The ZTE Open is very much an entry-level handset. Its appearance is reminiscent of the HTC Wildfire, although our sample is considerably more orange. There is a blue version available too, but ZTE is currently only selling the orange one in the UK. The power button and 3.5-inch jack are on the top, the volume rocker is on the side, and the MicroUSB port is on the bottom, so pretty standard smartphone fare.
The main interface sits somewhere between Android and the iPhone, with screens you can swipe between. You can also swipe down to see any notifications, with a selection of common settings along the bottom, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, airplane mode and access to the full settings page. This is essentially a searchable compendium of mobile-optimised websites. It is almost a portal, with for example the Social section giving you access to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Myspace, LinkedIn and so on.
Screen, Camera and Performance
There is a built-in FM radio, too, although this only works when the supplied headset is attached. Another area where the ZTE Open is not exactly state of the art is the camera. This is rear-facing only and has a resolution of 3.15Mpixels. Images are not exactly sharp, particularly in low light, and there is no flash. So the photography experience is about four years out of date, and Skype video calling would not be particularly pleasant. The screen is not a particular strong point for the ZTE Open. Our comparison with the HTC Wildfire was not just about looks; this phone also only sports a 320 x 480-resolution 3.5-inch screen.
The single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Cortex-A5 runs at 1GHz, which is rather mediocre by today\'s standards, as is the paltry 256MB of RAM. But the ZTE Open does not feel particularly sluggish. In fact, it is adequately smooth in operation. The touch keyboard is inaccurate and the lack of predictive text entry makes it particularly painful to use. As we reported a few months ago, ZTE has taken the unusual step of selling it via eBay, and at the princely sum of £59.99 contract free