Sprint Vital Review

Sprint Vital Review
Introduction

Though not a household name, we have found Chinese manufacturer ZTE to have some solid value offerings on Sprint through carrier branded devices like the Flash, Force and Fury. The Sprint Vital breaks with the f naming convention, offering a minor refresh to their previous flagship, the Flash. While much of the internals remain the same, the Vital bumps to a 5” display and Jelly Bean. In a crowded and competitive Sprint lineup can the $100 Vital prove worthy? Read on to find out.


Design

Viewed from the front, the Vital is your cookie-cutter black slab smartphone, but don’t confuse boring with unattractive. The dark chrome trim ring adds a nice, but familiar touch. ZTE foregoes the standard on-screen navigation keys of the Flash for capacitive ones, and also swaps the app switcher button for menu. The grey plastic middle housing has your standard buttons and ports, and includes a physical shutter button. All of the buttons are generously raised off the housing and offer fantastic feedback.

ZTE Vital

ZTE Vital

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.81 x 0.39 inches

142 x 71 x 10 mm

Weight

5.43 oz (154 g)

ZTE Flash

ZTE Flash

Dimensions

5.27 x 2.59 x 0.38 inches

134 x 66 x 10 mm

Weight

5.2 oz (147 g)

HTC One

HTC One

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches

137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

ZTE Vital

ZTE Vital

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.81 x 0.39 inches

142 x 71 x 10 mm

Weight

5.43 oz (154 g)

ZTE Flash

ZTE Flash

Dimensions

5.27 x 2.59 x 0.38 inches

134 x 66 x 10 mm

Weight

5.2 oz (147 g)

HTC One

HTC One

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches

137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



The Vital finally shows a bit of personality when you flip it over and you find the blue, soft touch backing. Like the Flash there is a large camera hump, although less pronounced this time around. Save the tiny speaker the back is void of any other design, including branding.


The phone is large and relatively thick by today’s standards, but not wholly uncomfortable to hold and use. It is not as svelte as the S4, but won’t be too obtrusive in a guy’s pocket by itself. At $100 it passes the design test, showing the build quality of a Samsung device though not on par with HTC or LG’s top offerings.



Display

The largest bullet point on the Vital’s spec sheet is the 5” display, which makes the phone considerably bigger than the outgoing Flash. While the IPS display is bright, vibrant and generally pleasant to use, unfortunately ZTE kept the same 720x1280 resolution as the 4.5” Flash, thus dropping the density from a respectable 326ppi to an average 294ppi. Still, for a budget-conscious phone the display is very good and handles all lighting conditions perfectly.



Sprint Vital 360-Degrees View:



FEATURED VIDEO

9 Comments

1. g2a5b0e unregistered

Brian, what you call personality, I call ugly. I don't think I've ever seen a phone with an uglier back in my life. The color is so-so, but that hump is just nasty.

4. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Nonsense, what is wrong with the back? it's go a high end camera lense mechanism... google Nokia EOS

5. g2a5b0e unregistered

You don't have to agree. It's called an opinion. I think it's ugly. Deal with it.

8. jaustin

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 21, 2013

g2a5b0e, if it's just a purely personal opinion -- vs. an objective comment -- what's the point of SHARING it?! In case you haven't noticed, this isn't a site where people can mull over what to buy YOU for Christmas!

2. Techboi

Posts: 84; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Not a bad phone at all, kinda like it.

3. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

This is actually a great phone for the price.

6. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I just stopped by Sprint specifically to check out this phone and I'm amazed... I was holding my HTC One in my left had and a ZTE Vital in my right had and I really liked the Vital A LOT! I'm kind of ashamed with how much I like it. I noticed the signal quality was a little better than my One. My One hovered around -98 dB while the Vital sat around -90 dB. That could make a big difference in spotty coverage areas. If I could find a used Vital for $200 and I could sell my One for $400 I'd totally pocket the $200 and rock a Vital. But it's not worth the step down in screen resolution and processor power for less than $200.....

7. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I realize I'm replying to myself but... "with support for all of Sprint’s networks and bands, including the 800MHz band that will be deployed with the iDEN network shutdown." Wow. That really makes this phone stand out above the previous gen of high end phones like the EVO 4G LTE because once Sprint rolls out LTE at 800 MHz they'll finally have really good building penetration vs the current 1900 MHz. Sort of want!

9. jaustin

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 21, 2013

Really, though, just how much of a "step down" is the Vital in screen resolution and processor power?
Vital
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2500 mAh(15h talk time)

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