The Good Available for a low $199 off-contract, the ZTE Warp 4G delivers swift 4G speeds, and is equipped with a feature-packed camera. It also has long battery life, clean call quality, and solid construction.
The Bad The ZTE Warp 4G’s processor is slow, and its camera struggles under low light.
The Bottom Line The ZTE Warp 4G processor is slow and its camera struggles in low light.
It usually happens that getting a smartphone out of contract requires a lot of concessions. Not like the $ 199 ZTE Warp 4G. Boasting a fast 4G-LTE data link, a large 4.5-inch screen and solid build quality, this compact Android phone is currently the most detailed option on the Boost Mobile network. It certainly makes a lot more sense than selling over $ 350 for the privilege of owning a Boost Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s now a factor in the satisfactory Warp 4G battery life and the relatively inept use of Android Jelly Bean software, and I’m sure you’ll forgive the phone’s efficient but less stellar processor.
The affordable, surprisingly capable Warp 4G (pictures)
My jaw dropped and my eyes went wide when I learned about the low price of the $ 199 ZTE Warp 4G without a contract. That’s because when I scooped up the device and put it in my hands, it felt good, I mean really good, emotion rarely transmitted by plastic tubes. Not only does the phone have a sturdy, durable, non-bendable design, its textured backrest is easily compressed and repels fat and fingerprints. As a matter of fact, I prefer the pad to the slim back cover of Samsung Galaxy S3; Boost sells the S3 for a steeper price of $ 349.99.
Warp 4G may lack the artificial silver accents of newer Samsung smartphones – Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 . Despite this, I found the overall black color scheme of the device to be subtle, though a bit conservative. Dark gray, almost metallic backlights ring the Warp 4G body and add extra shade.
Measuring 5.2 inches in height, 2.6 inches wide and 0.41 inches, the Warp 4G is by no means thin. The Galaxy S3 (5.4×2.8×0.34 inches) is slightly larger, but the Warp profile is noticeably thicker. At 4.7 ounces, however, the Warp 4G has the same weight as the 2012 Samsung superphone.
Above the 4.5-inch 4G screen is a 1-megapixel front-facing camera and a notification light. Below the display are three capacitive backlit buttons for basic Android controls (Back, Home, and Menu), all represented by easy-to-understand characters.
Along the left edge of the phone are two discrete buttons for adjusting the volume up and down. There is also a Micro-USB port for charging your phone as well as for physically connecting to a PC for file transfer. On the right side of the device is a special camera key that engages the Warp 4G image system. However, it will not wake the handset from sleep, but will launch the camera application. Above is a power button plus a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for connecting wired headsets.
Fans of battery replacement will appreciate the 2 070 mAh Warp 4G removable battery hidden under the back cover of the phone. There are also separate slots for SIM and microSD memory cards.
ZTE, the maker of Warp 4G, has decided to be big on the screen size of the phone. The device features a large 4.5-inch 720p HD (1,280×720 pixels) LCD panel. Despite the fact that in terms of color saturation, contrast and viewing angles, Samsung cannot measure the larger 4.8-inch OLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S3, it can have the same resolution of 720p.
In this regard, the Warp display is decently bright, and its IPS (flat-panel switching) LCD technology does a great job displaying photos with realistic colors and beautifully crisp detail.
Software and interface
Warp 4G runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, this is not the latest iteration of Google OS, Android version 4.3. In Warp’s defense, however, none of the other Boost Mobile phones has Android 4.2, not to mention 4.3. The difference between Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 is no different, in particular in terms of functionality and functionality. In addition, the phone’s software is generally spare and thus untenable, with cool skin or no downloaded processing tools. This is always a positive feature in my book.
You have five home screens on Warp 4G to customize by dropping widgets or app shortcuts to. Several proprietary applications have been downloaded, such as the Air G Air Air Social Network and Zone Boost to access your wireless account or view Boost software.
Because Warp 4G is a real Android phone, it references a huge ecosystem of Google software and services. It includes all the usual suspects, such as Gmail, Google Search, digital displays for Google Play music, videos and books, as well as the Chrome mobile browser. Warp also links to the Google Play Store to download applications from a wide variety of third-party software developers.
The ZTE Warp 4G uses a decent but not stellar camera with an 8MP sensor and LED flash. The Phone Camera app offers many settings, features and shooting modes. Image sizes range from VGA resolution (640×480) up to 8 megapixels (3,200×2,400). There are also manual white balance, ISO, exposure, contrast and saturation adjustments. Warp boasts 16 scene modes (not counting normal ones), such as Macro, HDR, Burst and Panorama, to name a few.
Under bright sunlight, Warp 4G quickly took photos (in a second), and the orange, yellow, and green of the autumn leaves glowed brightly. However, the details were not as clear as I would like to see. Wharpe was quick enough to shoot snapshots of poor children.
In the room, the visualization of the phone was a bit difficult. I noticed that my still life photos were dark and had blurry details. Camera autofocus couldn’t fix so quickly on subjects that were often translated into blurred images.
With a sizzling monitor like the Boost Warp 4G, you can hope that this smartphone will offer stunning program performance. Sorry, you were wrong. Under the hood of the Warp 4G is a smart, but not fast, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 1GB of RAM. Although this mobile computing platform allows the phone to solve basic tasks, with modern chips such as Snapdragon 800 and 600, power Galaxy Note 3 (2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800, 3 GB RAM), Galaxy S4 (Snapdragon 600, 2GB RAM) and HTC One (Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM).
Even last year’s Galaxy S3, which has a slower dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus and 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM, is picking up more bang for processing. As a result, Warp 4G came across a benchmark, noting a low Quadrant score of 4,868. The non-invasive display of the 245.2 MFLOP (multi-threaded) Linpack phone is also disappointing. This means that in anecdotal use, this device was not overtly humble, it simply did not launch applications and widgets, or flipped through the menu screens at an instant speed that I felt on true flagship superphones.
I tested Warp 4G on the Boost CDMA network in New York, which really fixed the piggy bank on Sprint’s cellular infrastructure. ZTE says Warp 4G has noise-canceling technology from Qualcomm, the people behind the ubiquitous Snapdragon processors. Indeed, on my test calls, the people with whom I spoke reported that my voice was heard loud and clear. They could still tell that I was talking to them from my cell phone, but could not detect any artifacts, spikes, or static while I was talking.
In the end, I found that the Warp earpiece didn’t get very loud, even when I dialed it to its maximum. Similarly, the speakers lacked significance, and subscribers noticed a significant decrease in sound quality, even when I was in close quarters with a Warp mouthpiece.
Sample call quality ZTE Warp 4GListen now:
A real 4G phone, ZTE Warp 4G can connect to an LTE data network (really Sprint). Although Sprint has not officially confirmed that its LTE service is up and running in New York, where I tested Warp, I was still able to capture the signal.
As a matter of fact, I recorded fast data throughput over the phone, Warp absorbed bits averaging 15.8 Mbps. Download speeds were also nimble, averaging 4.9 Mbps.
ZTE dropped its 2070 mAh battery in Warp 4G; this is a relatively large capacity, given the modest components of the phone. The result – a mobile phone demonstrated impressive battery life on the CCTV Labs CCTV benchmark. During this grueling test that entails HD video playback until the battery and the device make a call, Warp 4G dropped the towel after 9 hours 3 minutes. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S3 didn’t last much longer than the same standard, 21 minutes away.
I must admit that when I first hit the $ 199 ZTE Warp 4G, I didn’t expect much from this mid-range Android. After all, most of the out-of-contract phones I’ve looked at least leave me uninspired. It was my experience with the Warp 4G’s precursor, also the original ZTE Warp.
When I wrapped my fingers around Warp 4G, I knew that times had changed. Not only did the device feel solid and well made, it also created a large 4.5-inch display and launched Android Jelly Bean. Having spent some time with Warp 4G confirmed my first impressions, especially when the phone showed long battery life and clean call quality.
That said, Warp 4G is not the best Boost Mobile smartphone. This honor belongs to the Samsung Galaxy S3 at $ 349 and its high price on the sticker. While this is undoubtedly an aging device, the S3 is a more capable phone thanks to its superior screen, faster processor and much better camera. It’s just too expensive.
Warp 4G, on the other hand, is the best choice in Boost for Android pennies. I would recommend it over $ 299 LG Optimus F7 any day that has nicer features but costs more. Although technically a 4G device, the F7 has problems with LTE signal capture during testing. The same goes for the less capable, splash-proof, but 4G is $ 149 Kyocera Hydro edge which only makes sense if you need a waterproof phone.