ZTE Racer review

 

ZTE Racer
ZTE Racer
ZTE Racer
 

Style and handling summary for ZTE Racer review

The neat design of the Racer can't cover up the fact that it both looks and feels rather cheap. View the small screen from an angle and it looks washed out

 

User friendliness summary for summary for ZTE Racer review

We found the resistive touch-screen temperamental, requiring some firm pressing and patience on our part

 

Feature set summary for ZTE Racer review

The ZTE Racer is an Android smartphone, and boasts the likes of GPS, music playback, camera and GPS. But while all these features do the job, they're by no means outstanding

 

Performance summary for ZTE Racer review

The Racer is a fast enough handset, despite not featuring a speedy 1GHz processor, as the HTC Desire does

 

Battery power summary for ZTE Racer review

Power-hungry smartphones are well known for needing charging halfway through the day, so we were surprised at how long the ZTE Racer lasted.

 

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ZTE Racer Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 3G.co.uk grey star

 

 

Pros: Compact, comfortable to hold and with an affordable price tag


Cons: Disappointing touch-screen and cheap-looking display

 

Verdict: The Racer is a decent enough handset, but there are other phones on the market that beat it on price or features

Full Review and Specification for the ZTE Racer

 

Look on the back of the ZTE Racer and you’ll be greeted with an image of the green Android mascot, along with that of the 3 network –well known for its affordable phones and well-priced tariffs.

So you won’t be surprised to hear that this is an Android phone, which aims to take smartphones to the budget market. The low price is obvious when you look at the screen, which lacks colour and contrast when viewed from any angle apart from straight on. However, it’s a neat handset, even though its feels somewhat basic. Despite that, it’s small, comfortable and light to hold in the hand – it has a back with a soft touch and a rocker button for starting and ending calls.

 

Touch me

 

However, it’s let down by its resistive touch-screen – higher-end phones such as the iPhone feature the capacitive kind. You’ll find the screen is marred by a slight soft-focus effect, and you’ll see the colours are less vibrant than on the screens of rival handsets.

 

Being a resistive screen, it is necessary to press more firmly to get a reaction – but it does mean you can use a stylus or operate the phone with your gloves on – unlike the iPhone. You might also miss multi-touch capability, which allows you to pinch to zoom. Nevertheless it’s wholly usable – just nothing to get too excited about.

 

Its size is also a winner. Unlike the smartphones with larger screens, the Racer, with its 2.8-in screen, will easily slide into a pocket.

 

What first comes to mind with Android is to ask which version the handset is running. Despite its budget price tag, the Racer sports Android 2.1, almost the latest version. That means you won’t see a microphone in the Google Search box until you download Google’s free app Voice Search. It will also mean downloading the updates for maps if you want to have voice search enabled in the mapping program.

 

If you’re familiar with Android, you’ll know some phone makers commission customised skins to give a bit of pizzazz. The Racer, however, is plain, unadulterated Android, so doesn’t boast the sort of snazzy effects that appear on HTC’s and Motorola’s Android phones.

Picture this

 

The touch-screen could be better. Try scrolling through the wallpaper options, for instance, and you’ll find it hard to control – the available images whizzed past faster than we intended. And when we long-pressed on the home screen to add a widget, the screen thought we were trying to swipe between screens. We’d call it unpredictable rather than unresponsive.

 

The camera is nothing special – it boats 3.2-megapixels and has no flash. Neither the best nor worst you’ll find on a smartphone. And the 3.5mm headphone jack makes it stand out from the budget crowd. 

 

One of the advantages of the small resistive screen is that it uses far less power than bigger ones, which meant the battery lasted longer than expected. In fact it lasted longer than a lot of Android devices on moderate to medium usage. We would suggest charging every evening though, if you don’t want to be caught short.

 

The verdict

 

The Racer is a decent phone to use, but it’s let down by the resistive screen, which makes it hard to recommend. A better option is the HTC Wildfire, another budget Android phone, which is fast, comfortable to use and features an improved interface for only a little more cash.

 

ZTE Racer Specification

 

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

102 x 55 x 14.5

Weight:

100

Display:

262,000 colours

Resolution:

240x320

Camera:

3.15 megapixels

Special Camera features:

auto focus

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

WAV, eAAC+, MP4, MP3

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

Yes

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Ringtones customization:

Yes

Display description:

N/A

Website:

www.zte.com.cn/

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

Black

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

Android

Connectivity:

WLAN, MicroUSB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

Announced date:

July 2010

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

256 MB RAM

International launch date:

July 2010

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz processor

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio with RDS

Internal memory:

256 MB ROM

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

Email, IM, SMS, MMS

Internet Browser:

XHTML, HTML, WAP 2.0

E-mail client:

Push email

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

HSDPA

Frequency:

Tri-band

Talktime:

210

Standby:

200

Display size:

2.8

Keypad:

QWERTY

Audio recording:

Yes


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By Simon Thomas on 22nd September, 2010


Tags: 3GZTE Racer


 
 
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