ZTE Blade S6 review

Derivative looks do no favours, but there's a lot to love on the inside

ZTE Blade S6 review
Blade S6 - shouldn't need to be an homage

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The ZTE Blade S6 offers decent specs and a pleasantly light customisation of Android 5.0 Lollipop for a very reasonable price, but its tacky and derivative design means that the phone isn't the absolute pleasure to use that it should be.

We liked

You don't usually find such a capable, modern processor in a smartphone of this price, but that's exactly what we have in the ZTE Blade S6.

The same can be said for its 13-megapixel camera which, given enough light, takes better pictures than many smartphones that cost twice the price.

It's also good to see a manufacturer showing some restraint with the already-great Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, leaving the operating system's core menus commendably untouched.

We disliked

While ZTE has made some smart choices with the Blade S6's components, its design leaves much to be desired. The phone neither looks good nor feels very nice in the hand.

Also, while it's a light skin, what additions there are in the MiFavor 3.0 UI aren't particularly memorable or useful.

Finally, while the Blade S6's 720p display is decent enough, you only need to spend a little more to get a decent phone with a superior 1080p option.

Final verdict

ZTE has turned out a highly capable Android smartphone for a very reasonable price.

In terms of power and photographic capabilities, it wipes the floor with the Motorola Moto G, which is only a little cheaper. However, ZTE could learn a thing or two about design from the current budget champ, as the Blade S6 simply doesn't look or feel very nice in the hand.

It's not balanced or attractive enough to take the affordable handset crown, then, but power-hungry Android fans on a budget may want to consider it as an option.

First reviewed: March 2015