ZTE Kis review

Can ZTE break from its network-branded roots with this budget offering?

Can ZTE break from its network-branded roots with this budget offering?

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Up until now, the review of the ZTE Kis has hardly proven that it has the capabilities to either create or consume media.

We wouldn't be doing our job, though, if we didn't give the Kis the full run through. The first thing we will have to mention, before we get into any real depth, is the severe lack of internal storage.

We will cover this later on in our review in the apps section, but we must give it a brief nod, although a 2GB microSD card is provided.

Bundled on all Android devices is a very basic music and video player. Putting media on the ZTE Kis is, thankfully, simple and intuitive.

Plug the USB cable into the PC and Kis, turn on the USB storage mode on the device, and then drag and drop files in the same way that you would with any other USB device.


ZTE KIS review

The music player, like other aspects of the Kis, has no real customisation.

It automatically sorts your music by Artist, Album, Song, as well as loading playlists and your favourite tracks.

Unlike other music players we have seen, there is no landscape mode, meaning no ipod-esque album cover scrolling.

The player comes with the standard play/pause and track-skip buttons, as well as the shuffle, repeat, favourite/star and now playing buttons.

The latter buttons were all a little small, but easy to hit one handed due to the device's size.

ZTE KIS review

It is also possible to share your music direct from the music player, via all the standard methods, even if these are a bit sparse due to the lack of social apps installed.

As we mentioned earlier, the ZTE Kis does come with a distinct lack of pre-installed widgets available, so we were pleasantly surprised to find a music widget.

Although a very basic affair, providing only a play/pause button and a next skip button, at least you don't have to fiddle around with loading the app.

If you find that you get bored of your stored music, ZTE have also provided the KIS with an FM Radio.

ZTE KIS review

Like other phone-based radios, you need to connect the headset or other headphones, as they act as the aerial.

We can't say a great deal about the FM radio, other than we found that the signal was relatively poor, and we found no way of manually tuning the radio.

Auto-tuning the radio found some of the local radio stations, but not all the ones we expected, nor did it provide the names of the stations.

All-in-all, a pretty down-heartening affair.


Given our lack of praise of the ZTE Kis' screen until now, you won't be surprised that we have to mention it again here.

To help us try and provide an accurate battery test across devices, we play a 90-minute HD movie, but we noticed that the KIS really struggled to play the movie.

Audio was clear and un-stuttering, but the video playback was very juddery, if it played at all.

ZTE KIS review

The video player is also devoid of features, with nothing but a pause button, and a tiny bar to manually select where in the movie you would like to watch.

Video support is equally poor, playing MP4, H.263, H.264 and WMV files.

The external speaker is probably the biggest media selling point of the ZTE Kis. It is very, very loud, if a tiny bit tinny.

ZTE KIS review

It is certainly loud enough to annoy a whole train carriage, or blast out tunes to all your friends. Being an Android device, the ZTE Kis comes with the pre-installed YouTube app.

Loading videos over Wi-Fi was fairly fast, although the picture quality is pitiful. The lack of processing power and the less-than-perfect screen combine to make YouTube footage grainy, although the sound was well reproduced.

As for viewing the media, you can navigate via the media's respective apps, such as the Music or Video Player, or the Gallery App.

The ZTE Kis Gallery app is yet another Android standard, and has the ability to load all your Picasa web albums. ZTE have also put on an easy-to-use file manager, called Filer.

It is very simple and intuitive to navigate, and one of the best file management systems we have used, with the folder pathways loading up on the left being a very useful feature.