Right after we unboxed this stylish LTE smartphone, the ZTE Blade Vec 4G, I've had more than a week to intensively test and play with the device. I've also gathered all the data needed for the full review and I'm going to share it in a short while. I know, you too are excited to see my assessment. So here it is! :)

Blade Vec 4G is one of the most gorgeous looking LTE phone under 10K!


To know the list of accessories included in the package, plus the build quality and technical specifications of the device. You can check my unboxing and initial impressions: Click here!

Meanwhile, I can also share you some of the pics of the handset itself. Take note, the detailed description of its build quality was included on the previously published unboxing article.



Back of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
Rear Camera of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
MicroUSB Port of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
Power Button and Volume Rocker of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
Additional Information

The ZTE Blade Vec 4G feels really good to hold because of its sleek and thin body. When you compare it to other 5-inch screens, the body feels smaller when you hold it. For an average sized hands like mine, the smartphone is very easy to use even by just using one hand. 

The texture of the device is not slippery - it doesn't tend to slip at your hands while using it, thus, less instances of dropping the smartphone. At 155 grams, the phone is lightweight and I don't feel any pressure on my hands or wrist after long usage. 

I also noticed that the back of the phone is prone to hairline scratches. So it's a must that you house it with a protective case for added protection. Another thing, I think that the NTC is too easy to remove because it's placed on the back plastic cover of the device.

The carbon fiber at the back seems to be just for display and didn't serve its true purpose of protecting the phone. In my opinion, the carbon fiber should be outer cover of the back.

Overall, it's very simple yet stylish and classy looking. It somewhat fits my personality.

Display


Display of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
The 5-inch TFT capacitive display is very good and vibrant. The max brightness of the display is still not harsh on our eyes. When compared to A919i and the Lumia 730, my eyes can tolerate longer time of reading an e-book using the ZTE Blade Vec 4G. 

It has a very good viewing angles too. Its side bezels measures around 4mm (my rough estimate) while the bottom bezel is slightly thinner than other phones- probably because of its on-screen soft keys implementation.

Battery Life



Battery Life of ZTE Blade Vec 4G
At 2300 mAH the ZTE Blade Vec 4G won't let you down immediately! With regular usage, the device can last up to a day or two with regular usage. (SMS, Occasional Calls, Taking Photos and LTE) Similar to the Xiaomi Redmi 1s, the Blade Vec 4G's processor is the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 - the only difference is it's clocked at 1.2GHz, not 1.6 GHz. In result, it's less power hungry and does not heat up easily (like other devices).

Audio Test

Sountrip time!
Okay, our in-house audio geek helped me described the audio output of this device. Credits to Peter Jan Icogo. :)

Audio output

ZTE Blade Vec 4G appears to be one of my favorite smartphone for music under 10k! It is one of the few smartphones that can make the dual driver Havi B3 Pro I sing! The phone has a very clean playback. It has decent loudness that doesn't distort even at max volume. The overall tonality it produce is quite balanced. I can say that this is a very good allrounder source that doesn't much equalization. It is good enough to power IEM and most portable headphones. However, it might not be able to drive full sized studio cans. Overall it has better playback through headphones than Redmi 1S and Lenovo S860.

Some may love the wow factor effect of the Dolby music enhancement as it adds more flavor to the music (bass, soundstage and treble), but to my taste I like it better the natural way when the Dolby music is off as it doesn't overwhelm the vocals.

Side by side with Nexus 5
When compared to the Wolfson powered Nexus 5, the ZTE Blade Vec 4G can definitely Keep up! The Nexus 5 has a little better tonality and more dynamics when it comes to the lows and highs, but surprisingly the Blade Vec 4G is clearer on the vocals side. The soundstage is about equal to my ears too!

Note 1: All files used are in lossless quality
Note 2: Equalizer is off
Note 3: Some may like the Blade Vec 4G better when the dolby eq is turned on as it enhances the highs and lows.

Speakers


Honestly, it's not the strong point of this phone. I can't clearly hear the music from afar and the loudspeaker is not that good to use when doing calls. 

Stock Earbuds with Mic

ZTE included a listenable accessory here! The stock earbuds with mic offers decent overall tonality! There's nothing too special about it, but it sounds good for a stock earbuds, however as an earbuds it doesn't isolate much and has less bass impact compared to most iems.

Sample Recording using stock IEM



Camera


The 8 megapixel camera of the Blade Vec is good and decent. It captures really fast however the auto-focus sometimes doesn't cope with it, resulting to blurry pictures. So you need to focus really properly before taking a photo.  

Like every typical camera, photos are best taken when shot outdoor. Check out our samples shots below. 

Rear Camera Shot
Ms. Earth 2014: Rear Camera Low Light Shot
Rhum Coke: Rear Camera Super Low Light Shot
Geeky Pinas Mug and Kon From Bleach: Rear Camera Low Light Shot With Flash
At Chef Kally's Booth: Rear Camera Outdoor Shot
Boni Avenue: Rear Camera Outdoor Shot

Selfie Shot
Low Light Selfie Shot: Hello to our in-house audio geek <3
Super Low Light Selfie Shot
Outdoor video sample


Front camera video and Microphone Sample
Performance

Performance wise, the ZTE Blade Vec 4G is a good phone. I can hardly feel any lag even when multiple apps are open (even when I'm playing a game). The combination of 1GB of RAM and Snapdragon 400 is already a great combination. Still not as powerful as the higher end phones, but this one can definitely compete with the best at its price range.

It has an ample 16GB of internal memory, however it's not expandable. That's one downside of this phone especially for gamers, audio geeks who prefers flac files than MP3 and for people who loves watching movies.

I am also experiencing occasional mild heating while playing games and when the LTE feature is turned on.

Gaming video sample

When it comes to gaming the ZTE Blade Vec 4G is a great phone too! Thanks to its Adreno 305 and the Snapdragon 400! However it may not be able to handle the super heavy games too well, but its playable. Overall, with this hardware it can run most light and moderale games with ease.

User Interface

That very neat Google Now Launcher is <3

The Blade Vec 4G's user interface offers a rich Google experience as it offers Google Now as its stock launcher. The icons are very neat and very easy to recognize. It is very fast, fluid and responsive.

LTE Connectivity

It's LTE feature makes the phone worth every penny. It's very affordable considering that it is LTE capable. When connected to the LTE, I can definitely the speed difference when using my regular 3G phone. I really enjoyed browsing without compromising the internet speed.

Benchmarks


CPU-Z,  Nenamark and Multi Touch Tester
Antutu, Geekbench, Quadrant
Benchmarks:

1. Antutu: 16976
2. Geek Bench: 1096 (Multi Core)
3. Quadrant: 8459
4. Nenamark: 57.2 fps

Pros - LTE connectivity for an affordable price, Great phone for the price,  Rich Google Experience, one of the best music phone under 10K, good battery life, great display, very stylish look!

ConsHairline scratch magnet back, lack of expandable storage, not so loud speaker and microphone quality.

Verdict

Overall, the phone is worth the price because of its LTE connectivity feature and great looks! It's one of the most affordable LTE models available in the market. The camera is also good - great for simple point and shoot. Its also one of the best music phone under 10K. The battery capacity is also good as it can last up to a day or two with regular usage.

How do you feel?
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