ZTE Blade 3 review

Mid-range features at an entry level price

ZTE Blade 3
Is this the bargain of the year?

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The ZTE Blade 3 is a capable Android handset sporting a seriously low price tag and it's difficult to fault considering how little you'll pay for it.

It's not the most attractive of phones, and it won't win any prizes for speed, performance or screen quality, but it could be perfect for anyone looking to enter the world of smartphones for the first time.

We liked

Considering the Blade 3 is only going to set you back £70 it has a pretty healthy line up of features including the 4-inch display, 5MP camera and powerful Android operating system - all be it Ice Cream Sandwich and not Jelly Bean.

The price is obviously a huge attraction and those who are new to the smartphone game should be suitably impressed with the Blade 3, especially if they are upgrading from a featurephone.

We disliked

Of course the ZTE Blade 3 is far from perfect, although that's not a huge surprise considering its low cost.

The Android system isn't particularly slick and we found web browsing was lack lustre thanks to the slow processor.

Round the back the camera is serviceable but don't expect a wealth of options in the app or top quality results, plus the screen doesn't exactly do justice to visually impressive games or feature films.


The ZTE Blade 3 isn't a polished offering but we can almost forgive it when we are reminded of its price tag. This is a cheap and cheerful handset aimed at giving people an entry point to the smartphone market.

While it could be tidied up round the edges, made to run a little smoother and upgraded to the latest Jelly Bean version of Android, we are suitably impressed with the Blade 3 as an entry-level device.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.