Hands on: ZTE N910 review
6th Mar 2012 | 12:19
LTE on a budget – but does it work?
It sounds like a Nokia and looks like a Samsung but has ZTE managed to create an LTE phone that will satisfy your high speed gadget lust on a budget in the ZTE N910?
Having rushed to launch eight phones at MWC 2012, we're not convinced that ZTE spent quite the time and effort on its Ice Cream Sandwich handsets that it could have, but the ZTE N910 may yet prove us wrong. Let's find out:
Like most ZTE Android handsets, the N910 looks a little familiar – it has more than a hint of the Samsung Galaxy S2 about its rounded corners and 4.3-inch screen.
Beneath the screen sit four soft buttons, which echo the five onscreen menu buttons and look a little cluttered when the homescreen is on – strictly speaking they're not necessary with Ice Cream Sandwich but hey ho. At least they offer quick and easy access to the menu, home screens, search and back.
The front-facing camera is a 0.3MP affair, dwarfed by the rear-mounted snapper that comes in at 5MP, complete with flash and autofocus and that rarest of beasts, a camera shutter button.
As is the way of things, the back of the handset is textured but not with a diagonal stripe effect rather than the mesh finish favoured by almost every other phone in Barcelona this year.
It's not exactly the skinniest phone we've ever seen, so if you're looking for a slender Ice Cream Sandwich handset you'll need to look to the likes of the HTC One S.
The ZTE N910 runs Ice Cream Sandwich on a fairly nippy dual-core 1.2GHz processor.
The Android 4.0 software ran acceptably well, but we did encounter a couple of glitches and lags along the way after prolonged use – this would get annoying if the N910 was your main phone, although it could also be down to pre-release hardware bugs.
We'll reserve judgement until our full ZTE N910 review but for now, it was more than a little annoying.
And we hate to be Negative Nancies here, but we couldn't test the camera out. After we hit the camera icon, the phone had a little think about it before telling us, "Unfortunately, Camera has stopped." Very polite, not very handy.
Typing on the phone was a little more successful; we've had trouble with ZTE handsets calibrating correctly in the past, but the ZTE N910 seemed to be set up very well and didn't present us with any problems hitting the right keys in either portrait or landscape mode.
The ZTE N910 is an LTE-enabled phone so, should you be lucky enough to live somewhere with an LTE network up and running, then you'll be able to take advantage of faster web speeds and that – presumably. We weren't able to test it out from the reception dead-zone that was Hall 8 of Mobile World Congress.
Sorry N910 - it's not us, it's you. You feel cheap and insubstantial to hold, you're chunky and you don't even work properly. We're prepared to give you a second chance, but if these annoyances continue in our full ZTE N910 review, then we're sorry but it's over.