Initial ZTE Score Review
Yesterday, I bought a ZTE Score from Best Buy online for a whopping $89 dollars. This makes the ZTE Score the lowest priced Android on a no-contract plan in the market. The next closest in price is the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile at $149.99.
I’ve had the ZTE Score for a few hours now, and I am letting it charge after my initial tinkering. While it charges, I figured I would let you know about some of my preliminary thoughts.
Specs They Do Not Tell You About
- Internal phone memory available (aka, that is free to fill up) is about 100MB and the total amount dedicated to internal storage space is about 140MB. This is pretty small. as the Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V, the Score’s closest competitor in price, has about 35MB more space on both ends.
- The Hotspot feature is present and can successfully turn on/off , and you reach the configure menu. You do have to use an app like Quicksettings or Superbox to access the Hotspot feature menu, however.
- The phone is very smooth and zippy – It can play the more advanced games like Need For Speed just fine.
- The 4GB microSD card only has 1GB of personal storage with 3GB partitioned off as “MUVE Music” storage. This is great if you intend to use the service….
- The phone’s body has the look and feel of an Iphone. The Iphone is just slightly longer and maybe slightly skinnier.
- The buttons have a different configuration order than most Android devices going (from left to right) Back, Menu, Home, Search instead of Menu, Home, Back, Search.
- Flash is not available for this phone.
Initial Things I Like:
- I am very surprised by how fast the phone is, especially with the animations off.
- I like that the hotspot feature exists and has not been “hidden” and/or turned off like Virgin Mobile has done with some of their phones
- I like that you can turn off the boot up/shutdown sound. A lot of phones do not allow this.
- The non physical buttons for home/menu/search/back are very responsive unlike my experience with Samsung phones.
- The phone supports DRM, which means that “in theory” (I have not tested this yet) the Android Movies in the market should work. The movies menu shows up when I load up the Market, so this is a cool new option.
- It connected to Wi-Fi super easy and stayed connected
- It connected to my computer (Windows 7 machine) effortlessly.
- I love the form factor – it is not too big and not too small, and the flat top screen is stellar.
Initial Things I Hate:
- I am not a fan of the partitioned microSD card, and if you want to use the MUVE Music service, you have to have one of their special microSD cards. This is probably due to the fact that this Android phone supports DRM.
- This Android 2.3 phone does not support flash.
- It does not tell you the charge level on the battery when the phone is off and it is connected to a charger – all you see is a battery filling up with green.
- When you scroll a menu and reach an end, there is a little screen distortion that happens where the edge of the phone turns a bit yellow and there are some “wave” lines. It sounds worse than it is, but it is definantly not “normal”. I may contact Best Buy/ Cricket and see if this is something that they expected to happen.
- The Score does have a plastic “ee” feel about the case that makes you think it is a cheaper phone (which it is).
The Sum of the Matter
The ZTE Score has promise. It is very clearly “budget”, but it offers nice speed and can handle some games similar phones cannot (like Need for Speed). App storage space is limited — very limited, but you will be able to take advantage of Apps2SD that moves part (not all) of an app to the microSD card.
I will continue to update ya’ll on my journey with this phone and hopefully (if I can get the blasted camera to work) post a video showing you its performance abilities.
Rock That Mobile — Signing Out!