Review: Snapdragon 615 ready for fancy dress party
The ZTE Blade S6 is the Chinese company’s latest crack at the mid-range smartphone segment, but is its fancy body writing cheques its internals can’t cash?
ZTE has been around for a while. In fact, the company was churning out mobile phones years before some of the current market leaders came into being. However, years of experience didn’t help ZTE maintain a competitive edge, so the company was the only big Chinese brand to lose market share last year, although it did manage to ship about 50 million phones.
Refreshed Blade series models, along with the recently announced Nubia Z9 series, are supposed to turn ZTE’s fortunes around. The Nubia brand is reserved for flagships, while value products end up with Blade branding. The Blade S6 is one such product and in many respects it feels like a smartphone designed by a corporate committee, assembled to design and deliver a mid-range device on budget, on time.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the end result is a well balanced and affordable 5-inch phone with a 720p display, 2.5D curved glass, octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. You also get a 13-megapixel camera, Android 5.0, LTE Cat 4, dual SIM and micro SD slot, all packed in a sleek 7.7mm thick body.
This is perhaps why ZTE chose to dispense with some bells and whistles, as keeping the price near the sweet spot was obviously a factor. The Blade S6 sells for $249 with free shipping, or about €229 from Gearbest's EU stock. So let’s see where ZTE’s accountants drew the line and decided to pinch pennies.