A lot of high-end & latest smartphones manufactured by ZTE aren’t available in the US & UK region. However, the brand still has decent devices that are relatively cheaper in comparison with other brands.
For those who don’t know about ZTE, It is a Chinese multinational company. It used to be the 4th largest mobile manufacturer when the Android operating system was new and booming (2011). It also is known for launching phones at razor-thin margins.
With a lot of competition rising up in the smartphone industry, the company started losing its share in 2012. Also, a few international trade restrictions make it more challenging for the brand to launch their latest products in the market too. However, the pricing is really cheap, and that’s why it’s a choice for a lot of people in the country.
According to DeviceAtlas, ZTE currently is #10th in the US smartphone market and has a 0.99% market share in the US market. This might come as a surprise to everyone who did not know about the company being this huge.
- Should You Buy a ZTE Phone?
- 10 Best ZTE Phones in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: ZTE Blade A5
- 2. Best Runner Up: ZTE Blade Max 2S
- 3. Best Foldable Phone: ZTE Axon M Z999
- 4. Best with AMOLED Display: ZTE Axon 7 Mini
- 5. Best Value for Money: ZTE Blade Z MAX Z982
- 6. Best Under Budget: ZTE Blade Spark
- 7. Best for Basic Usage: ZTE Z Max 2
- 8. Best Mid-Range Phone: ZTE Blade V8 Pro
- 9. Best Prepaid Phone: ZTE Maven 3
- 10. Best Qwerty Phone: ZTE Altair
- Frequently Asked Quesions
Should You Buy a ZTE Phone?
If you are looking for devices with high-end/latest specs, then this brand shouldn’t be your choice, you can consider buying phones from Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei.Freedom 251
If it wasn’t for the US region, many other new phones come with a few more modern features such as Stylus compatibility, dual SIM support, and other specs that are found in ZTE Axon 10 series, Axon 9 Pro, Blade V10, Nubia series, etc. They really are a bang for a buck, you can try importing them, and if you succeed, please share the websites in the comment section to help other users.
But if you are looking for good-quality smartphones with high-durability and the outdated CPU configs doesn’t matter much to you then you shall go for devices from this brand.
Since the newest models with the high-end hardware and software combination aren’t available in the US region, they are “Axon 9 Pro” and “Blade V9.” However, if you’re looking for a decent phone which can keep up with your social media apps & regular calling, then this list has them all!
10 Best ZTE Phones in 2021
|ZTE Blade A5|
|ZTE Blade Max 2S|
|ZTE Axon M Z999|
|ZTE Axon 7 Mini|
|ZTE Blade Z MAX Z982|
|ZTE Blade Spark|
|ZTE Z Max 2|
|ZTE Blade V8 Pro|
|ZTE Maven 3|
The brand manufactures incredible Android phones and tablets at the most affordable prices. You can get all the features that you have been longing for in an Android device at the best possible rates. So, to make it easier for you to get the best handset. We had a little research on the available devices and listed down the best among all.
The best also can vary from person to person, E.g. A professional gamer would prefer a device with a high-end Snapdragon 855 processor while a model would like a device that has a great camera. That’s why we’ve chosen the 11 best models which are suitable for different purposes. So, shall we finally begin?
1. Best Overall: ZTE Blade A5
If you have a penchant for affordable yet feature-packed smartphones, the newly launched ZTE Blade A5 is the perfect gadget to invest in. Firstly, this smartphone offers excellent value for money but doesn’t let down when aesthetics are concerned. At 155 grams, the ZTE Blade A5 is still on the lighter side and good-enough for single-handed usage.
As far as the display is concerned, ZTE accommodates a 6.1-inch HD+ panel that exhibits an overall resolution of 720 x 1560 pixels. While the clarity and viewing angles are top-notch, we were more than impressed with the excellent sunlight visibility. However, the water drop notch might bode well for certain users but we did like what ZTE brought to the table.
Powering the smartphone is the Octa-core Helio P22 GPU that works in tandem with the PowerVR GPU. Despite being a mid-range mobile SoC, it is more than capable of reaching excellent clock speeds of up to 2.0GHz. Not just that, we tried running almost every demanding game on the ZTE Blade A5 and the device came out and performed with flying colors.
Complementing the innovative processing setup is the 2GB RAM. While you can always grab the 3GB variant for additional firepower, the 2GB version is also more than capable of handling multiple processes at once. However, we did experience a few lags while running the Netflix application in the pinned mode.
Storage-wise, ZTE persists with 32GB of space, which is still quite adequate for a budget-centric smartphone. Then again, you can always upgrade the existing storage space via the MicroSD slot. As far as the operating system is concerned, the ZTE Blade A5 comes preloaded with Android 9.0 or Android Pie.
As far as the camera setup is concerned, ZTE flaunts a pretty empowering rear setup, led by the 13MP primary shooter. However, supporting the same is a 2MP lens with fixed focus capabilities. A good thing about the rear camera module is that it is quite capable of shooting FHD and 2K videos at 30fps. Adding to the hype is a reliable, 8MP front shooter, with a decent enough aperture for reliable low-light captures.
When it comes to connectivity, the ZTE Blade A5 features a pretty standard setup, featuring dual-SIM support, 4G compatibility, and Bluetooth 4.2. Besides, you also get access to the USB 2.0 slot for charging the device or transferring media on the go. Despite the Micro-USB, GPS, and other relevant specs, ZTE persists with a sizable, 3200mAh battery module. The existing power block is capable of churning out close to 20 hours of autonomy, on standard usage.
Overall, if you are in the market for a budget smartphone that looks and feels premium, the feature-packed ZTE Blade A5 is the one to rely on.
- Reliable processor
- Ultra-fast RAM
- Sharp display
- Dedicated microSD slot
- Excellent battery
- Not water resistant
- Not the best front-shooter
2. Best Runner Up: ZTE Blade Max 2S
The ZTE Blade Max 2S is another phone in the Blade Max series. ZTE phones have been upgraded over the years and this model is yet another example. In terms of battery and design, they have done a great deal overall.
With a massive display size of 6-inches, this phone provides a Full HD video experience to you. Having a 77.71% screen-to-body ratio is everything if you are into big screens. The fingerprint panel is on the rear side of the phone above the ZTE logo. So it is fairly in a good position while you unlock your phone and works pretty fast too.
The back panel could be a bit slippery so you need to be a bit careful about that. Though the screen is protected by the scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass.
Frankly, the storage of the device wasn’t impressive at all. In fact, it was totally disappointing. Only 2GB of RAM isn’t at all sufficient with so much going on with the phone. 4-6 GB is now on average a good number to be as RAM on the phone to make it work smoother. But this is likely to slow things down. The internal memory was pretty great with 32 GB storage, you can download your favorite movies and games at the best.
The battery performance of this ZTE phone was surprisingly incredible seeing the history of ZTE phones. With 4000mAh power, Blade Max 2S gave a pretty good performance overall. With one single charge, you can easily use it for several hours.
The camera quality seemed pretty average as well. You get 13MP rear and only a 5MP selfie camera. With a huge competition in the market, this might be a let down to the ZTE fans. Users always crave for good cameras especially the front camera. 5MP resolution is something you can get in very low budget phones. Though you can still get good quality images from the rear camera. But overall we would say pretty average.
- Battery Life
- Good design overall
- Good Internal Storage
- Poor selfies Camera
- Very low RAM storage
3. Best Foldable Phone: ZTE Axon M Z999
The ZTE Axon M Z999 is one of the best Foldable phones, you will find, in the market. The company is way ahead than most of the mobile companies by introducing their very own version of the foldable phone. It is about 2 years old when the concept was just in the market. If you are looking to buy it now, lets first get on with the features.
This 5.2-inch touchscreen display phone has a protective cover of Gorilla Glass 5 which is pretty intense as compared to other phones. Hopefully, you need not worry a lot about your screen breaking off every now and then. Apart from this, the most important part is it’s dual-screen with multiple display modes With an amazing resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels you can enjoy the best HD videos at your fingertips.
The most promising part of the phone is that it runs on Android 7.1.2 with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. It can be expanded up to 1TB of space which will work like a beast. Nothing could work better than such intense memory storage.
If we look at the battery, 3180mAh seems very powerful but it all comes down to the usage. The battery was something they could have worked more upon since it is dual-screen and would take much more power than this. Otherwise, it works fine overall.
The biggest downside of being a smartphone is that it has no selfie camera. But with a 20MP rear camera which is great in its part. Since people nowadays are selfie enthusiasts irrespective of the place they live in. Everyone’s looking for a phone with great camera quality but unfortunately this full fill the basic needs.
- Dual-Screen Display
- Great RAM memory
- Good for Multi-Tasking
- Amazing rear camera
- Little overpriced
- No protective cover included
- Not a great battery life
- No Selfie Camera
4. Best with AMOLED Display: ZTE Axon 7 Mini
The ZTE Axon 7 Mini is the best alternative phone for the Axon 7 version if you are looking for something smaller and lighter. This is also very valuable when it comes to the price range and totally within budget. It all comes down to the specifications if it stands out just as the Axon 7 did when it first came out.
This ZTE phone comes with a pre-installed Android 6.1 version i.e Marshmallow and can be upgraded to Android 7.1.1(Nougat). The 5.2-inch AMOLED display is a bit of a let down from the earlier version of the 5.5-inch display of Axon 7. But overall looks fine once you start using it. They have used Corning gorilla glass to keep the screen protected which you will find in most of the phones these days.
In terms of memory, 3GB RAM is pretty basic when it comes to smartphones. It would give you a decent performance. Surely, it might be slow at times if you are doing multitasking with it. Other than we have an internal memory of 32GB which is expandable to up to 256GB which is pretty great. The 2705mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery isn’t a lot if we see the current scenario of smartphones and might drain out pretty quickly if you are into playing mobile games.
The Axon 7 Mini features 16MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera for all the camera enthusiasts. It does click decent pictures from both of its cameras and works fine overall. The fingerprint sensor is at the back of the phone below the rear camera and works faster than we anticipated.
Additionally, it has 2 stereo speakers on the front of the phone and supports an accelerometer, gyro, proximity, and compass. It weighs only 5.4 ounces which is pretty light as compared to its previous version.
- Great Display
- Strong audio and speakers placement
- Not a great battery life
- Not a very reliable fingerprint sensor
5. Best Value for Money: ZTE Blade Z MAX Z982
The ZTE Blade Z Max is the best phone you will get in terms of battery power. It is a beast with a 4080mAh non-removable battery that can last hours, depending on the usage. It runs on Snapdragon 435 which is yet again an outdated version since a lot of chipsets have come over since then. But regardless of this, overall the performance was great since it works on the Android 7.1.1 operating system.
This ZTE model gives more of a Tablet look because of the 6-inch touchscreen display size. You will not find this size generally in most of the smartphones especially at this price range. So basically, it gives the feel of a smartphone and a tablet as well. Since it is a bit bulky, the back cover of the phone has been given a better texture to maintain a grip on your hands.
With 2GB RAM and 32GB internal memory, this phone runs quite smoothly. Although, they could have thought on for a better RAM for better performance since we can find a lot of other phones with better RAM but definitely high priced. You can also expand the internal memory using an SD card for up to 256GB which is sufficient for the users.
The fingerprint sensor has been provided below the rare camera at the back of the phone. We tested the sensor quite many times and it seemed to work very well every time. The 16MP and 2MP cameras are yet another great addition to Blade Z Max. It works astonishingly great especially with the rear camera and gives stunning picture quality. But it is a bit let down with the poorly put up selfie camera at this range.
Regardless of this, the phone features proximity sensors, gyro, accelerometer, and compass. For charging use the Type-C cable. It comes with 4.2 Bluetooth, FM Radio and LED flash for a better picture. If you are getting everything you have been looking you can put up your money on this, but if you are more into cameras then there are better options.
- Great display size
- Good rear camera
- Mid-price range
- Amazing battery life
- Poor selfie camera
- Low RAM memory
6. Best Under Budget: ZTE Blade Spark
The ZTE Blade Spark is one of the phones that you can afford pretty easily with added features. It might not be the best one but totally worth the price. This ZTE phone runs on the Android 7.1.1 operating system with a great UI experience. Moreover, they have an average processor that runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 which is pretty outdated since we already have Snapdragon 800 series in the market.
With a 5.5-inch display, the entire screen ratio comes up to an average size that most of the users are looking for in any smartphone. At the back of the phone, the texture of the back cover feels really good and maintains a good grip over your hand, restricting it to slip from the hands. If we talk about good hardware, it features both Proximity and an ambient light sensor. Both these sensors work perfectly well to save your battery life overall.
At 13MP and 5MP, the cameras of this ZTE model works shockingly great. Especially the rear camera gives a very clear picture and is truly excellent. The selfie camera whereas is an average one. If you are looking for great picture quality then this might be a bit disappointing. 5MP these days are big a deal. Also, there isn’t any LED flashlight in the front camera. So you will have to use the white light on the screen for a better picture.
The 2GB RAM of ZTE Blade Spark doesn’t satisfy the needs of a gamer or someone who has switched over from a very heavy RAM to this model. Lower RAM simple slows the phone down with multiple activities. But the 16GB internal memory seems sufficient for beginners and works great. You can also expand the memory by putting on the SD card for up to 128GB. Furthermore, the battery backup could last for 18 hours at a stretch which is great as compared to other overpriced phones that run out very quickly.
- Good rear camera
- Good display size
- Powerful battery
- Low RAM memory
- Poor Selfie camera
7. Best for Basic Usage: ZTE Z Max 2
The ZTE Z Max 2 is the best phone if you are looking for pretty basic features and nothing too flashy at the most affordable rate. This could be the perfect choice if the criteria match your goal before buying this phone. Let’s just simply get on with the features and see what all you are getting with this phone.
So, this is the successor of the previous version ZTE Z Maz. But surely as we see it isn’t anything like the other version of it. With a 5.5-inch display, it is very general like any other phone would have and works totally fine with HD videos and games. It runs on Android 5.1 which is a huge disappointment if I must say since we have got a lot of updates since then and the OS version is outdated. Also, the processor is very basic which worked fine while trying it out.
Only 2GB and 8GB memory is something you will have to deal with. In any case, if you are looking for heavy activities on this smartphone then you will need an external SD card which you can use up to 64GB. It sounds more than enough, compared to the price of this smartphone. There is nothing more one could ask for if you have a tight budget.
The 3000mAh battery is what you could be thankful for since at this price you are getting a very decent power and might work for hours no matter the usage. Of course, the camera quality is very inconsistent. It gives only 8MP and 2MP camera resolution and the picture quality is very average if you are a camera enthusiast.
I do like the plastic textures cover at the back which gives this bulky phone a great look. Just for small info, this model does not contain any Fingerprint sensor so you will have to use the password or pattern lock to unlock your phone every time.
- Big screen
- Reliable call quality
- Easy to use
- Very durable
- Low camera quality
- Outdated Android OS
- Bulky phone
8. Best Mid-Range Phone: ZTE Blade V8 Pro
The ZTE Blade V8 Pro is the most promising mid-range phone you will get in the market. It features a 5.5-inch LCD touchscreen display covered with Gorilla Glass 3. This is great news for all those who always seem to drop their phones. Apart from this, it runs on Android 6.0.1 with a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.
Moving on, it runs on 3GB RAM and has an internal storage of 32GB with an expandable memory of 256GB. the back of the phone is somewhat rubbery which provides a good grip so that it won’t slip from your hands. Overall it looks really good because of the texture at the back. This ZTE phone supports Dual-sim functionality (GSM and GSM) which is great if you wish to have both your work and personal numbers together.
Unlike any other ZTE phone, the fingerprint sensor is provided on the front panel of the screen below the display. Looks great and works absolutely fine and much faster as compared to other phones. Also, the 3140 mAh battery has been reportedly working fine since it has been provided with a fast charging adapter, you charge it within minutes and resume your work.
Looking at the camera, there was a bit of a disappointment since it only features a 13MP rear camera whereas the selfie camera has 8MP which on an average works fine. According to the market scenario, there are cheaper phones with a better rear camera. So, in that case, they have lacked behind. Other than this, it has 2.0 USB, type C convertor, Bluetooth 4.2, Radio, etc.
The phone weighs only 14.1 ounces which is great overall and super comfortable to be carried around. It is equipped with sensors such as proximity, accelerometer, and compass which are quite helpful at all times. If we conclude, the overall performance is satisfying, more so than many Samsung phones available.
- Overall great texture of the phone
- Fingerprint on the front panel
- Good Display for videos
- Decent battery life
- Outdated Android version
- Weak speaker
- Low camera quality
9. Best Prepaid Phone: ZTE Maven 3
The ZTE Maven-3 is an average featuring phone that can only benefit you mostly for calls and messages. It runs on Android Nougat (7.0) which is the only good thing about it overall. Taking the processor into consideration, it is equipped with a 1.1GHz Quad-core processor which is somewhat of an average working phone.
With just 1GB of RAM and only 8GB of internal memory expandable up to 32GB, it is very disappointing, It is definitely not for users who have huge loads of work on their mobile phones because it is not going to last much longer if we look at this. Such a low RAM would slow down the phone with even a little usage. Furthermore, looking at the battery, it has 2070 mAh power which is not a very bad scenario if compared to other powerful phones with similar battery.
The 5-inch screen display looks alright, but not a very good option if you are thinking of playing HD games or high-definition videos. To protect the screen, the company has used scratch-resistant glass, yet another disappointment since they haven’t used the much stronger Gorilla glass. It will be a miracle if the screen survives any crash test. You need to be extra careful with this model.
Moving on to the camera resolutions. They could have at least focused on getting this model a good camera to go for. But we only have an average of 5MP in the rearview and only 2MP as a selfie camera which is below average. Even non-touchscreen phones have better camera resolution these days.
Fortunately, the price has been kept very low, seeing the features that would be more than enough if anyone is looking to buy this phone.
- Decent battery life
- Affordable and cheap
- Poor camera quality
- Low RAM and storage capacity
- Outdated Processor
10. Best Qwerty Phone: ZTE Altair
The ZTE Altair is the best phone you will get if you are one of the old school users. You shall also consider buying a cordless phone if you are planning to give this to a senior at your place. This QWERTY keyboard model is everything if you are not a smartphone enthusiast and wishes to take a break from big screens and bulky phones.
With a 2.4-inch display, it runs on a single-core processor since it does not need any bulky processor to give good results. This is a very basic phone mainly used for just calling and text messaging purposes. Nowadays users who are into bringing back their old memories of phones buy these models or for office purposes which require only these services.
It is a small device and easily fist in the palm of your hand. Weighs only 4.6 ounces which is super light and can be easily carried around. Much like other smartphones, it is very durable since there are no issues of screen damage or bad UI.
We have a micro-USB port for charging and comes with a 1000mAh removable battery which you can remove anytime if it runs out of power or needs replacement. The back cover is a soft yet rubbery texture that can be easily cleaned and would not wear out easily. The phone features 128MB RAM and 256MB internal storage which can be expanded using a micro SD card for up to 32GB. Though you wouldn’t need that much capacity since there isn’t a lot to be stored.
The 2MP camera isn’t a lot to look up to. A very below-average picture quality would be the result if you are willing to take pictures through it. Apart from this, the phone included apps like messaging, calls, calendar, calculator, web browser, alarm, and stopwatch. Unfortunately, you cannot access Wi-fi on this device, instead, you will have to use the mobile data of your network provider.
- Lightweight and durable
- Portable phone
- Clear call quality
- Poor camera quality
- No Wi-fi
Frequently Asked Quesions
Why are ZTE Axon 10 Pro and other new models not listed?
We’ve only listed the models that you can purchase at the time of publishing. We’ll continue updating the article and let you know with the latest models when they become available for purchase in the United States.
Which ZTE Models come with the Snapdragon 855 Chipset?
The ZTE Nubia Z20, Nubia Red Magic 3, ZTE Axon 10 Pro (5G), ZTE Axon 10 Pro, and Nubia X 5G comes with the Snapdragon 855 chipset. However, as of now, they aren’t available for purchase in the US market.
Can I import the Global variants in the United States?
You can import them from reliable websites such as GearBest, AliExpress. Consult with the websites before importing them for avoiding issues with customs clearance.
The ZTEDevices.com website is not accessible?
The website is not enabled for the US region. That’s the reason why you are unable to access this website. You can either use a VPN or use an alternate site for more details.
These are the best-rated ZTE phones you will get on the market. The research was pretty intense, but everything went well, and we found the best among all. If you are looking for affordable options, we have plenty of options here. All of them have different features to look at, but it all depends on what you have been searching for.
- If you are looking for the overall balanced phone, the ZTE Blade A5 should be your ideal choice.
- If you’re a fan of an AMOLED display, the ZTE Axon 7 Mini is up for grabs!
- If you like foldable phones or want to try it for the first time, you should check out the most innovative, ZTE Axon M Z999.
- Lastly, if you’re into QWERTY phones, you can probably choose the ZTE Altair, the most affordable option with all the basic calls and messaging feature.
If you are still unsure about which one to go for. Leave a comment below, and we will get back to you to help you decide the right choice. Also, if you are using any of these models and can share your feedback, do not hesitate to do so.
The company is still trying to come up with more such models that have upgraded Android versions and processor that will provide better UI and speed to these phones. We will keep you updated as soon as better models come up in the market and are up for grabs.