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ZTE Blade S6 Review, Truly Capable Droid

March 8, 2015

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The ZTE Blade S6 is one of the most recent releases from the smartphone market and should spread some fear among its mid-range competitors. This pretty looking fella comes packed with some impressive features that should please anyone who’s looking for a capable handset, but doesn’t exactly aim for flagships. The Blade S6 sports a Snapdragon 615 chipset, having an octa-core processor, Adreno 405 GPU, dual-SIM support, a 13 MP primary camera, a 5 inches display and comes loaded with Android’s latest and greatest update, Lollipop. These features are followed by some more goodies, so keep reading if you want to find out about those too. Oh, and I must also mention that the phone will  go easy on your wallet too, being a tempting combination between a rich list of features and an affordable price.

In its retail package, the ZTE Blade S6 is accompanied by its charger, a microUSB cable for making data transfers and re-charging the device, a small tool for ejecting the SIM card and the user manuals.

As I was previously referring to it as being pretty, now I’ll go ahead and talk a little about that. The ZTE Blade S6 obviously resembles with Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 6. This is not the first time when I’m coming across a device that steps into those footprints, so it’s not something unheard of. If you’re familiar with the iPhone’s design and like it, my guess is that you’ll also enjoy the Blade S6. The handset measures 144 x 70.7 x 7.7 mm and has a weight of 134 grams, being really slim and lightweight, exactly like its high-end inspiration. Some of their common features are the matte finish from the rear-side, the rounded corners and the round capacitive key that sits between another two.
Although entirely made from plastic, the Blade S6 seems to be very well put together and looks very stylish and elegant.

The frontal part of the body is occupied by a 5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and has a pixel density of 294 ppi. The image quality isn’t something to write home about, as it’s pretty average. The colors are pleasant and the viewing angles are good, but the sunlight legibility leaves something to be desired.

At the software section, the Blade S6 is one of the few Chinese releases that come with support for Android 5.0 Lollipop. The OS has been subtly tweaked by ZTE, but the interface is intuitive and minimalistic, so if you prefer Android in its pure and “raw” form, you needn’t worry about the customizations, as they’re light and friendly. The lockscreen holds your notifications, as well as a widget for displaying the time and date and two shortcuts of the camera and dialer. After the lockscreen comes the homescreen, which can support a maximum number of 18 panes and serves for holding your folders and apps, which can be uninstalled from here due to the lack of an app drawer.
A swipe down on the screen reveals the notification area, which displays your notifications (naturally), and two swipes reveal the quick toggles and a brightness slider.
The handset features support for several gestures: the pocket mode increases the phone’s vibration and ringer, covering the display or flipping the handset will silence it if you’re receiving a call, a shake will quick launch an application when the phone is locked and more.

In terms of hardware, the ZTE Blade S6 is based on a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset, having a quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 and a quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 405 GPU, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory, which can be extended with a microSD card of up to 32 GB. The phone will handle any task without any hassle, thus offering a pleasant and smooth user experience.

Connectivity-wise, the Blade S6 holds support for quad-band 2G and dual-band 3G, LTE Cat.4, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and microUSB 2.0

For taking pictures, the ZTE Blade S6 offers a 16 MP snapper with autofocus that captures photos with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels and holds a LED flash for assisting in low light situations. The image quality is decent, but disappointing, considering that there are a lot of smartphones with 16 MP or less that deliver a far better performance.
The video camera is good and will deliver some pleasant 1080p videos @30 fps.
There’s also a front-facing 5MP camera for making video calls.

Among its offerings, the ZTE Blade S6 also provides a GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support, Google Maps for navigation, an FM Radio, the Android browser and Google Chrome for providing you with a great browsing experience, a task manager, the WPS Office for managing document files, the Android Device Manager, Google Now as a personal assistant and much more.

The ZTE Blade S6 is kept alive by a 2,400 mAh battery and will endure two days under a moderate usage.

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