As we’ve previously mentioned, ZTE Mobile, in partnership with MSI-ECS, launched in the Philippines. Here at Techindustriya, we managed to get our hands on one of ZTE’s Android smartphones, the Skate 4.3H. After running around with it for a few days, it’s a pretty good phone with some rough edges. With numerous new brands coming into the Philippines, phones such as the Skate are providing consumers cheaper alternatives to the other established smartphone superpowers.
The Skate features a 4.3” capacitive touchscreen display, an 800MHz single core processor, 512MB RAM, a 5MP camera, an included 4GB Micro-SD, and runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Its also quite light at a mere 120g. The Skate 4.3H will set you back at PhP13,990.
First off, design-wise, the Skate looks nice, sleek, simple, like most other smartphones in the market. Though up close it looks as if a few corners may have been cut to achieve its relatively lowered price. The plastic case feels a bit cheap and fingerprints standout like a sore thumb.
The 4.3” display is quite clear and bright, with colors showing pretty vibrantly. Though the phone’s battery life, using a standard Li-Ion 1400 mAh, is quite a letdown as the battery runs out quite quickly when using the phone at full brightness, which lessens the impact of the nice screen. Be prepared to set the screen brightness to auto if you want to save battery life. Running apps also seems to put quite a drain on the battery so be prepared to bring around a charger just in case. Though the phone is accessed through a mini-USB port so you can charge it through any power source that has a USB port.
The 800MHz single core processor is a bit lacking as I’ve experienced a few slowdowns during normal use, other than that it runs quite well enough. It comes with the bare minimum of apps pre-installed so that the menus aren’t too cluttered. Just like any other Android phone Apps can be installed through the Google Play Store. I feel that the phones functions could have been more streamlined so that it could have maximized its available technology.
The 5MP camera takes decent pictures though you may have to play with the settings a bit. It does come with a handy slider that regulates the amount of exposure. The built-in-speakers leave a bit to be desired as they sound bit tinny at times. Multimedia entertainment works well enough with the included media apps.
All in all the Skate 4.3H is a rather good phone in its price range. It functions smoothly enough with a few minor hiccups now and again. Those looking for a cheaper alternative to the other established brands could have a winner in their hands. Though they should be prepared to charge it frequently if used quite heavily.
Pros: Cheap, bright and clear screen, smooth capacitive screen
Cons: Slight hiccups now and then, bad battery life, cheap plastic feel
Bottomline: A cheap alternative to more expensive smartphones that functions well enough, but doesn’t last that long.