ZTE Warp

The market for prepaid cell phones continues to rise as more of us look for ways to reduce expenses in everyday life but no one wants to be stuck with a run of the mill phone because of it, right? Well lucky for us we have seen some more powerful Android handsets arriving in the pre-paid market, so you can now slash the price tag without giving up a whole lot when it comes to the device.

ZTE has recently released the Warp, a Gingerbread powered device with a 4.3-inch display that carries a rather affordable price tag of only $199 with no contract needed. Could a device at this price point hold up in comparison to others that have released recently? Let’s hit the break and break it all down.


The Good

The ZTE Warp offers a great combination of nearly the most current OS (no ICS) along with a nice large display without breaking the bank.

The Bad

ZTE's record in Android has yet to be established here in the United States -- with U.S. carriers, so we are unsure what to expect as far as updates. 

Conclusion

If money is a determining factor in your next cell phone purchase, but you don't want it to allow you to completely limit your purchase the ZTE Warp is a great device to consider. Keeping up with most of the specs of a high-end device, or an entry level price allows it to be ultra competitive in the market.
 

Hands-on video

Hardware

When you first take a look at the ZTE Warp you will notice something -- it looks just like most other candy-bar styled Android devices, but that form factor is comforting for most so it’s not necessarily something bad. For showcasing a 4.3-inch display the device is definitely on the light side, weighing in at only 4.9 ounces. Though it is made of plastic, and it is light, the build quality doesn’t feel to be lacking, and I wouldn’t worry about the device holding up to everyday usage.

 Android Central

Touring the rest of the hardware you have the power button on the left hand side and a 3.5mm headphone jack in the center.

ZTE Warp  ZTE Warp

On the left size of the device you have the volume rocker at the top and the rest of the bezel is smooth, and on the right towards the top is the micro-USB port and below that is the camera button.

Android Central

The bottom features a nice slanted bezel which houses the microphone, and the rest is just smooth.

Android Central

The back is covered by a single piece battery door that spans from the top to bottom and features a rippled type feeling. In the top left sits the 5MP camera along with the flash directly below it in addition to the speaker on the bottom left corner.

Overall the hardware offers a nice combination of size and weight without sacrificing build quality. The device feels well built and not cheap and plastic-like, which is a good thing to see in a cheaper price point device. While the 4-inch size will be a bit big for many, after a little bit of time you can easily get used to the larger display.

Software

Android Central

Unlike many other manufacturers, ZTE has gone the more vanilla stock Android route with this device instead of adding a custom skin over top. Powered by Android 2.3.5, Gingerbread, the device transitions along quite smoothly, partially thanks to the 1GHz processor inside as well.

Android Central

Out of the box the device features five home screens that come preloaded with tons of fun widgets and icons placed throughout. In addition to just the stock set of home screens various ID packs are available for downloading which give you even more options of home screen set ups.

Android Central

One interesting thing to note is that on various screens are little informative widgets that teach you some things, such as how to swipe between screens, setting up the ID packs, etc which is definitely a big help for those who are trying to learn Android for the first time.

Android Central

Unfortunately you will see bloatware, and a bunch of it between the ID packs along with some Boost Mobile applications, but it isn’t over the top. Pre-loaded on the device you will find things like Docs to Go, Mobile ID, Note pad along with all the other stock apps we are used to seeing.

Android Central

Also included is BoostZone, and this application is a great resource for Boost Mobile customers. This is basically a one stop shop that allows you to view account information, re-Boost your account (add money) as well as get help, see some tips and tricks, and gain some insight on suggested applications to download.

While it would have been nice to see some tweaks that really make this device stand out in terms of software, it is equally as comforting to see Android in a pure form without a skin laid over it.

Battery Life

Android Central

For having a 4.3-inch display the battery life on the ZTE Warp holds up rather well in comparison to some other devices I have used. The device is a 3G only device, and running on a CDMA network you can expect the battery life to vary dependent on coverage, but I had no issues with making it through a full day of usage.

My average usage consists of a bit of web browsing, under 30 minutes of phone time, email, text and Twitter. As expected if you are spending a lot of time browsing the web or streaming media you can expect to see quicker drain, but if you have access to a charger at any point during the day you will be all set.

Camera

ZTE Camera

We are getting pretty lucky with the cameras that we see on our cellular devices lately, most of them in the 5MP to 8MP range, and the ZTE Warp doesn’t fall short in comparison either. Featuring a 5MP camera the Warp captures a some rather nice images, and impressed me with the macro abilities.  Unlike many other devices the camera app launched pretty quickly, which is great for trying to capture an in the moment picture, but once the app is launched the camera is slow to focus, giving a bit of delay on the shots.

Android Central  Android Central

Android Central  Android Central

The wrap-up

With so many Android phones on the market it is hard to say which the perfect device for you is, but if you are looking for a full loaded pre-paid device the ZTE Warp should certainly remain on your radar. Sure, it isn’t 4G enabled, but it packs a 4.3-inch display, good battery life, Android 2.3 and hopefully one day will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. The device offers a comfortable mix of solid build quality along with a light-weight, perfect fit in the hand, and is sure to please many people. With the ZTE Warp you will be able to kick your cell phone contract to the curb without sacrificing phone quality as well.

 

Reader comments

ZTE Warp Review

15 Comments

I just copped this phone last week due to the $97.00 per month bill on my bb 8330 from sprint. I'm a first time android user, and my initial thoughts are that for $179.99, and a $55.00 month bill-which reduces every 6 months, it's not bad...not bad at all! I didn't want to get hooked into a contract for 2 years, and not like the phone, or the os, so this was least inexpensive option. I have to learn how android os works and all but that's part of the game. The beef I have is that seidio, otterbox, case-mate, etc; doesn't make any cases for it!

on software paragraph 2 its actually 5 home screens and i have this phone just wish i could get ics for it without having to hack or root it would like an offical ics update

I am a Boost Mobile dealer and these phones are my best selling item. I have not had even one unit come back. Once the customer can get past the ZTE branding of the phone, they are nothing but happy with it!

Tell you what.. I bought three at once and you can have them all back.. No one in my family can her the ringers any setting and you can't hear anyone hardly talk unless it's on speaker phone.. IS THERE AN APP that can fix these problems???

wow i just bouth the new ZTE WARP SYNC" and im having some listening and some hearing drop call issues" specially on blue tooth""' why

The article did mention the reason for Gingerbread:
- 512MB RAM - It will never be upgraded.

Also consider:

- Not 4G
- A 4.3" phone that is bigger overall than a Galaxy Nexus:
- - 5.10 x 2.70 x 0.45
- 480 x 800 pixels

ZTE has just invented the 2010 EVO 4G...but without the 4G part.

For anyone doubting ZTE's quality, ZTE is making some good devices for prepaid service. I bought my mom an AT&T Avail, also made by ZTE and for the price, it's a very decent Gingerbread smartphone to the point I wish they made one with a sliding keyboard so I could buy it for myself.

Boot Mobile's ZTE Warp costs more than the AT&T Avail, but it has higher specs to go along with that. Expectations are high for the ZTE Warp. If Sprint has good coverage in your area, the Warp deserves a closer look.

this phone is great and the best part is the cheap price!!

PROS:
very responsive touch screen
call quality is great
no data package required
speaker plays music very loud and clear
games don't lag
screen doesn't crack when dropped, I dropped this 2 times and not even a scratch on it!
service is great. I always have 4 bars
good screen resolution
good battery life (for an android)
youtube works very fast
very bright screen
texts send in 1 second
very cheap!!!

I got the zte warp sequent for Christmas and I've had no problems with it I surf the web tweet Lil facebook play games browse android market,I can hear callers clear they hear ,warp sequent got a software , update fone doesn't lag have had apps to freeze and lag ...
I enjoy my warp sequent the only other droid I'd want would be ssgalaxy s2 wish it did have 4g but its OK maybe it will...after the update I did notice the option to send calls to the call center is gone over all this is a great fone...