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ZTE Tania review

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ZTE Tania Windows Phone

A solidly built, but slightly uninspiring budget Windows Phone that is let down by a lack of internal storage.

Pros:

Sturdy design, reasonable screen, excellent battery life

Cons:

No software tweaks to distinguish it from other Windows Phones, 4GB of internal storage with no expansion option

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £200

Manufacturer: ZTE

ZTE is probably best known for its low-cost Android smartphones, but the Tania is the Chinese firm's first attempt to create a budget Windows Phone handset.

This is an area currently dominated by Nokia with its Lumia 710 and 610 handsets, and so the device is targeting an already crowded market. Can ZTE truly compete against Microsoft's favourite partner?

To answer this, V3 casts a critical eye over the Tania's key strengths and weaknesses.

Design

The first thing we noticed about the ZTE Tania was that it felt much more expensive than it is. With no physical buttons, the glass front of the ZTE Tania looks really slick, reminding us of the premium Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The back of the handset, although not as luxurious, managed to sit nicely in the hand thanks to its matt plastic coating, and felt like it could withstand a few knocks and tumbles. This rugged feel is reflected in the handset's 158g weight, and it seems reassuringly solid when held in the hand. We did notice some scuffing around the protruding camera sensor, which has nothing to protect it from such accidental wear and tear.

ZTE Tania back panel

In terms of ports and physical buttons, you'll find a power switch, micro-USB slot and camera key on the right hand side of the ZTE Tania, with a volume rocker on the left hand side, crafted from the same high-end looking metal. There are also three capacitivetouch  keys underneath the screen, which although they proved useful we couldn't help but press accidentally from time to time.

Screen
The Tania's screen is a 4.3in WVGA 480x800 display, which by today's standards doesn't sound fantastic on paper. However, given the handset's £200 price tag, it isn't as bad as you might expect. Sure, viewing angles aren't fantastic and it's almost unreadable in direct sunlight, but when switched up to full brightness the Tania's screen is a pleasure to look at. It's a great size too - ideal for browsing the web and gaming.

Software and performance
The Tania, looking past its cheap price tag, arrives running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. If you've read our reviews of other Mango-powered handsets, you already know all you need to know about the operating system running on this phone. There are no additional apps, and where Nokia adds its own tweaks and widgets, ZTE has done nothing to distinguish this phone as its own.

ZTE Tania Windows Phone

In terms of processing power, the Tania has a 1GHz single-core processor, which given that Windows Phone is yet to add support for multi-core chipsets, doesn't come as much of a surprise.

While the phone proved suitably snappy when swiping through the Live Tiles user interface and doing tasks such as messaging and Facebook, we did notice a lag firing up apps, particularly games and the onboard web browser.

Processor: 1GHz single-core processor, Adreno 205 GPU
Display: 4.3in 480x800 TFT LCD touchscreen
Storage: 4GB
Camera: 5MP rear-facing camera
Connectivity: HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0
Ports: Micro USB 
Operating system: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Dimensions: 128.6x67.8x10.5mm
Weight: 158g

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Carly Page
About

Carly Page joined The INQUIRER as News Editor in April 2012. Before becoming a full-time geek, Carly studied Journalism at the University of Lincoln, and dabbled in the music journalism industry. Carly's main coverage areas include mobile devices, mobile software, telecoms, mobile operators, social networks and anything Breaking Bad related.

View Carly's Google+ profile

 

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