ZTE Optik Review
Apple iPad has respectable sales numbers, but its price point puts it out of reach for many and out of the range of a casual splurge purchase. We’ve seen many Android offerings that undercut the iPad, but $400-500 is still asking a lot. Of course there are uber-cheap Android tablets that you can pick up for $100-150, but they are often running an ancient version of the OS with no hope of an upgrade and no official Google Apps. The Amazon Kindle Fire, a heavily-skinned Android tablet, finally broke the $200 mark for a respectable tablet and sales have been strong. Still, the Kindle Fire has its drawbacks.
ZTE is looking to make a name in the US market, and Sprint is looking to stay relevant in the tablet market since it lost out on the new iPad. Enter the ZTE Optik, a sub-$100 7” tablet on contract that won’t make you laugh when you pick it up (even at full retail the Optik will only set you back $350.) It has a very respectable spec sheet with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras, 1GB of RAM with 16GB of internal memory and a microSD slot for further expansion all running on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. So, is this the magic device that will make tablets ubiquitous? Probably not, but it does promise some decent tablet performance on the cheap. Read on to find out if it can deliver.
The ZTE Optik is a fairly plain but decent-looking 7” tablet. The dark silver and black materials are pretty common, but the Optik puts them together well and the device feels solid in the hand. There is a lot of bezel around the 1280x800 display, but then again this is a $99 tablet. The rear has a pair of hard rubber inserts at the top and bottom which make a wonderful grip when held in landscape. It is a really nice design choice and one of the things that makes the Optik feel more impressive than its price point.
The 7” display is decent, but as you might expect is not top of the line. It washes out a bit in direct light, but not enough where it’s unusable. Despite what we had reported earlier it does have an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment. Responsiveness was good and we didn’t experience any missed or phantom screen presses.
With so much real estate along the side we would have made the power and volume buttons larger, but they are not too small to be annoying. They could also use a bit more feedback when pressed, but again they have some it just could be better. A bigger gripe is that the power button is placed so high up and close to the volume rocker that you’re often hitting volume up instead of the power when trying to turn on and off the device. The microSD slot is recessed just a touch too far, and those without nails may have minor issues installing and removing cards. We’ve seen too many tablets with a proprietary charging port and the Optik unfortunately continues this trend. For the life of us we can’t figure out why manufacturers who otherwise use microUSB on their handsets can’t incorporate the simple, standard technology into their tablets.
The proprietary charging port (bottom)
Power and volume buttons (right)
3.5mm jack (top)
The sides of the ZTE Optik
1. sorcio46 (Posts: 394; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
Still on Android 3.2? Will be upgrated to ICS ? If yes it seems a decent tablet for a good price :-)
2. downphoenix (Posts: 2293; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
I think you guys gave it too low of a rating, given that you admit that cameras dont really matter much on tablets. Anyway this is a pretty good tablet for the money, and has a great feel to it. Its not the best but it is more than adequate for most things you'll do. And if you're already a sprint customer and you receive an employee discount, you could possibly get it for just 99 cents on a 2 yr contract and minimum plan of 19.99/mo. I cant think of another carrier with a tablet offer even remotely that good.
4. Jmurder209 (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
Come on, most people don't have an employee discount so it wont be 99¢ on contract for them? But at $99 i think it's a great deal & if I were with Sprint I would most likely pick one up but I am not so I will not. The Pantech Element on AT&T is a better option with a bigger screen & 4G LTE for just a little more money is a better deal???
6. silverfang77 (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 Nov 2010)
How does it connect to the Net, 3G, 4G or just wifi?
7. anishraj (Posts: 17; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)
@ silverfang77 its wrks in both 2G and 3G and u can coonect WIFI also!!!
8. Koli143 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Jul 2012)
I am haveing the ZTE Optik its fine and fast i love to be the customer for ZTE and
Some days back it was haveing problem with S/W and my wife told me that to login to ZTE website and i got the S/W link
the link iswww.zteusa.com/,click Devices-->Product List(choose models here)-->Product support
9. tbaby (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)
And YES you can get it for $0.99 through Sprint and I am not an employee. I am a small business who in fact just got an email from my Acct. Mgr. and was offered this deal. I took it to see what this is all about. The plans I think could be a little better. I went with the 3GB for $34.99 a mo. The options were:
3G 3GB plan - $34.99
3G 6GB plan - $49.99
3G 12GB plan - $79.99
I can always upgrade if I find that I am using more without a penalty.
I currently don't have a tablet and this might be a good one to learn on.
10. Denzile (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)
Fast tablet and easy to use. Reading e mail is very easy to see without enlarging the screen this coming from someone who usually needs reading glasses Screen crisp and clear and I love the large size Great price, fast delivery and larger than expectedI am giving this full stars because i do like the tab when it works large screen very responsive screen and alot of space to work with as well as the service being pretty good. i recommend this tab every one....
11. Beverly2004 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
Im currently living in Tanzania,im interested on buying ZTE Optik,so how do i get it and let me know the procedure to pay
12. pawan6639 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)
I have using this tablet for about 45 day. It is a nice tablet overall. It does the job well for typing and work related items. Remote control for windows computers. I am enjoying it right now. Has great feel for a screen keyboard and works great in any direction you grab it. You can type from all 4 sides which means that it is easy to grab and get aroud any position. Do not like the propritary charger plug end. Not smart. Should of stuck to usb mini or micro. Down fall my unit has as of yesterday shot the battery. Charged it 24 hours and got 41%. I have been using it for an hour and now have 23%. I hope this is not common. It is a nice unit for the money.