ZTE Blade V7 Lite review

Beauty is sometimes only skin deep

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A phone being sold at a sub-£200/$250/AU$325 price point should always be approached with a degree of caution, and that's certainly the case here. 

Despite sharing its branding with the more powerful ZTE Blade V7, the Blade V7 Lite is a weaker proposition on almost every level.

There's no 1080p screen, the display is dull, the camera is poor and the fingerprint scanner isn't as responsive as it could be.

Factor in a chipset which offers thoroughly average performance levels and the Blade V7 Lite begins to look more like its £150 price tag – despite the admittedly gorgeous metal bodywork, which is both svelte and comfortable to hold.

On the plus side, few phones in this price range offer fingerprint scanners, or look and feel as good as this. The custom interface boasts some truly interesting ideas, and it's nice to have the option to expand the handset's storage with microSD cards.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for and while the Blade V7 Lite falls short on several levels, the overall package represents good value when placed alongside rival handsets in this section of the market.

Who's this for?

With a price point of just under £150, it's clear that the Blade V7 Lite isn't looking to challenge the big-hitters of the Android sector, and is aimed very much at the cost-conscious shopper.

It would make an ideal starter phone for younger users, but would be just as suitable for those who merely want a device to make calls, send texts, reply to emails and take the odd photo.

Should you buy it?

For all its shortcomings, the Blade V7 Lite does represent decent value for money. The premium design means it will turn heads, and while the chipset is underpowered compared to many other Android phones, it has just enough grunt to get you through most basic tasks.

But if you're something of a power user who likes playing games, watching HD videos and pushing their phone to the limit, then the Blade V7 Lite simply isn't for you.


These days you can get a lot of phone for not very much money, so there are a number of strong alternatives to the ZTE Blade V7 Lite. You'll find three of the best below.

Motorola Moto G4

Motorola's Moto G4 is one of the best budget phones you can buy right now, and outperforms ZTE's effort in terms of horsepower.

It's also packing a big and bright 5.5-inch 1080p screen and slightly tops the V7 Lite’s battery life in our tests, but lacks the fingerprint scanner of its rival and has a plastic build.

Ultimately, the G4 does the basics a bit better than ZTE’s budget contender, but isn’t as flashy.

Bush Spira E3X

The recently-released Bush Spira E3X is another potential rival, coming in at just under £200. It has a 5.5-inch Full HD screen, a fingerprint scanner and a whopping 4GB of RAM, as well as 64GB of storage and fast-charging capabilities.

Inconsistent battery life and a rather lacklustre camera hold it back from true greatness though, while a back that feels like sandpaper ensures its design is nowhere near as premium as the ZTE Blade V7 Lite.

Vodafone Smart Prime 7

You might also want to consider the Vodafone Smart Prime 7, which costs even less than the Blade V7 Lite at just £75, making it the ultimate budget blower.

It has a 5.0-inch 720p screen, which is nice for the price, and it runs smoothly enough, but low internal storage of just 8GB and a poor camera are big negative points. Still, it’s half the price, so one to think about if your budget is tight.