The Good ZTE Prelude Aio Wireless 3G clock with constant 3G speed, has expandable memory and saves extremely low costs.
The Bad A slow Prelude processor and a bad camera reduce it. The mediocre quality of the call and the unit does not help either.
The Bottom Line Miss the ZTE Prelude entirely and dial another inexpensive prepaid handset, such as Nokia Lumia 521 or LG Optimus F6.
If you’re on a budget and looking for a prepaid device, you might be tempted to consider a low-cost $ 50 ZTE Aio prelude. But believe me, when I say, it’s not worth it.
Of course, there is some hope that the phone in such a cheap phone will have a small screen, 3G speed or less. But even if you sell an entry-level handset, Prelude will fail you. Its display is hardly visible on the street, its processor glacial , and even his phone calls are not clear.
In addition, there are many other phones from several prepaid carriers available in the same price range. These devices are like Nokia Lumia 521 or LG Optimus F6 are not only cheap, but they also manage to get the job done right.
Compact at 4.6 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide and 0.43 inches thick (116.84 x 60.96 x 10.92 mm), the Prelude is also lightweight at just 4.4 ounces (124.74 g) . It fits easily in your hand or front pocket of your jeans, and you will have no problem navigating with one hand. The soft-touch matte battery door works well without fingerprinting, and I could appreciate ZTE’s small design efforts when styling the back with gray, curved lines.
The device also has a deep, conical chin, really rounded corners and soft edges. In general, it has an inexpensive, toy feel. Considering its appearance, you expect the handset to be for a young child or perhaps a neophyte smartphone.
On the left is the volume, while on the top you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a sleep / power button. Right is the Micro-USB port for charging. The 2-megapixel camera is located on the back, and below it are two slots for audio dynamics. If you tear out the back panel with a slight indentation in the lower left corner, you will get access to a microSD battery and slot that can be expanded up to 32GB.
The Prelude has a 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen with a resolution of 320×480 pixels. This low resolution means that the menu images and icons will appear grainy and crisp. The text will show a significant amount of smoothing around the edges. The display is also difficult to view in sunlight. It has a very narrow viewing angle, so the slightest inclination in any direction will wash the screen almost completely.
Finally, the display is not sensitive. At times it seemed out of touch to my touch. I repeatedly had to click the icons to register my actions, and typing was a drag and drop as I noticed a gap between my selection of keys and when it appeared on the screen.
At the bottom of the screen are three hotkeys to go back, home, and menus. To access and exit the latest applications, a long press of the center home button will open multitasking windows.
The pocketable and prepaid Prelude (pictures)
The Prelude runs Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and as such contains several Google apps: Chrome, Gmail, Search, Plus, Maps, Talk, and YouTube, as well as access to the Play Store’s Books, Movies & TV, Music, and Newsstand portals.
Other applications include Facebook and Twitter, alarm clock, native browser and email clients, calculator, calendar, news and weather app, notepad, voice recorder, timer and beep.
Users will also receive TouchPal X, an optional keyboard and text insertion feature that you can activate, and a Kingsoft Office mobile office suite. Aio also rebooted three of its own applications: My Aio, which allows users to check the balance of service bills and carrier balance, and two applications to configure Visual Voicemail and Wi-Fi settings. Finally, the other features include 4GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 3.0 and 512MB of RAM.
Camera and video
As expected for a camera with a 2MP sensor, the quality of the photo was poor. Even with enough light, the images turned out to be grainy with great digital noise. The colors were dim and light sources were often blown out. In addition, despite my steady hand, many of my shots had motion blur due to the slow shutter speed. Objects often had fuzzy outlines, and dark shades were difficult to distinguish from each other. To learn more about the quality of your photos, be sure to click on the images below to view them with full permission.
The video produced similarly not impressive results. It took a long time for the lens to adjust to different lighting conditions and to make the frames look inept and rough. The colors were muted and the objects seemed fuzzy and uneven.
There are many things you can do about camera features: no rear flash, no front camera, and no touch focus (instead, the lens has a fixed focus). However, both in camera and video mode, there are geotagging features, five white balance options and digital zoom.
The camera itself has three photo filters, anti-banding options and image quality. You can shoot with two resolutions (1600×1200 and 1,024×768-pixels), and there are composite lines, self-timer and four meters to adjust exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness. As for video recording, there is an option for the time span, as well as two sizes (VGA and MMS).
In our San Francisco offices I checked the dual band (850/1900) handset and the call quality was poor. Although I could understand what my partner was saying and none of my calls fell, the volume was for both the sub and audio speakers. Even when it’s turned on to the maximum level, the volume can be much louder. In addition, I constantly hear a subtle but continuous “noisy” sound during the call, similar to what you hear when you hold the sink to your ear. This was preserved during conversations and silence.
The acoustic speaker also produced no spectacular results. In addition to the low volume range, voices were heard thin and subtle. At times, the voice of my calling partner became too loud and the sound was unpleasantly sharp. I was also told that my ending did not sound as wonderful as my voice sounded echoed and muffled.
Sample call quality with ZTE Prelude (Aio Wireless):
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Despite its low-rung design and incredibly slow user experience (more on that later), the smartphone clocked in with surprisingly decent 3G data times that were consistent and reliable. Operating on AT&T’s network, Ookla’s speed test app showed an average of 2.52Mbps down and 0.12Mbps up. It also took 2 minutes and 47 seconds to download the 44.22MB game Temple Run 2. As for Web browsing, CNET’s mobile and desktop site took 12 and 57 seconds, respectively. The mobile site for The New York Times loaded in 16 seconds, while its full page appeared after 35 seconds. ESPN’s mobile site took 15 seconds, and the desktop version took 24 seconds.
ZTE Prelude Runtime
|Average 3G download speed||2.52Mbps|
|Average 3G upload speed||0.12Mbps|
|App download (Temple Run 2)||44.22MB in 2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|CNET mobile site load||12 seconds|
|CNET desktop site load||57 seconds|
|Restart time||48 seconds|
|Camera boot time||2.87 seconds|
As mentioned earlier, the meager Prelude 1 GHz processor was sluggish. Basic tasks such as unlocking a lock screen, swiping through the app drawer, and adding widgets to your home screen are noticeably behind, taking more time than it should. At times, it felt like the device was barely moving through these simple actions, and more complex tasks such as running and leaving games felt glacial. On average, it took 48 seconds for the device to restart, and it took 2.87 seconds to open the camera. In addition, its highest quadrant result was 2049, and its best multi-threaded Linpack result was 32,405 IFFLs in 5.21 seconds.
A 1500 mAh rechargeable battery is not that much, but given that the smartphone does not give much power in the first place, you will be able to stay unplugged for a sufficient amount of time. Anecdotally, I could use my phone during the work day without any recharging, and it lasted entire weekends in standby mode. It ran 11 hours 15 minutes during our official battery test. According to FCC radiation measurement , the phone has a digital specific absorption coefficient of 1.25 W / kg.
The ZTE prelude has some merit. Its small design makes it completely carbon-fiber, its 3G speeds consistent, and cumulative storage digs up expandable memory. But even at $ 50, the device’s processor is just too slow, its phone calls are too bad, and its camera is too small to outstrip.
This is especially true when you consider the number of other phones that are better and cost about the same. If you want to stick with Aio, then $ 80 ZTE Sonata 4G has a faster data rate and a larger screen. And though you will need to upgrade to Windows Phone using Nokia Lumia 620 , the $ 50 smartphone has a robust 5MP camera and NFC.
However, if you are open to other prepaid carriers, both are Samsung Galaxy Rush from Boost Mobile and Samsung Galaxy Reverb Virgin now costs $ 80 and $ 50, respectively. They are also 3G devices, but they have better cameras and faster internal speeds than Prelude.
After all, I would recommend MetroPCS ‘ Nokia Lumia 521 or carrier LG Optimus F6 . Both cost $ 50 when the first pack is an upgraded camera (despite no flash) and the latter has a crisp 4.5-inch screen and 4G LTE.