If you’re a Cricket Wireless customer or thinking about becoming one, you’ll have one more smartphone to choose from starting this Friday. ZTE is shipping out the Grand X 4, a lower-end phone priced at $130. If you’re on a budget this holiday season (and after all the spending on gifts, who isn’t?), it looks good enough as a phone that can just handle the basics.
The spec sheet reflects the price. The Grand X 4 is a 5.5″ phone running Android 6.0 on a quad-core 1.4 GHz Qualcomm processor, which is something from their lower-end 400 series of chipsets, and 2 GB of RAM. You’ll also find 16 GB of storage (64 GB more with the microSD card slot), a 13 MP rear camera that can take 1080p video, a 5 MP front camera, and a 3.5 mm audio port (feels like we need to specify that now). Like with the Grand X 3, ZTE has decided to stick with a 720p TFT display, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. With those specs, we’re expecting a lot of slowdown when trying to run multiple apps, but it should do for basics like emails and light web browsing.
For a phone with pretty undemanding specs, the 3,140 mAh battery looks promising — we haven’t tested the phone yet, but we’re thinking it’ll get through a full day easily. The battery is charged using a USB Type-C port, and the phone has Qualcomm QuickCharge 1.0 support. One change that might disappoint some is the move to a metal build, meaning the battery can no longer be removed and replaced — something that can be useful in a year or two when the battery starts to degrade. We know removable batteries are going by the wayside, but we did like the soft-touch back from the X 3, so it’s a bit unfortunate that the X 4 looks to be just another metal smartphone in the crowd.
On the flip side, the new build has enabled the addition of a fingerprint sensor. Besides being used for security, that backside sensor can also be used to launch a favorite app, take a picture with the front camera, or answer calls. The fingerprint sensor is too rarely used as another control button, so we love it when we see companies throw in those features. They end up being pretty convenient during day-to-day use.
Dolby audio has returned from the Grand X 3, which is good to hear — for such an inexpensive phone, we were really surprised about how loud the X 3 got. We expect the same from the X 4, so it should prove useful as a speakerphone or for listening to music on the go.
The ZTE Grand X 4 arrives at Cricket Wireless this Friday for $130. Funny enough, the most compelling competitor at Cricket might be another ZTE phone — the larger Grand X Max 2 has a larger screen, a better processor, and a 1080p display, and it’s currently $150. There’s also the $130 Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, which has a better processor and display, but a much shorter battery life.