Got only $100 for a smartphone? ZTE introduces the Blade Spark, the budget-friendly midranger

Got only $100 for a smartphone? ZTE introduces the Blade Spark, the budget-friendly midranger
ZTE is no stranger to the budget-oriented market as it often sets an aggressive pricing on their phones, putting it well inside the bargain range. Today, the company has announced its newest lower-tier phone — an AT&T exclusive, which will set you back only $100. Is it worth it?

The handset in question is a part of the Blade family and is called ZTE Blade Spark. With its rather light price-tag, its specs are justifiably low-tier — a quad-core, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage (7 GB available to user) expandable via microSD. The display is rather large, with a 5.5-inch diagonal, but not extremely sharp, with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. The cameras sound good on paper, with a 13 MP PDAF-assisted sensor at the back and a 5 MP snapper on the front and there is a dedicated selfie button on the phone for you social media fiends out there. There's an included fingerprint scanner on the back, which was nice of ZTE, considering the price.

Considering it's a phone that's best meant for light usage, its 3,140 mAh battery seems quite generous and will probably last you a while. The manufacturer specs claim it can hold out for 17 hours of talk time, 53 hours of music (with headphones), and 10 days of standby.

The Blade Spark comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box and it appears like the operating system has only been lightly re-skinned, with no unneeded bells and whistles attached. Browsing through the list of pre-installed apps, we can see that the manufacturer chose to go with Google's Play Music, Photos, and Chrome as default apps, not introduce its own duplicates, which is a good sign. Of course, there are the slight offenders like Amazon Shopping, Ypmobile, and Uber pre-loaded.

You can grab the Spark for $99 with an AT&T Prepaid plan at select AT&T stores starting today.

Related phones

Blade Spark
  • Display 5.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3140 mAh(17h 3G talk time)



1. Duncdawg26

Posts: 176; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

Seems like a solid hold-me-over phone in the event the daily driver takes a dip, which is what the gophones are best for. Sd425 is pretty much the bare minimum to make a phone work. Bezels look unusually large. What I don't understand is how an 8gb phone, 3 or 4 gbs are left but on a 16gb phone 8gbs or less are available - ?

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

A good waste of a hundred. ZTE is crap. Give all your information to the Chinese when you buy one of ZTE smartphones.

3. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

re: 2. sgodsell (Posts: 4719; Member since: 16 Mar 2013) A good waste of a hundred. ZTE is crap. Give all your information to the Chinese when you buy one of ZTE smartphones. ================================ why so dramatic? alot of electronics devices and the internet takes ur information anyway, whether you're giving knowingly it or not...thats life on the internet, deal with it LOL btw, this phone would be good as a back up or a phone that will do all the dirty work ;o)

4. domfonusr

Posts: 1087; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I have been keeping an eye on ZTE for the last year or so. I am disappointed that this phone doesn't have ZTE's "breathing light ring" capacitive keys, they reminded me of my old Nokia E75 and N800. My Mom got a Grand X3 when we all got new smartphones last year, and I liked the blue breathing light ring. Otherwise, the Grand X3 was a nice phone, though I didn't like the lack of water resistant coating. Her phone's camera is much better than the one on my Moto E. As for the new ZTE Blade Spark phone, not bad for $100... though I wish more of the ROM was available to the user, and why oh why did they take away the breathing light ring?

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