On first look, the ZTE Blade G2 seems has been manufactured by the company with a 'keep it simple' formula and reminds us more of an old school Android phone. The front panel of the smartphone is all about the 4.5-inch display and features no physical buttons instead, has three capacitive keys lined up below the screen for back, home and settings. The 4.5-inch display of Blade G2 is surrounded by glossy black plastic which dominates the sides of the front panel. A 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera is placed on top sitting alongside the earpiece.
Design and Display
The ZTE Blade G2 comes with a 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS display that has a resolution of 480x854 pixels. It is no surprise that the Blade G2's visuals are not as sharp as high-end smartphones. A major issue with Blade G2 was its dull display we used the smartphone with brightness set at full, and were still left unsatisfied. Trying to use the Blade G2 on a sunny day can prove to be annoying, when brightness set on auto or even full sunlight legibility is not up to the mark. Colour reproduction and viewing angles on the Blade G2's IPS display are quite decent, though.
The 5-megapixel auto-focus camera of ZTE Blade G2 takes good quality images in good light. However, we noticed that pictures taken in low-light conditions did not come out well. The clicked images are good enough for uploading to social networks like Facebook, but not for much else. Indoor images clicked with Blade G2 with less light showed noise on the edges and were grainy. Moreover, the colour reproduction was also not that great.
The LED flash fulfils its intended purpose. The phone can record videos but we found that the quality of videos captured through the rear camera was not great. We experienced that even in reasonably well-lit conditions there's quite a lot of noise in pictures clicked by the Blade G2, and colours tend to look washed out. The 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera on the Blade G2 comes in handy for self-portrait shots while the quality is nothing to write home about.
There is a Micro-USB port at the bottom, while the 3.5mm audio jack is located at the top of the Blade G2. The power button is located on the right side and the volume rocker buttons sit on the left side of the device. However, we felt that it was easy to reach the power button with index finger or thumb when holding the Blade G2 single-handed, when compared to volume rocker buttons. For the volume rocker buttons, the left handed users will no doubt be pleased with the placement of both physical buttons, but it is a bit of an awkward position for right handed users.
Removable back cover
The ZTE Blade G2 comes with a removable back cover, and opening it reveals the battery compartment with two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot. The SIM cards and the microSD card are not hot-swappable because they are placed adjacent to the battery. Overall, we do not expect Blade G2 to stop traffic or turn heads, but it is by no means an eyesore. We quite liked the build of the device; especially the fact that there was no glossy plastic on the back, unlike most budget Android phones, helping in gripping the device for longer periods.
The ZTE Blade G2 runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and the company's official site claims that the smartphone supports firmware update. ZTE has skinned some UI elements of the operating system on the Blade G2 and also offers a second theme that gives a different icon set. Even the default theme on Blade G2 offers icons with some minor tweaks, with ZTE choosing a square icon look instead of the plain one that comes with stock Android.
However, the major highlight of the UI tweak on Blade G2's interface is the custom lock-screen, where users need to long press a circle that appears when pressing the power button. The Blade G2 includes five customizable home screens on which users can park widgets and shortcuts. The smartphone comes with the usual Android goodies like Gmail, Google Maps and Google+, in addition to some bundled apps such as a file manager, video player and profile manager. Users can always access the Google Play store to download their favourite apps.
The Blade G2 comes with dimensions of 133x66x9.9mm and weighs around 145 grams.
Our experience of the ZTE Blade G2 was a mixed one. We liked the build quality of the smartphone, the sound experience through loudspeakers was good and battery life was also impressive with a single charge taking the device beyond a day of usage. However, in terms of performance, it did not really come up to the high-benchmarks set by other budget quad-core processor smartphones there were occasional lags in the Blade G2. It is priced Rs. 11,599. Sadly, It has dull display and its performance is underwhelming.