ZTE Blade A7 Prime Review: Almost Perfect Affordable Phone

ZTE Blade A7 Prime review on an almost perfect smartphone. You probably will never find a better Android phone at this price range.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Review

ZTE Blade A7 Prime smartphone was released in November 2019. When it comes to budget phones, people tend to underestimate phones at this price range. They are often associated with cheap materials and annoying bloatware.

However, ZTE Blade A7 Prime is a phone you should not overlook. This phone is a perfect phone for those who do not want to spend thousands of dollars on flagships. For less than $100, ZTE Blade A7 Prime offers an almost stock Android experience.

There are rooms for improvement in terms of hardware for sure. Nonetheless, ZTE released one of the best cheap smartphones out there.

If you are still undecided, check out this ZTE Blade A7 Prime review before buying.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Key Specs

ZTE Blade A7 Prime specifications:

  • Weight: 165g
  • Dimensions: 156.7 x 72.9 x 8.1mm
  • OS: Android 9.0
  • Screen size: 6.1-inch
  • Resolution: 1560 x 720
  • CPU: Mediatek Helio A22
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Battery: 3,200mAh, Non-removable
  • Rear camera: 16MP
  • Front camera: 5MP

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Design

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Design

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime looks pleasant although some may find it ubiquitous. The top area of the phone has a circular cut out (notch) which houses a selfie camera. On a personal level, we love this type of notch since it frees up more usable space. There is also a small notification light on the right side of the notch.

Although glass-backed smartphones are dominating the market, the Blade A7 Prime comes with a textured plastic back panel. It is relatively cheaper than glass, but the material is best known for being durable.

Plastic back cover is also good against fingerprints and smudges. For better protection, we recommend buying a high-quality case.

There is a fingerprint sensor located in the top center, which is easy to reach with one hand. Meanwhile, you can find a camera and an LED flash in the top left corner. These modules are well-positioned and do not make the back panel look crowded.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top and a USB Type-C charging phone on the bottom. Furthermore, you can find a hybrid SIM/microSD slot on the left side of the phone. To adjust volumes and turn on/off the phone, you can use the buttons located on the right side.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Display

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Display

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime employs a 6.1-inch IPS LCD screen. It has 720p+ resolution, 13:6 aspect ratio and 282 ppi density. Following the trend, the corners are rounded. This design is trendy that you can find almost the exact same design on other phones.

We have to admit the display does not look sharp. But we need to remember that this phone is a low-entry phone. Although for a tad higher price, you can find phones from competitors with better screen quality.

If you are planning to use this phone intensively, its IPS LCD screen may not be comfortable for your eyes. Most people find it more exhausting to stare at an IPS LCD screen compared to OLED.

Color reproduction is not satisfying either as we have seen phones in this category with better reproduction. However, IPS LCD screens tend to last longer than OLED, which is susceptible to color degradation.

On a positive note, the ZTE Blade A7 Prime provides a large screen size which is pretty decent for media viewing. While the chin is relatively big, its side bezels are thin and do not look distracting. Also, the screen looks bright under direct sunlight when you set it to the maximum.

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ZTE Blade A7 Prime Camera

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Back View

This phone has a 16MP single rear-facing camera and an LED flash on the back with an f/2.0 aperture. There is also a front-facing 5MP camera with an f/2.2 aperture. When talking about photo quality, we need to keep in mind that this is not a flagship phone. 

Surprisingly, the main camera produces decent outdoor images even though the shots are not detailed. The rear-facing camera is pretty bad at taking close-up shots since it does not have a macro camera. The photos produce too many noises. On the other hand, the depth of field and the accuracy of colors are commendable.

The front-facing camera is terrible at taking selfies. The photos come out too bright and blurry in the background. Furthermore, both cameras do not perform well in low light. We recommend using the LED flash at night and for indoor shots.

Both cameras also struggle to record high-quality videos, and the results tend to lack details. You can set the rear-facing camera to record in 1080p, but there is no support for electronic video stabilization.

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime’s cameras are not downright terrible for a budget phone. But if you are into selfies or professional mobile photography, this phone is definitely not for you. It is good for capturing outdoor moments but do not expect more from it.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Storage

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Side View

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime has 32GB storage, and it is expandable via microSD card. The external storage supports up to 2TB in case you want to add more files to your phone. However, you cannot enable dual SIM mode since the slot is hybrid. That means you have to sacrifice one of your SIM cards in order to insert the microSD card.

Although it comes with 32GB storage, only 22GB is available to users. It is really small, especially when applications tend to take up too much space nowadays. So, if you need to use two SIM cards, be mindful when downloading apps, games, and other files.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Performance

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime sports a MediaTek Helio A22 processor and 3GB of RAM. The processor was released in 2018 to compete against Snapdragon 429. It is also known as MT6762M, a 64-bit Quad-Core processor.

Since it is not the fastest and newest processor in the market, this ZTE Blade A7 Prime performance review will consider its price point. The processor’s PowerVR GE8320 GPU can support a maximum display resolution of 1600 x 720 (HD+).

The phone performs well when running simple tasks and applications such as messaging, web browsing, and taking pictures. It also provides a pleasant multitasking experience with some limitations.

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime runs a nearly stock version of Android 9.0 or Pie. Stock Android means the operating system is not modified by manufacturers. That is why we did not find any bloatware on this phone. Bloatware usually cannot be deleted unless you rooted your device.

Stock Android usually gives a smoother performance than the modified ones. Another plus point is that it also takes up less storage. It is worth noting that stock Android may look bland and outdated to some people. But the UI experience is smooth and the screen transition is satisfying. The display did not stutter after we opened a few light apps.

However, its performance drops quite significantly when running heavy games, for example, PUBG. We were only able to play the battle royale game at the lowest settings. There were some noticeable lags and frame drops. We do not recommend playing demanding games on this phone.

In terms of media viewing, videos look good on this device. There is a small loudspeaker in the bottom left corner. The sound quality is loud and clear considering its price, although it could be better with stereo speakers. If you fancy listening to songs with your earphone, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Moreover, this device is equipped with a proximity sensor, a light sensor, an accelerometer, a compass, a gyroscope, and a fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is very responsive and it does not take too much time to unlock the phone. The MediaTek Helio A22 also allows you to unlock your phone via face unlock. It is less secure than fingerprints but very convenient.

In conclusion, the ZTE Blade A7 Prime is perfect for everyday use. Unfortunately, it struggles when running demanding apps and games. 

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Connectivity

The ZTE Blade A7 Prime packs 4G connectivity and Bluetooth 4.2. You can also connect to WiFi thanks to its 2.4GHz band. Bluetooth 4.2 is outdated since it was released in 2014, but you can still use it for audio and wearable connectivity.

The phone is also equipped with a GPS to provide information about location, navigation and positioning. You can improve your location’s accuracy by turning on high-accuracy mode on Google Maps and being connected to a WiFi.

For file transfer purposes, you can use the MicroSD slot and USB Type-C cable. The USB Type-C cable is very needed since it can transfer files at a faster rate than the usual USB 3.0. Sadly, this device does not support NFC for mobile payments, but it is understandable considering its price.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Battery

We were quite happy with this phone’s 3,200mAh battery as it could last a day for a very conservative use. When we used the phone for social media activities and occasional gaming, it lasted for 10 to 12 hours, depending on the screen brightness and network strength.

What surprised us was that this phone supports fast charging even though you have to buy a third-party adapter. This phone is superb for casual activities. In order to conserve more power, make sure to close apps you just used, dim screen brightness and turn off the mobile network when connected to WiFi.

Is the ZTE Blade A7 Prime a good phone?

For only $99 on Visible plan, ZTE Blade A7 Prime is one of the best low-entry phones in the market. It is not perfect. In fact, its cameras still need some improvements. However, the phone is worth your money since it offers decent performance, sturdy build and amazing Android user experience thanks to its clean UI.

The device also comes with various sensors to support your daily activities. You can find similar features on other smartphones, but it is hard to find them for just less than $100. Our ZTE Blade A7 Prime review concludes that this phone is for those who want a simple yet functional phone.

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Pros

  • Excellent build
  • Decent performance
  • Supports fast charging
  • Runs almost stock Android software
  • Cheap price tag

ZTE Blade A7 Prime Cons

  • Screen does not look sharp
  • Lackluster cameras
  • Non-gaming phone