ZTE Blade X9 Review, Specification, Pros and Cons


Either it’s coincidence or not, ZTE Blade A711 (global name: ZTE Blade X9) looks similar to Coolpad Shine, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Huawei G8 with aluminum material encase its unibody design. You might think this phone has a thin bezel when the display is off but once it’s on you’ll see a narrow frame around the screen.

As a ZTE smartphone, Blade A711 also has 3 menu buttons with the blue-blinking home button. The strong point of this phone is on its back side, around fingerprint sensor capable of storing 5 fingerprints to unlock the screen as well as running apps. Whilst in lock screen mode, place the finger on the sensor to unlock it. The same thing goes running apps. Fingerprint sensor won’t work when the screen is already on. Aluminum material may add luxurious looks to this US$143 phone but it also dissipates heat through the body as well. Heat is easily spread through this phone body when playing games and charging its battery.

It seems that ZTE doesn’t intend to impress anyone with its Nubia 3.0.1 user interface, so don’t expect loads of feature in it. It doesn’t have Home screen nor transition effect, so you can’t do much customization. But you can still switch the Back and Menu button position in Settings and adjust Home button brightness level manually. Nubia UI doesn’t support Google Now. Pressing the Home button will lead you to Recent apps or Task manager. Swiping and closing recent apps is not convenient due to lag. It’s not because Nubia UI is very resource demanding, it’s just not perfectly developed because it only consumes 800MB – 1GB of RAM and doesn’t come with so many features too. Powered by Snapdragon 615 octa-core CPU and 2GB of RAM ZTE Blade A711 should have no problem running up-to-date games and apps but we notice frame skip when we play Asphalt 8, Angry Birds 2 and Sniper Fury.

The 5.5 inch Full HD IPS display is quite satisfying with bright colors and wide viewing angle. Unfortunately, the Adaptive brightness feature is poor for outdoor use. Deactivating this feature will improve screen readability. The small speaker on the back side is good, you can still hear the sound even when you put this phone on the table. But the 3.000 mAh battery can’t provide enough power for this phone with Screen-on time only recorded around 3 hours.

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The 13MP rear camera equipped with Neo Vision 5.0 technology Manual mode with the convenient interface for exposure, white balance, ISO up to 3200 and focus is available alongside Auto mode. You can select light source separately from an object while preparing photo autofocus and shutter speed work pretty well. Face detection feature is available for the front-facing 5MP camera but no Beautification feature to touch up your face. Don’t forget, the fingerprint sensor on the back side can also function as the shutter button.


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