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printed December 22, 2014
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ZTE Z222

 

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Would have been great in 2003

 

Sep 13, 2014 by dfgfdgfdsgds

This is a very, very cheap phone. Locked to ATT it cost $15, which is only slightly overpriced. The phone's design is characterized by all the thoughtful touches and quality you'd expect if it had been designed by ZTE's intern late on a Friday afternoon.

In your hand the phone has a particular feel of cheapness, brought to life by the crude injection molded plastic that also defines most of the toys in Walmart's toy department. The back has little ribs that seem like they should improve grip, but are actually slipperier than the shiny top face of the handset that acts like a magnet for grease and grime.

The front also has a "camera," such as it is, that would have been state-of-the arts on a webcam in about 2002. Below that there's a low-res black and white LCD. It's unclear why ZTE installed this LCD. It is useless. When the phone is closed the LCD is blank. When the phone is open (and thus you cannot see the front LCD because you're not an idiot and aren't holding it with the main screen/keypad facing away from you) the front display shows the ATT logo, then when you close the phone it shows the time for about three seconds. Now since the front LCD is a black and white LCD it would be entirely readable without a backlight and could always show the time without noticeable battery drain, casting some faint purpose on its existence. Unfortunately the intern had a party to go to and cut out a few minutes early.

The pathetic nature of the phone is brought home when you attempt to use it. The main screen is middle of the road for what you would have found in 2006. It displays things, which is about as much as you'd hope for. The buttons have the tactile feedback of the buttons on a typical microwave oven, but unlike when you push buttons on a microwave the phone's buttons take about 1/2 a second to respond, which is just long enough to make you wonder if you really pushed one. They're not perfectly flat, but might as well be for as hard as it is...

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