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
1562 Points ∼13%
Huawei P9 Lite
2438 Points ∼20% +56%
Honor 6X
2721 Points ∼22% +74%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1379 Points ∼11% -12%
ZTE Blade V7
1188 Points ∼10% -24%
Wiko U Feel Prime
1281 Points ∼10% -18%
Overall (sort by value)
ZTE Blade V8
928 Points ∼15%
Huawei P9 Lite
1197 Points ∼20% +29%
Honor 6X
1300 Points ∼21% +40%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
328 Points ∼5% -65%
ZTE Blade V7
249 Points ∼4% -73%
Wiko U Feel Prime
290 Points ∼5% -69%

Legend

 
ZTE Blade V8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 650, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 6X HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MSM8952, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V7 Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Wiko U Feel Prime Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The outcomes can almost be transferred without change to the browser benchmarks in terms of pure performance. The test with Google's Chrome browser shows that the V8 is sooner situated in the lower performance sector. In the test with Jetstream 1.1, all devices outrun the V8. The same is seen in Octane and WebXPRT. The V8 only achieves a very good placing in the Mozilla Kraken test. Unfortunately, we do not have any figures for comparison here, but the performance is decent when using the proprietary browser. Consequently, at least the V8's browsing performance is extremely dependent on the used platform.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Huawei P9 Lite
29.03 Points ∼100% +66%
Honor 6X
26.464 Points ∼91% +51%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
23 Points ∼79% +31%
Wiko U Feel Prime
21.4 Points ∼74% +22%
ZTE Blade V7
18.19 Points ∼63% +4%
ZTE Blade V8
17.524 Points ∼60%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
ZTE Blade V7
13761.1 ms * ∼100% -12%
ZTE Blade V8
12297.4 ms * ∼89%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
11109.2 ms * ∼81% +10%
Wiko U Feel Prime
10826 ms * ∼79% +12%
Huawei P9 Lite
9396.5 ms * ∼68% +24%
Honor 6X
9373.3 ms * ∼68% +24%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei P9 Lite
4756 Points ∼100% +68%
Honor 6X
4199 Points ∼88% +49%
Wiko U Feel Prime
3383 Points ∼71% +20%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
3371 Points ∼71% +19%
ZTE Blade V8
2826 Points ∼59%
ZTE Blade V7
2689 Points ∼57% -5%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Honor 6X
73 Points ∼100% +38%
Huawei P9 Lite
67 Points ∼92% +26%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
54 Points ∼74% +2%
ZTE Blade V8
53 Points ∼73%

* ... smaller is better

The storage has been selected well in the big comparison. Only the 6X defeats the V8 in a direct comparison. An average performance gain of 47% is achieved over the V7. The storage rates are not great seen on the whole, but the V8 is still a mid-range smartphone and its rates are very good for this category. They present a performance that is reflected in the subjective handling. Data is written quickly on both the internal storage and micro-SD card and are read just as fast.

ZTE Blade V8Huawei P9 LiteHonor 6XZTE Axon 7 MiniZTE Blade V7Wiko U Feel Prime
AndroBench 3-5
-22%
24%
-23%
-47%
-5%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
87.13
25.1
-71%
34.53
-60%
50.27
-42%
20.89
-76%
35.21
-60%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
96.47
60.81
-37%
52.02
-46%
73.89
-23%
43.67
-55%
41.98
-56%
Random Write 4KB
12.69
15.35
21%
45.05
255%
6.7
-47%
7.58
-40%
9.4
-26%
Random Read 4KB
39.89
38.22
-4%
39.55
-1%
14.05
-65%
28.07
-30%
55
38%
Sequential Write 256KB
77.7
46.24
-40%
73.85
-5%
122.84
58%
39.45
-49%
137.3
77%
Sequential Read 256KB
278.06
283.55
2%
283.37
2%
230.82
-17%
196.76
-29%
270.9
-3%

Games

The Adreno 505 is a mid-range graphics solution. It supports OpenGL ES 3.2, making it gaming suitable. 3D games, such as Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger 2 run quite well. Asphalt 8 settles to 19 FPS on average. An average of up to 29 FPS is reached when playing, but this rate cannot be kept stably. The V8 manages Dead Trigger 2 at almost a constant 30 FPS, but its graphics requirements are much lower than in Asphalt 8. Games without high graphics requirements, such as Clash of Clans, run smoothly at 60 FPS. The FPS rates were determined using GameBench.

The position sensor and accelerometer quickly detect whether and how the handset is moved. Inputs on the touchscreen were implemented directly even during demanding games. The functionality during gaming cannot be criticized. A minor "issue": A hand could quickly cover the speaker and muffle the sound when playing a game.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high19 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The temperatures are not a big issue during normal use. The smartphone only heats up moderately. This is barely noticed and is not unpleasant, either. It gets a bit warmer when performance-driven software is used. The temperature climbs slightly. However, handling does not get unpleasant then, but it is sometimes felt through clothing when used on the lap. The V8 cools down again quite quickly after use. The performance during permanent load is measured in the GFXBench test (Manhattan Battery Test). It becomes evident that the temperature remains above 31.2 °C, but the performance is relatively stable. Thus, the temperature only has a minor impact on the V8's behavior during permanent load.

Max. Load
 34.1 °C
93 F
34.3 °C
94 F
36.3 °C
97 F
 
 33.9 °C
93 F
33.2 °C
92 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
 32.5 °C
91 F
32.9 °C
91 F
35.3 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 36.5 °C = 98 F
Average: 34.3 °C = 94 F
32.1 °C
90 F
33.1 °C
92 F
33.3 °C
92 F
32.4 °C
90 F
32.8 °C
91 F
33.3 °C
92 F
31.2 °C
88 F
32.7 °C
91 F
33.3 °C
92 F
Maximum: 33.3 °C = 92 F
Average: 32.7 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  32.4 °C = 90 F | Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
Thermal image front
Thermal image front
Thermal image rear
Thermal image rear

Speaker

The main speaker on the lower edge sounds quite decent for this price range. It does not produce any static noise even at full volume and the sound does not distort. The high and mid tones sound good, but low tones are completely absent. When playing songs, it can sometimes happen that the vocals are slightly subdued and the music becomes too dominant. A pleasing feature is the Dolby audio support. It is enabled with the corresponding button in the second status row. The volume increases in all areas. This naturally cannot be compared with, for example, Bluetooth speakers, but it is compared and sounds very good for a smartphone. ZTE proves to be progressive here.

Speaker on lower edge
Speaker on lower edge
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.640.62525.4383125.330.54032.931.85033.632.86331.634.18028.428.4100272812520.828.31602226.520021.331.625020.838.531521.246.840019.453.450019.556.763017.760.280017.960.6100017.870.4125017.372.2160017.471.4200016.768.3250017.268.8315018.267.5400017.973.1500017.674.2630017.771.2800017.862.81000017.956.91250018.1541600018.238.7SPL3081.8N1.347.9median 17.9ZTE Blade V8median 60.2Delta1.314.440.731.832.440.732.731.831.332.730.834.231.730.831.830.42631.836.633.139.436.633.330.936.233.332.42528.632.429.624.325.429.631.523.921.331.536.324.323.336.344.329.822.544.352.236.622.452.257.341.721.357.362.747.118.462.764.950.117.564.96752.517.56769.153.917.269.17254.216.8727454.217.37475.755.317.475.775.756.916.675.776.157.817.376.17757.917.67779.159.517.679.180.161.117.780.178.359.417.478.377.358.417.777.378.859.717.978.872.953.518.172.956.83718.156.888.469.529.888.473.724.21.373.7median 72Huawei P9 Litemedian 53.9median 17.7median 7211.19.91.611.131.642.625.437.525.334.632.931.333.630.931.632.428.429.72728.420.829.22231.721.336.920.84621.252.319.455.819.559.117.760.817.966.617.871.517.37517.472.316.772.717.271.618.270.717.967.617.666.617.761.617.856.517.957.118.156.918.242.23081.91.346.3median 17.9Honor 6Xmedian 59.11.311hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
ZTE Blade V8 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.84 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 82% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 11% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P9 Lite audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.42 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 23% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 67% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 53% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Honor 6X audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.88 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 67% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 81% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 14% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Blade V8 presents average consumption rates as long as it is not loaded. The V8 barely consumes power on average, but the energy requirement climbs during full load. Although 5.62 watts does not sound like much, considering that the V8 is based on economical components, the consumption is relatively high.

The manufacturer does not give the V8 a quick-charge function. The V8 needs almost 2 hours (1:55 h) for fully recharging with the included power supply.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.07 / 0.49 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.98 / 1.76 / 1.79 Watt
Load midlight 2.89 / 5.62 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

Compared with the Blade V7, the battery has grown by 190 to a total of 2730 milli-ampere hours, which should provide a longer battery life. The battery cannot be removed, and consequently the user cannot replace it.

The Blade V8 presents an outstanding battery life of 4:50 hours in the stress test via the Stability Test app with maximum load, i.e. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. enabled and maximum screen brightness. The V8 outruns the P9 Lite and the bigger Axon 7 Mini with this rate. However, Honor's 6X achieves a 1:30-hour longer runtime. The Blade V8 manages just over 9 hours in the Big Buck Bunny video loop. It can be said that the V8 is one of the better devices in this category. However, both the P9 Lite and 6X present longer runtimes. Only the Axon 7 Mini achieves shorter runtimes. The rates are still sufficient for managing a workday.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 04min
WiFi Surfing
0h 00min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 57min
ZTE Blade V8
2730 mAh
Huawei P9 Lite
3000 mAh
Honor 6X
3340 mAh
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
2705 mAh
ZTE Blade V7
2540 mAh
Battery Runtime
7%
65%
-16%
-26%
Reader / Idle
964
1404
46%
2250
133%
1287
34%
H.264
545
568
4%
885
62%
435
-20%
WiFi v1.3
700
604
-14%
957
37%
399
-43%
519
-26%
Load
297
272
-8%
375
26%
196
-34%

Pros

+ low price
+ dual-camera
+ front-facing camera with 13 megapixels
+ fingerprint scanner
+ Dolby sound support
+ decent battery life
+ micro-SD support up to (theoretical) 2 TB
+ dual-SIM

Cons

- average performance rates
- only suitable for standard games
- bulky headset
- speakers weak in default mode

Verdict

In review: ZTE Blade V8. Review sample courtesy of ZTE Germany
In review: ZTE Blade V8. Review sample courtesy of ZTE Germany

At the end of this test, the question about for whom this handset is suitable arises. Primarily for bargain-hunters who want a lot of features for little money. These buyers get a dual-camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. Dolby Audio support is available for the speakers. A decent battery life, good screen, and storage expansion via micro-SD also belongs to the total package.

The Blade V8 is a smartphone that brings good performance to the mid-range at a low price.

And the bad? Buyers should be aware that this is not a premium smartphone despite the aluminum casing. The present configuration is solid average, but not any more than that. A more expensive model should be taken if more power and a better configuration are wanted. The mediocre performance rates in the performance comparison are actually the biggest point of criticism. Unfortunately, the speakers are very weak without Dolby Audio, and this results in the lack of volume. The camera presents visible weaknesses in low-light situations.

ZTE Blade V8 - 03/29/2017 v6
Niklas Böhm

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
39 / 60 → 66%
Weight
93%
Battery
95%
Display
85%
Games Performance
16 / 63 → 26%
Application Performance
43 / 70 → 62%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
59 / 91 → 65%
Camera
68%
Average
72%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > ZTE Blade V8 Smartphone Review
Niklas Böhm, 2017-04-23 (Update: 2018-05-15)