Zopo has been making Android smartphones for several years, but this is the first time I have had a chance to review one. Earlier this year MediaTek released a new multimode LTE modem chipset – the MT6290. As a result, Chinese OEMs, like Zopo, have started to ship their new generation of 4G-LTE phones. I received a ZP320 a few days ago and I have been testing it to see what Zopo can bring to the table.
|Display||5 inch, IPS, 960 x 540|
|Processor||1.3GHz, quad-core Mediatek MT6582, Cortex-A7|
|Storage||8GB, microSD card slot, up to 64GB|
|Camera||8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 2 Megapixel Front Camera|
|Connectivity||GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth|
|Networks||GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz. 3G 900/2100MHz. 4G LTE 800/1800/2600MHz.|
|Software||Android 4.4 with Google Play|
|Dimensions||142 x 71 x 9.8 mm.|
|SIM slots||1x micro SIM|
For a five inch device the Zopo ZP320 looks sleek, even thin. The numbers tell me that the device is the same size and thickness as many other five inch devices, but yet to my eyes it just looked thinner and narrower. After studying it closely I have come to the conclusion that the bezels are a fraction thinner than I was expecting and the top and bottom areas are not as wide as on other phones. At the top the ear piece grill and camera are almost touching the edge of the phone. The result is that the phone looks more compact than it really is. We are only talking about fractions of a millimeter but it does the trick. The designers at Zopo should be congratulated.
The corners of the ZP320 are distinctly rounded in three directions. On the front side the drop off from the corner is flat but not sharp. Running around the whole phone is a think silver band which marks the edge of the phone and the start of the back cover.
On the very top edge of the device is the micro USB port (used for charging and data transfer) and the headphone jack. On the bottom edge the smooth plastic is interrupted only temporarily for the small microphone hole. All the controls are on the right, first comes the volume keys, and below them the power button. If you hold the phone in your left hand it is very easy to reach the buttons with your fingers.
The back covered has a small dimple effect in plastic, which gives it a slight matte appearance, but it also means the device is easy to grip and doesn’t feel slippery. On the back is the 8MP camera along with an LED flash. The camera lens has a silver ring around it which ever so slightly protrudes from the back of the device. This means it doesn’t lay perfectly flat on a table, however the small dots on either side of the speaker grill are just as much to blame. Of course they are there to ensure that the speaker isn’t muffled when placed down. On the back there is also a second microphone, something that is often missing on lower end phones. The second mic should give better sound when recording video.
The IPS display on the ZP320 is bright and vibrant, with good viewing angles, however its sub 720p resolution is a bit of a disappointment. The bottom bezel houses the three capacitive keys which light up when pressed.
At the heart of the ZP320 is a MediaTek MTK6582 . It is a quad-core Cortex-A7 based processor that is coupled with an ARM Mali-400 MP GPU. The device isn’t going to win any gold medals for performance, however the MediaTek processor easily ensures that the overall experience is fluid and responsive.
The ZP320 AnTuTu scores are respectable considering the low-end processor and the price point. Antutu v5.0 gives the device a score of 18795 which means the device is comparable to the Nexus 4 and the Moto G. For Epic Citadel, the demo app for the Unreal 3D engine, the ZP320 managed 53.8 frames per second (fps) on the High Performance setting, and 53.6 fps in the High Quality mode.
The GPS performance of the ZP320 is excellent. I tested the device inside my house and it was able to get a lock using the signals from a dozen satellites. Getting a lock while indoors is quite unusual for a low- to mid- range phone. Very impressive.
The ZP320 has a good sized battery at 2300 mAh. After some testing I found that the battery performance was on-par with my expectations, maybe even better. When running Epic Citadel, in its Guided Tour mode, the device lasts just under 5.5 hours before it runs out of juice. For YouTube streaming (over Wi-Fi) the device can handle around 10 hours on one charge. Watching an MP4 movie from the internal storage yields around 10.5 hours of viewing pleasure. All the tests were carried out with the screen on half brightness, syncing enabled and Wi-Fi on.
The Zopo ZP320 is a single SIM device and supports 3G on 900/2100MHz and 4G on 800/1800/2600MHz. The different 4G providers around the world use pre-defined frequency bands. My carrier uses 1800MHz, so the ZP320 worked with 4G without any problems. The speed tests I performed confirmed much higher throughput than those I get on 3G. The bands listed are popular ones used in many parts of Africa, some but not all parts of Central and South America and large parts of Asia. In Europe, basically every carrier uses one of the bands supported by this device. Unfortunately none of the North American carriers use these frequencies. Before buying the phone you should check with your carrier to ensure compatibility, or if you trust Wikipedia then it has a global list of LTE networks.
This device is compatible with two 3G frequencies, 900 and 2100MHz. The latter is the most common 3G frequency and should work in most places around the world, however a lot of carriers also use secondary 3G spectrum ranges. In Asia and South America this is often 850MHz and 1900MHz, for Europe it tends to be 900MHz. The 3G won’t work in the USA, however 2G calls should work fine. You need to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility or check the List of UMTS networks page.
I compared the Wi-Fi signals strengths of the ZP320 with other devices I have and it performed equally as well. I was able to access the Internet from all around the house and outside without any problems.
The 8MP camera on the ZP320 is distinctly average. The auto-focus can have trouble with close-up shots and there is a danger of bleaching in strong sunlight. However with care, you can still take reasonable pictures. The built-in camera app has all the normal features and functions like face detection, HDR and panorama mode. Because the phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat you can also use Google’s camera app if you don’t like the built-in one. The best thing to do is to look at the pictures below and decide for yourself.
The ZP320 comes with stock Android 4.4.2 with a slightly modified launcher and a few other minor tweaks. The settings page uses color icons (rather than the standard monochrome ones) and there are a few special functions like HotKnot, a NFC alternative; some simple gesture sensing, which don’t really work; and smart wake functions, which allow you to draw on the screen when the device is asleep to wake it directly into certain apps like the camera.
The ZP320 comes with full Google Play support and all of the normal Google apps are available. For those Google apps not pre-installed, a quick trip to the Play Store gets you everything you need.
The 8GB of internal storage will be limiting for many users. Only 6.06GB of the 8GB is usable. 0.88GB is set aside for apps (marked as internal storage) and 5.18GB is for data (marked as phone storage). There is a micro SD card slot which accepts cards up to 64GB and the phone can be set to use the SD card as the default write location. However even with an SD card installed, the internal storage is still used for apps. There is the option to move apps to the phone storage, however there doesn’t seem to be away to get the device to move apps to the SD card.
If you are looking for a cheap way to get a 4G phone then the Zopo ZP320 is worth considering. It has a sleek design and there is the option for a big SD card, however the way the flash storage is split could be a problem.