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printed October 8, 2015
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Review: ZTE Avid 4G for MetroPCS

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The Avid's display measures 4 inches across the diagonal and has 800 x 480 pixels. This is a pretty middle-of-the-road screen with respect to size and resolution. The screen is sharp enough for the Avid's $150 price tag, and most elements on the display look clean. The entire display, however, has a horrible blue tint to it. Whites don't look white. It's one of the more pervasive blue tints I've seen on a phone screen. I find it terribly distracting and unpleasant. Brightness is acceptable, but not great. The Avid was difficult to use outdoors to take pictures, for example.


The Avid did fairly well at connecting to MetroPCS's network. I had no trouble making calls around the metro NYC area over the course of several weeks, and the Avid never dropped any calls. Data sessions were slow when connecting via MetroPCS's 1X network, but sped up considerably when LTE was available. The Avid didn't have any trouble transitioning between the two networks.


Call quality was pretty good, but short of excellent. The majority of calls were free of distortion or noise and voices had a sharp, present sound to them. The earpiece produces an acceptable amount of volume, but it could be a lot better. I didn't have any trouble hearing phone calls in my home, but it was nearly impossible to hear conversations in coffee shops or walking around my local mall on a Saturday afternoon. The speakerphone has good quality, but is downright wimpy when it comes to volume. It was too quiet even for my home office, let alone anywhere there's actual noise to worry about. Ringers and alerts were a bit too anemic, as well. The vibrate alert was also weaker than I'd like it to be.


The Avid didn't give me any trouble when it came to battery life. Even when used under LTE 4G coverage, it lasted an entire day without fail. I streamed music via Wi-Fi for hours and it barely impacted the battery life. As with most modern smartphones, you'll want to charge every night, but you shouldn't have to worry about running out of juice during the day.

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