ZTE Blade V8 Pro Review
As may not surprise you from our discussion about sub-par volume output from the Blade V8 Pro's speaker, voice calls can also be a little on the quiet side. Not so quiet that we couldn't hold a conversation (much like the speaker itself should be plenty adequate so long as you aren't fighting against a ton of ambient noise), but we did find ourselves asking callers to repeat themselves occasionally.
That's not helped by the phone's size, and while this 5.5-incher is only slightly larger than other similarly equipped models, the effect is enough that the phone just feels big in your hand – such that we found ourselves very aware of the V8 Pro's size and and how we were holding it.
Extra-fast charging and day-long screen-on time is a battery match made in heaven
Blade V8 Pro's 3,140mAh battery adds up to a phone that won't struggle to achieve day-long battery life; in our custom tests we measured about eleven-and-a-half hours of continuous screen-on time. That's damn impressive, and while we might have been able to live with slightly less stamina if that gave us a thinner, lighter phone (which – we know – is almost sacrilegious to say, but the V8 Pro really does have battery life to spare), we can very much appreciate ZTE's choice to give this handset all the juice it needs.
Not only is that battery life longer than competitors like the Honor 6X, but the ZTE Blade V8 Pro charges over twice as fast as that phone; with its included fast charger, that big 3,140mAh battery went from zero to full in a scant ninety minutes.
It should suffice to say that if battery life is a major concern of yours, the V8 Pro absolutely delivers. Maybe the only way ZTE could improve things would be if the phone also supported wireless charging.
As is only befitting a mid-ranger, the ZTE Blade V8 Pro is a story of hits and misses. In the win category, performance is decent, battery life is stellar, and still photography really shines with the phone's dual cameras.
We'd love it if the phone had a slightly tighter build, louder speaker, and delivered more impressive video recording, but none of these are deal-breakers by a long stretch – if anything, they just have us appreciating where the V8 Pro succeeds all the more.
Maybe the most important consideration when evaluating the Blade V8 Pro is pricing, and there's little room for discussion here: ZTE absolutely nails it with a stunningly affordable $230 sticker price. That's not only more affordable than the Honor 6X, but the V8 Pro's faster performance, longer-lasting and faster-charging battery, and arguably more successful camera add up to make it an even better value, dollar-for-dollar.
It's not the perfect budget phone, but it hits a whole lot of critical stops on the way to that goal. With another few tweaks here and there, ZTE's next mid-ranger could easily change our expectations for the sort of quality we can hope to get from one very affordable smartphone.