ZTE knows how to design a phone, having treated us to the Axon range and some very sleek Nubia models over the past months, but for the new Blade S7 it has taken some inspiration from the iPhone 5 and 5S to create a good-looking, but very familiar device. The Blade S7 is the sequel to the Blade S6, a successful and very capable mid-range phone, so how does the S7 improve on it?
The screen is still 5-inches in size, but inside a body that measures just 67mm across, giving a screen-to-body ration of just over 72-percent. For comparison, the body is under 10mm wider than the iPhone 5S, and that has a 4-inch screen. ZTE has increased the resolution to 1080p for the Blade S7, and made the body from aluminum alloy, with 2.5D Gorilla Glass on the front and rear. That’s a major step ahead of the creaky plastic body on the Blade S6.
New feature additions don’t stop there. The Blade S7 has a fingerprint scanner in the home button, which can unlock the phone, and be used to authenticate access to apps and images store on the device. It’s also possible to configure the sensor to link different apps to different fingerprints, meaning you could use your index finger to unlock and quickly launch the email app, for example.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with 3GB of RAM powers the phone, and there’s 32GB of internal storage. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is installed with ZTE’s MiFavor user interface over the top. There are two cameras onboard, and both have 13 megapixels. The front cam has its own flash and phase detection autofocus system, plus a panorama mode for those super wide selfies. The rear camera has laser autofocus, and a variety of image modes. Finally, ZTE has updated its gesture control system seen on the S6.
The Blade S7 may be reminiscent of the iPhone 5S, but it also shares a similar style to the new OnePlus X. ZTE’s not giving the Blade S7 such a wide release as the OnePlus phone yet, and it’s only headed to Thailand and other Asian-Pacific markets so far, but we’re hopeful this will change. It released the Blade S6 in the UK and other parts of Europe. The price hasn’t been confirmed, but it’ll be sold in four colors: lemon green, diamond white, and the Apple-taunting rose gold and space grey.