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Review: ZTE Avid 4G for MetroPCS

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Jan 29, 2013, 7:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The ZTE Avid 4G is a solid mid-range Android smartphone from MetroPCS. It is compact, light, and offers a competitive feature set. Find out if the Avid 4G is right for you in Phone Scoop's full review.

Is It Your Type?

The Avid 4G is a small smartphone made by ZTE. It is compact, puckish, and lands in the middle of MetroPCS's device lineup. According to the spec sheet, it has most of the tablet-stakes features (LTE 4G, Android 4.0, 4.0-inch screen) people crave, but does it deliver?

Body

The ZTE Avid 4G is a simple phone that takes a plebeian route as far as design is concerned. It is a black slab with a minimalist look that's a bit on the dull side.

The Avid's color palette is limited to black and chrome. The face is reflective black glass, and the back is matte black plastic. The two are separated by a silvery band that encircles the edges. It is conservative, no doubt, and sticks to the basics of device design. I like that the raised surface on the back that houses the camera is chrome-colored. It breaks up what would otherwise be a boring black back surface.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The materials are decent. The glass has a good feel under the thumb, and the soft-touch material of the battery cover feels nice. The manufacturing is good, but could be better. Some of the seams aren't even, but overall it feels tightly put together. It definitely comes off as dense.

Thanks to the small size, the Avid is comfortable to hold and use. I had no trouble wrapping my hand around it and gripping it tightly. The sides of the Avid curve gently into the back surface, which really helps it sit well in the palm. Though the matte back cover has some grip to it, the Avid will still slip easily into any pocket without trouble.

There are three capacitive buttons below the display. Rather than use the standard Back, Home, Multitask button configuration, ZTE chose to go with Back, Home, Menu. That’s an interesting departure from the norm for an Android 4.0 handset, but one that might make the Avid easier to use (more on that later). The buttons all worked well and offer haptic feedback if you want them to.

The volume toggle and microUSB port are both on the left side of the phone. The volume toggle is quite good. The button has a good profile and offers excellent travel and feedback. The lock button is on the top, as is the headphone jack. The lock button is perfect. It offers a nice shape, making it easy to find on the top edge, and has excellent travel and feedback. The Avid does not have a dedicated camera button.

The back cover is not a problem to remove thanks to a little notch for your thumbnail. The 1735 mAh battery can be removed, and the SIM card is buried underneath it. There’s a separate slot for microSD memory cards, which can be accessed without removing the battery.

In all, there's nothing remarkable about the ZTE Avid 4G, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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IMS Voice (VoLTE) Blue441 Jan 30, 2013, 2:38 AM
 
 
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