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User Review History

maram500's review of the ZTE Z431 / Altair

original version, submitted Apr 18, 2013, 6:48 PM:

Decent, capable quick messnger with some flaws

In short, the ZTE Z431 isn't a terrible phone, but it leaves me lacking.

Design-wise, it's very reminiscent of older BlackBerry devices with a QWERTY keyboard and layout. It's sturdy and somewhat rugged as well--everyday bumps and knocks and the occasional drop won't end in scratches or scrapes. That such a cheap phone has Bluetooth and a 2-megapixel camera is very nice, as well. There's even a 3.5mm headphone jack right up top to listen to music from a microSD card...which is located in a place so awkward that hot-swapping is impossible.

As far as audio goes, I live in south Louisiana on AT&T's network and callers sound reasonably clear, and I never had to repeat myself except in very noisy environments. What you'll quickly find, though, is that the threaded text messaging is standard fare, but expecting anything great or spectacular will leaving you disappointed.

What hurts the most, however, is the low power under the bonnet. What I mean is that the processor is horrifically underpowered, even for a phone you can pick up, contract-free, for thirty bucks. How underpowered is it? If you're listening to music on the built-in player (which, by itself, is nice) and then decide to pump out a text message, you get an audio skip every time you press a key.

The screen is nice at 240x320 and about 2.4". Colors are ho-hum, and viewing angles are--you guessed it--not all that great. But, being a cheap phone, that isn't surprising.

Battery life is quite good--I haven't seen a battery hold a charge so well since my first phone (a Sony Ericsson Z500a). With my normal use--a few phone calls a day with plenty of text messages back and forth--meant that the battery lasted almost a week between charges. Of course, internet use would mean quicker battery drain.

Pros: Comfortable, nice-looking design; good audio quality; nice set of features for the price
Cons: Woefully underpowered; plasticky feel to the materials

edited May 2, 2013, 8:43 PM to the current version:

Decent, capable quick messnger with some flaws

In short, the ZTE Z431 isn't a terrible phone, but it leaves me lacking.

Design-wise, it's very reminiscent of older BlackBerry devices with a QWERTY keyboard and layout. It's sturdy and somewhat rugged as well--everyday bumps and knocks and the occasional drop won't end in scratches or scrapes. That such a cheap phone has Bluetooth and a 2-megapixel camera is very nice, as well. There's even a 3.5mm headphone jack right up top to listen to music from a microSD card...which is located in a place so awkward that hot-swapping is impossible.

As far as audio goes, I live in south Louisiana on AT&T's network and callers sound reasonably clear, and I never had to repeat myself except in very noisy environments. What you'll quickly find, though, is that the threaded text messaging is standard fare, but expecting anything great or spectacular will leaving you disappointed.

What hurts the most, however, is the low power under the bonnet. What I mean is that the processor is horrifically underpowered, even for a phone you can pick up, contract-free, for thirty bucks. How underpowered is it? If you're listening to music on the built-in player (which, by itself, is nice) and then decide to pump out a text message, you get an audio skip every time you press a key.

The screen is nice at 240x320 and about 2.4". Colors are ho-hum, and viewing angles are--you guessed it--not all that great. But, being a cheap phone, that isn't surprising.

Battery life is quite good--I haven't seen a battery hold a charge so well since my first phone (a Sony Ericsson Z500a). With my normal use--a few phone calls a day with plenty of text messages back and forth--meant that the battery lasted almost a week between charges. Of course, internet use would mean quicker battery drain.

Pros: Comfortable, nice-looking design; good audio quality; nice set of features for the price
Cons: Woefully underpowered; plasticky feel to the materials

 

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