• [highlight color=#336699 ]Performance[/highlight]

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    Featuring a MediaTek MT6735P processor, performance should be roughly equivalent to devices running the last generation Snapdragon 410. The latter is quite an old chip by today’s standards, having debuted way back in 2014. The 2GB RAM will no doubt help this perform a little better than older handsets which only included half that amount… but this is by no means a quick device.

    Benchmark scores reflect this, with 427 recorded for single-core and 1190 for multi-core in Geekbench 4. These are okay results but nothing special. Looking at the table, this puts it in the same league as the HTC Desire 510, yet another handset which ran on the Snapdragon 410.

    Thankfully, Android 6.0 is now optimised to make use of low-end hardware. We found general performance perfectly fine, with apps opening with only slight delay. Hot-switching between various backgrounds apps did introduce a little more lag but again, the effects were tolerable. We’ve experienced far worse on other budget devices.

    The included Mali-T720 is a pretty poor graphics card that really reflects the performance of this chipset. Trying our go-to title of Asphalt 8: Airborne was pretty disappointing, with the handset even struggling on medium settings. Graphical benchmark tests also failed pretty miserably, with a 3DMark score of 79. This is among some of lowest scores we’ve recorded in recent memory, which is a reflection of the poor processor on board.

    The ZTE Blade V7 Lite runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, along with the MiFavor 3.0 overlay. It’s not a bad launcher by any means and performs well, with good levels of optimisation. It’s just a shame that the company didn’t ship the newest version 4.0. The experience is much closer to stock Android than other launchers from other manufacturers but still carries a few subtle differences worth mentioning.

    The notification bar at the top of the page has been re-arranged with a smaller footprint, while the app tray is completely absent. One thing we’ve always liked about thw ZTE UI is just how customisable it can be, with the ability to edit everything from iconography to colour pallet. Taping the back key will bring up a menu along the bottom which includes several options, though it never feels messy and overbearing. We were also surprised to see the Swiftkey keyboard installed as standard, which is much better than the OEM crap that other manufacturers like to shove down our throats.

    Bloatware is moderate but thankfully most of it is removable. ZTE will try to lean you into using their own web browser but Chrome can be found hidden in the Google folder. All the other basic applications such as Contacts and Messaging seem to be stock Google, which is why we’ve only classed it as moderate.

    The ZTE Blade V7 Lite has a modest sized non-removable battery at 2,500mAh, which is on a par with most other budget devices. It scored 7474 on the Antutu battery test, which is not incredible but definitely acceptable. In our real-world test, it seemed to manage a full day of modest use before needing any extra juice.

    The lack of any quick-charging support is a major disappointment, with the handset taking a very long time to charge. We found it to take almost two hours for a general charge; this extends to over three hours when the device is completely dead.

    Thomas Wellburn

    Deputy Editor at What Mobile
    Tech, mobile and gaming enthusiast. Has a passion for Techno and music production. Will watch cat videos for several hours at a time.
    Thomas Wellburn
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