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ZTE launches a $100 phone on AT&T you may actually want

AT&T is launching a new ZTE-branded budget phone today, and it's actually quite nice for its $99.99 MSRP.

Dubbed the Blade Spark, it's yet another in the quickly-expanding line of Blade smartphones that seem to appear like rabbit offspring at various U.S. carriers. Previous incarnations of the Blade have arrived at Cricket Wireless, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and others, and while they share a number of aesthetic similarities and a tendency to stick to an under-$200 price, they're all bespoke, built for those particular carrier's needs. It's like we're back in 2011 all over again.

As for the Blade Spark in particular, it's a 5.5-inch device with a 720p display, a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 3140mAh battery, a rear fingerprint sensor, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera with an accompanying "selfie" button on the phone's side that can be triggered when the screen is off, and Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Suffice it to say, this phone isn't going to blow anyone away. But judging from the last few ZTE phones I've used, I think it's a safe bet that it's going to be impressive for the price, with better-than-expected build quality and software that mercifully doesn't suck.

See at AT&T Prepaid (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • I'm down on ZTE since the only one I ever had, an Axon 7, had bad radio hardware such that it was constantly and frequently dropping signal
    And I looked around, and this seemed to be common and based on a design flaw. This, and ZTE being caught aiding terrorists.
  • Funny. My first thoughts on reading those specs were that they sound decent. I don't even consider radio quality for devices these days, but that's probably the most important aspect of them all. Good point.
  • ZTE phones seem to be pretty good these days since they no longer crank out models with half a gig if ram and single core processors. Android never functioned well with that unlike Windows phone. But even then ZTE phones were built like tanks.
  • Id like to see a successor to the Axon 7