ZTE Grand X 3 and Avid Plus hands-on

CES 2016

ZTE is known in the U.S. for its partnerships that drop tons of capable low-end devices to the carriers, and the Grand X 3 and Avid Plus are the latest offerings shown off here at CES 2016.

Both offer Snapdragon 210 processors, SDcard slots and USB-C connectors (surprising at this point for budget devices), with the Grand X3 running with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM while the Avid Plus is a disappointing step down to 8GB storage and 1GB of RAM. The Grand X 3 has a really nice 5.5-inch 720p LCD on the front that looks much nicer than the price, but the Avid Plus seems to fit its price tag better with a 5-inch 854x480 LCD that looks rather washed out.

The Grand X3 has a nice textured soft touch-like back plate and metallic accents, along with some rather standout blue capacitive navigation keys that are really the only downside of the experience. The Avid Plus feels notably cheaper, but also has a nice soft touch back to provide some grip on the smaller device. Both feel like they belong on the budget table at their respective carriers, but are just a bit aspirational to the higher end.

The phones are really quite impressive considering their prices. The Grand X 3 is set at an MSRP of $129, while the Avid Plus is going for $114 — that's really not much to ask, especially in the Grand X 3's case, for phones of this quality.

You'll find the Grand X 3 on Cricket and the Avid Plus on MetroPCS, and while the prices are close together at launch you can expect both to be on steep discount from the carriers to incentivize getting a new device or starting up new lines. But if you have the choice and are considering a budget device, take a look at the Grand X 3 in particular.