ZTE Blade 3 review

Mid-range features at an entry level price

ZTE Blade 3
Is this the bargain of the year?

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.


The ZTE Blade 3 comes sporting a rear facing 5MP camera giving you the opportunity to snap quick pics on the go, but there's no front facing option for video calls with your nearest and dearest.

Sadly there's no flash incorporated on the rear of the Blade 3 which does put it at a slight disadvantage compared to the competition such as the Ascend G330 and Xperia Miro, and also means you won't be shooting anything in low light or dark situations.

ZTE Blade 3 review

The camera app is the stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich affair, but there are no shooting modes or panorama features to choose from.

What you do get is a couple of sliders on screen for brightness and the 4x digital zoom, while in the menu there are controls for white balance, exposure and focus mode.

It's hardly an awe-inspiring offering, but the app is simple to use and the tap-to-focus is a handy addition.

ZTE Blade 3 review

You can use the volume rocker keys on the left of the Blade 3 to take pictures, or the more traditional shutter key on screen, with the handset taking a couple of seconds to properly focus and snap the image.

As you may expect results are not exactly stunning, but they suffice for a smartphone which will set you back less than £100.

Colours are not overly bright, nor is the image quality razor sharp, but for the occasional Facebook profile pic the Blade 3 just about manages.

ZTE Blade 3 review

The Blade 3 does pretty well with all the colours in this image

ZTE Blade 3 review

It's also not too shabby outdoors, although it's not the sharpest of snaps

ZTE Blade 3 review

Images do tend to look a little grainy.

ZTE Blade 3 review

Don't bother zooming in.

ZTE Blade 3 review

The Blade 3 struggles to focus in this poorly lit area.


As with the camera the video capabilities on the ZTE Blade 3 are basic, with it offering up an average VGA shooting capability.

You can toggle white balance and the zoom level but that's your lot, although the zoom can be adjusted once record has been hit.

ZTE Blade 3 review

At least the app is easy to use, although as you may expect video quality isn't stellar and you won't be shooting the next Harlem Shake YouTube sensation on the Blade 3.

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.