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 isn't the sort of phone you'd purchase for consuming a lot of media on, but that doesn't mean it can't do it.

ZTE Blade 3 review

The 4GB of internal storage, of which only 2.5GB is actually available for use, isn't exactly brilliant but the addition of a microSD card slot under the plastic rear cover means you can quickly and easily expand that by up to 32GB.

As well as sticking content onto the miscoSD card you can also hook the Blade 3 up to your computer with the bundled USB cable and use the tried and tested drag and drop method to transfer.


The music player is a pretty bog standard affair, displaying your music my artist, album, title, playlist or favourites.

You can create and edit playlists on the fly, while the player screen gives you the basic controls including play/pause, skip, shuffle, repeat and scrub.

ZTE Blade 3 review

Surprisingly the Blade 3 does come with a graphic equaliser allowing you to tweak the audio output of the handset so you can get the perfect tone for your tunes.

It's a simple and easy to use app which doesn't include any overly fussy features or grounding breaking technology, but for catching a few tracks on the go it does a decent job.

The ZTE Blade 3 can play various music formats including MP3, WAV and eAAC+ meaning your current library should work on this smartphone.

Sound quality is pretty middle of the road, the ZTE Blade 3 won't knock your socks off, nor will it completely disappoint but for any audiophiles out there you may what to look at other alternatives.


Video was never going to the Blade 3's strong point and the low resolution, 4-inch display provides an adequate viewing experience, although we wouldn't want to watch a full blown movie on it.

There is a dedicated video player app, which is something of a rarity on Android handsets and this makes it easier to browse through your videos instead of having to go to the gallery and dig them out among the deluge of photos.

ZTE Blade 3 review

We found the screen wasn't overly bright on the Blade 3 and the image lacked the sharpness and clarity we've seen on other displays.

For short videos and YouTube clips the ZTE Bade 3 does a decent enough job, and its small lightweight frame means it's easy to hold - but it didn't like all of our video formats so you'll need to make sure what you have will play.


The Gallery app on the ZTE Blade 3 is your one stop shop for all your photographic needs, with snaps arranged into various albums depending on where they originated, be it from the camera, Facebook, WhatsApp, downloads or the microSD card.

You can also create additional folders it you fancy organising your images in a different way.

ZTE Blade 3 review

There's a very simple picture editor built into the gallery which lets you crop and rotate an image as well as added various Intsragram-style effects.

It's hardly a full blown piece of editing software, but it's simple to use and will be enough for most people.

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.