Anybody whos anybody these days has a smartphone, but if you cant afford a contract then who can really afford the average £400+ price tag?
Well thats where the ZTE Skate comes in, known in the uk as the Orange Monte Carlo this phone really matches up to the high end phones as far as the spec is concerned, albeit with a smaller processor. However does the impressive spec translate to a polished and usable phone?
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
Announced 2011, February
Status Available. Released 2011, September
BODY Dimensions 125.9 x 67.8 x 10.4 mm
Weight 120 g
DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32GB
Internal 512 MB RAM
Speed HSDPA, HSUPA
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Wi-Fi hotspot
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
FEATURES OS Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
Thanks to the multitouch capacitive 4.3 inch touchscreen navigating the phone is a breeze, its not quite as responsive as an equivalent amoled from samsung but its better than you would expect for the price, id say per inch this is the best value phone screen available anywhere....literally. The processor is fine for everyday use, although be wary of having many apps open or running power hungry apps because it will soon struggle to keep up. Its not slow by any means but the processor is the major difference between this and a high end phone.
Il keep it short, the phone looks pretty terrible, plasticy look and feel, clearly another few quid saved here. Having said that when in your hand it just looks like any other £500 phone with a 4.3 screen, so you cant complain.
The camera packs 5mp, however this is pointless as the quality is so bad youd never know there was 5 million pixels crammed in there, dont even bother trying to view your pictures on the phones screen, and even on a large high quality pc monitor you can see that its not up to much.
The sound is actually very very good on this phone, either through the speaker or using headphones the audio is clear at all volumes and is suprisingly rich thanks to the HD audio support.
Running the gingerbread 2.3 there are plenty of apps available to keep you entertained, havnt had problems with any of the major apps (yes angry birds runs fine) ive tried so far, it has an in built radio which is rather pointless when you can acces any radio station anywhere in the world online. It has an intuitive gesture feature where by you draw a shape to shortcut to a webpage or application, im sure this could save you alot of time but its just not for me, at the most your saving yourself 2 seconds...more of a gimmick id say.
Thinking it might be lacking here? think again! really impressed with the speed and consitency of this phone on a 3g/3g+ network, i was achieving 3mbps wherever i went with no dip in signal, as far as the wifi is concerned ive had no problems connecting, always connects as soon as i get home.
i have to say im very impressed with this phone, i honestly think its the best value smartphone available, i paid £120 for mine and i can do all the things my friend can do on his iphone. Honestly if you want to show of a 4.3 inch touchscreen with android then other than this phone theres nothing less than £350, the value here really is second to none.