ZTE USA has announced the ZTE Blade Spark, a $99.99 prepaid smartphone exclusive to AT&T. This is the latest in the long-running series of Blade devices from ZTE, and is once again aiming to deliver big value.
The Blade Spark comes with a 5.5-inch HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chip and 2 GB of RAM, as well as microSD card support for cards up to 128 GB in size.
The device also features 13 MP and 5 MP rear and front-facing cameras, a fingerprint scanner, and comes running the latest version of Android, Android 7.1.1 Nougat, out of the box. What’s more, it boasts a dedicated selfie button on the side of the device, letting you take a “quick, spontaneous photos of you and your friends even when the phone is locked.”
This a good set of features at the price point: but it’s also almost a spec-for-spec copy of the Motorola Moto E4, which launched a few weeks ago; the screen resolution, onboard storage, RAM, camera megapixel count and even the chipset are the same on both devices.
While there’s nothing wrong with those specs, the Motorola E4 is already on our best cheap Android phones list, and can be picked up for just $70 on Verizon, and comes in an unlocked version, which takes the shine off the ZTE Blade.
The Blade does have a bigger battery, at 3,140 mAh vs 2,800 mAh, but it also has a larger screen to power — the Moto E4 has a 5-inch display. That said, it’s this display that could make the ZTE Blade Spark a good alternative to the E4 is you’re looking for the most screen real estate (0.5-inches might not seem like much, but in smartphone terms, it’s very noticeable). The Moto E4 Plus, which also has a 5.5-inch screen, isn’t available in the US yet, and will likely cost a bit more (~$155).
Meanwhile, news broke earlier today that Xiaomi might be readying the Redmi 5, the starting price of which may come in at the equivalent of $125. For this, it’s rumored that you’d get 16 GB internal storage, microSD card support, and a fingerprint reader, like the above phones, but also the benefits of a 1080p display, 3 GB RAM, and 16 MP camera. Those are seriously interesting additions for around $25 however, as you’re probably aware, Xiaomi phones aren’t exactly easy to get hold of in the West.
If you’re interested in picking up the ZTE Blade Spark, you can find it at AT&T online and in stores from today.