Following the Blade V8 series, ZTE is offering the next-generation of devices within the Blade family — the Blade V9 and the Blade V9 Vita. The company made the announcement on Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In addition to the Blade V9, ZTE also introduced its first Android Go smartphone, called the Tempo Go. Here’s everything you need to know about the ZTE Blade V9 and Tempo Go.
The ZTE Blade V9 has a 5.7-inch Full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which provides a longer screen for viewing more content. The edges around the screen have been minimized for a more full-screen design, a trend every smartphone manufacturer is following.
The back of the phone is glass, giving it a more expensive feel. It’s slim, and despite its large size, it feels fairly compact. The back is incredibly minimal, with just the ZTE logo, a fingerprint sensor, and a dual-camera system.
There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top, and sadly, ZTE opted for a MicroUSB charging port on the bottom. The company said since this phone is primarily meant for markets outside the U.S., there’s not much demand to see USB-Type C in an affordable smartphone.
Under the hood, the Blade V9 is powered by the Snapdragon 450 processor, which performed well in our brief hands-on time with the phone. Apps opened quickly, and moving throughout the operating system was fluid.
Perhaps what’s more impressive, however, is how the Blade V9 does not come installed with ZTE’s MiFavor user interface. No, it runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo. Why did ZTE dump its own software? Because its customers — specifically from the Z Community forum — preferred the bloatware-free, pure version of Android. It’s a big change, and ZTE told Digital Trends it will use stock Android in all its future smartphones, including those in its higher-tier Axon range.
There’s hardly any apps pre-installed on the phone, except for a few core Google apps. The user interface is simple, but it’s likely why it’s so fast to react. The Blade V9 also packs a 3,100mAh battery, and comes in a variety of storage options. With the 2GB RAM model, you’ll get 16GB of storage; 3GB of RAM comes with 32GB; and 4GB offers 64GB. There’s a MicroSD slot for expandable storage of up to 256GB, as well.