ZTE Mobile Phone Review

ZTE Mobile Phone Review
Written by Alyssia Walmsley

This post is really old, there is a new version available: Zte Maven Review ~ Alyssia 🙂

ZTE Maven Review

Here’s everything you need to know about ZTE Maven phones, and what we’ve arrived at after assessing the three releases from the company.

The first-released Maven outperforms the other two in terms of balance between quality and price.

The second one, Maven 2, is the most expensive and presumably the one with the highest quality. But no, despite the high quality features, this is the one we’ve been hearing so many bad reports about.

The Maven 3 is the least expensive and of the best value, but unfortunately, this one is known for having the lowest quality. After checking, we’ve found that there are many upgrades that buyers can also consider with this version.

If we are to recommend one from among these three, we’re going for the original Maven. It’s the best option not only for the price but also for the favorable reviews it’s been receiving.


When the ZTE Maven was released, it caught a lot of attention for its pricing. The $60 tag price attracted phone buyers, since the price was significantly lower compared to other phones.

If you’ve got only a $100 to spare for a phone, you probably need to take a look at this one first before spending all that on a different model from the LG Company. Fact is, ZTE’s Maven doesn’t pale in comparison to any of the more popular phones in terms of specs, features, sound, camera, etc.

Consider this: Take note of the battery capacity, a truly important aspect for many phone users. The LG’s battery lasts only to a maximum of 3 hours, whereas the Maven stays charged for 24 hours. The product description for the phone even claims that it can last up to 360 hours on standby, with a talk time of up to 10 hours.

We can honestly verify that the specs are strictly mid-tier, so we are not recommending this phone to heavy phone users. But if you are going to buy it as a gift for someone fairly new with android phones or isn’t too demanding about features, it might be a perfect fit.

What else is there? First, it has a 4.5-inch screen with low resolution. Resolution is 854 x 480 pixels. The phone runs Google’s android 5.1 lollipop as its operating system, and features 4G LTE. It has an expandable memory of up to 32 GB. For people needing more storage space, you will have to use a microSD card. Along with its battery, the Maven is powered by Qualcomm’s 1.2 GHz’s quad-core Snapdragon processor.

For your picture-capturing needs, the Maven carries a 5-megapixel LED-flash camera. The camera can also be used for recording 720p videos. A secondary feature on the camera aspect is the phone’s VGA front-facing shooter.

Overall, the Maven is an excellent phone and is very well built. Its screen shows well-defined colors and brightness, so with it, catching high-quality pictures and recording clear videos are possible.

The Maven is also well-praised for its ability to navigate the internet fast. Additional features that it has are Bluetooth, Whatsapp, Play store support and email support. For emails, the phone supports IM, Push Email, MMS and SMS (threaded view).

For people who need regularly check or send emails, this phone can be used for that purpose. As long as your location is wifi-supported, this phone can send out your messages in a jiff.

One problem with this phone is its low RAM capacity. If you are one who needs to put in a lot of apps, this phone will fail to support you to do that. Bloatware problems also haunt this phone.

Mayven is available to all AT&T customers and is also available for users of AT&T Go Phone, the prepaid arm of the carrier.

Maven 2

This is a phone that you might consider buying simply because of its predecessor’s success. The Maven 2 truly has better specs than the first Maven, but surprisingly, it is not getting the expected high user ratings. Where it fails must have been a wakeup call to the company which would later come up with a third version.

The main technologies used for this phone are GSM, HSPA and LTE. These are the same technologies employed in the making of the first version. Now what’s new with the second version?

The second version is a bit smaller, so the company heeded clamors for a Maven with a smaller size. The weight is also lower at 133.5g. The difference is about 33g compared with the first.

When it comes to the display, both have the same resolution and a ratio of 16:9. The second version’s display is also higher at 5 inches length and an area of 68.9 sq. cm. The original version’s display is placed at 4.5 inches and 55.8 centimeter squared.

For the platform used, the manufacturer changed the Android version from the Lollipop OS of the original to the Marshmallow version. The Chipset was also changed to Qualcomm’s MSM8909 from the original’s MSM8916. The Maven 2’s CPU is also powered by a 1.1-GHz quad core instead of the 1.2 GHz of the first Maven. For the GPU, both versions use Adreno 304.

Micro SD capacity was also upgraded for the second version, but with the card slot now having a 64 GB capacity, which is twice that of the original, the second version was still bound to suffer the RAM nightmare of its predecessor. Internal memory was still maintained at 1 GB RAM. Did the company really listen to users who complained about the lack of space for additional apps? Many users aired their frustration for not being able to go beyond their second additional app.

Obviously, there were changes, apparently done to improve the first phone’s systems, but the very low ratings say it all. Something went wrong in the making of this phone. Exciting upgrades did not improve overall performance. They only made things worse.

Reports of frequent crashes and the lack of storage space will be the ultimate downfall of this device. When you hear people say that it is a piece of crap, you can only say that it might be best to hold on to your hard-earned money. With many different devices in the market, having better specs and features does not always guarantee good performance and better customer experience.

Maven 3

We reiterate. This last version is the cheapest and the one assumed to have the lowest quality. Is this section going to be that horrible to read? Whatever it is we’re going to share with you on this part, we will try to find ways to show the good things we’ve found in this phone. After all, latter versions are meant to improve older systems, and for ZTE, this is an opportunity to make better their products and build a good name in the phone industry.

First thing off, we have here in this one a phone that has a good battery capacity. It runs at 2115mAh, has a talk time of up to 48 hours, and can last up to 12 days on standby.

Another thing worth mentioning is the highly upgraded OS system. The phone uses the Android 7 and features the “voice calling” and “voice commands” applications powered by Google. Now that’s quite an upgrade! Good job!

Maven 3 still features 1 GB of RAM, up to 8 GB of internal memory storage and up to 32 GB of expandable memory storage. Take note that the 32 GB capacity is a downgrade from that of Maven 2.

The camera features for this version now carry a selfie mode upgrade that can be a winning aspect of this phone. This upgrade allows the phone to take multi-directional panoramic photos. Still made with the 5-megapixel, the device can capture clear and bright photos through its auto-focus rear flash.

Another feature to take note is its scratch-resistant display. You can watch your favorite movies and TV shows in crisp details while getting extra protection against wear and tear with its sturdy glass screen. The display size is 5 inches with the same resolution as those of its two predecessors. Its product description says it can produce 16 million colors.

Here’s what the phone already comes preloaded with: It carries the myAT&T which provides users with easy access to their accounts. You will also have its native browser Google Chrome. For movie and TV entertainment, you have the DirectTV app, and for social media fans, the Facebook app is ready for your use. These are just a few of its preloaded apps that we can mention here.

As for the downsides, the one that stands out for this phone is that the company said that it will be delivered to customers in its “unlocked” state. Many complaints claimed that they received it “locked”, making it impossible for them to use it on “any GSM Network in the world” as promised. Some of those who vented out their frustration even said that they paid for the “unlocking service” for $10.

Now you decide. Surely, these versions have strengths and weaknesses, but it all boils down to what features are important to you.

About the author

Alyssia Walmsley

Alyssia is a Cornell University graduate of 2003 and a former lead technology development manager for Microsoft and Cisco Networking Systems. Between writing on her blog, SkyGone Inc, loves adventures and chocolate sprinkles!

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