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Interface and Functionality

Android Marshmallow isn't going away anytime soon, but it does the Blade V8 Pro justice (with some extra tweaks)


ZTE's Android interface is one that's quite familiar by this point, giving us an experience that keeps comfortably close to standard Android interactions, while offering just enough extra to help make itself feel worthwhile.

If you don't feel like tapping into any of those ZTE extras, the good news is that they're mostly unobtrusive, to say nothing of optional. Maybe the biggest stand-out you'll run into during regular usage is a simplified “frequently used” panel for the phone's settings screen – but even that is just one swipe away from the standard, full-featured interface.

Venture a little deeper into ZTE's software and you'll find a theming engine, custom lockscreen settings, a healthy smattering of gesture controls, and the persistent on-screen Mi-POP interface. The latter gives you quick access to UI navigation shortcuts at the expense of screen real estate; that could be ideal for certain users really set on one-handed phone operation, but like the rest of these features, we're just happy that ZTE lets us decide for ourselves whether to take advantage of it or not.

Processor and Memory

Exceptionally well-balanced hardware marries performance with graceful power consumption

No one's going to be surprised to learn that a mid-range handset like the Blade V8 Pro can't compete with the latest batch of cutting-edge smartphone silicon, but we're more interested in how the phone compares against other recent budget-priced models.

The good news there is that the answer is “quite favorably.” The Snapdragon 625 chip ZTE uses to power the phone strikes a nice balance between processing performance and power efficiency, and the 3GB of RAM means the phone is sufficiently armed for some moderate multitasking.


Unsurprisingly, the Blade V8 Pro performs right in line with other handsets based on that same hardware combination – phones like the summer's Moto Z Play Droid. But while that's a $400 phone, ZTE manages to sell the V8 Pro for significantly less, making this kind of performance start to feel like a real bargain.

There's only one storage configuration to worry about, with 32GB of space for system resources and files. Should you need more than that, we see the return of a hybrid dual-SIM tray with support for microSD expansion – you guessed it – at the expense of that second SIM card.

AnTuTu Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 62710
Honor 6x 56493
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 46616
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 47205
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 1427
Honor 6x 1498
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 1171
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 1460
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 3528
Honor 6x 2775
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 2606
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 2856
JetStream Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 31.775
Honor 6x 26.814
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 23.337
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 21.993
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 22
Honor 6x 19
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 16
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 18
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 6.1
Honor 6x 4.8
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 4.4
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 4.5
Basemark OS II Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 1123
Honor 6x 1299
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 942
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 1001
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 822
Honor 6x 788
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 698
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
ZTE Blade V8 Pro 3017
Honor 6x 3313
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 2179

Connectivity

Even mid-rangers can show a little USB Type-C love

We just mentioned the dual-SIM option, which is hardly a rarity at this point (and admittedly, a feature we doubt a significant percentage of users even tap into), but it's still very much a feature in favor of the Blade V8 Pro's connectivity suite.

The phone supports LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, and 12, and during our testing we had no problem operating the handset on AT&T's network. There's no real surprises in the wireless connectivity field, with the expected assortment of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. NFC compatibility is present, while the phone skips other extras like infrared.

One pleasant addition lands in the wired connectivity department, with the phone picking up a USB Type-C port. While that's hardly going to convince you to buy the Blade V8 Pro on its own, it's still something that's easily overlooked on mid-range handsets – “why waste fancy new hardware on budget phones?” we can almost hear manufacturers asking themselves – so it still manages to be something we do notice when it is present.

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