The "1-Minute" Review
- Mediocre battery life
- Occasional lag when opening tasks
- Middling camera performance
The ZTE Source is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers 4G LTE coverage. Although the chassis is made entirely of plastic, reviewers found it to be quite bulky, weighing 142 grams and measuring 5.31 x 2.64 x 0.4 inches. Experts also discovered that the case attracts a lot of fingerprints and oils due to the matte soft-touch coating, especially around the removable battery cover.
The 4.5-inch TFT display has a resolution of 480x854 and a pixel density of 218ppi. Some graininess was noted when viewing HD videos and images; however most found that it was not that big of a distraction. Critics go on to say that the display offers decent color reproduction and screen sensitivity.
On the back of the display is a 5MP camera. Experts warn that the camera is only good for informal shots as it suffers from poor color fidelity, poor focus and digital noise. There are numerous pre-installed camera apps to help capture better images as well as a flash. On the front is a 1MP camera for video conferencing.
The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Daily tasks launched in a satisfactory amount of time for experts though they did notice some lag occasionally. When playing graphics intensive games, critics were surprised that they did not experience any stuttering or force quits, though they also mention that the frame rate was relatively low as well.
Nestled behind the removable battery cover is a 2,070mAh battery. ZTE reports that the battery has a talk time of 15 hours and standby time of 10.5 days. After synthetic benchmark tests, actual standby time looks to be around 1.5 days and 8 hours talk time.
Aside from the relatively mediocre hardware and display, the ZTE Source also has a fairly high radiation level. According to FCC radiation measurements, the phone has a SAR rating of 1.41W/kg. As the scale ranges from 0 to 1.60, 1.41 is a relatively high number, though still within the safe limit. Still, there are other ZTE phones with less radiation like the Warp 4G.
Overall, reviewers find the ZTE Source to be a decent phone for the price, though they would still recommend other handsets. CNET states, "The ZTE Source is a satisfying, low-cost option. But if you can spare another $60, opt for the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2…if you're not tied to the carrier, other phones are worth considering."
What the Critics Are Saying...
Prices (Where to Buy)
ZTE released the Source on October 17, 2013.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Source user manual here.
ZTE backs up the Source with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Source has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact ZTE support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find ZTE's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.