The ZTE Skate packs in a lot of specs for £219.60. You get a 4.3″ capacitive touch screen, a 5 megapixel camera, Android 2.3 and the other usual suspects. The 800 MHz processor is of course not top of the line, but in our tests we had few issues with running multiple apps at the same time.
We did, however, notice that the scrolling was not 100% smooth as we have been used to with the Galaxy S II, but this is the main price you will pay for a device in this price range. Build quality is excellent and despite the larger than average size, everything felt solid in the hand with no creeks at all. The black plastic covering does not look high-end, we must admit, and from the back you would definitely know that this is a budget smartphone. The front is dominated by the screen and three real buttons below it. You get home, menu and back which is all you really need in Android these days. The size of the buttons is a bonus as well and despite taking almost no space on the front, they do work extremely well.
The screen is excellent to the touch and feels very natural in use, but could be better in bright conditions. For the target market, however, we don’t believe this to be a major problem. Just like the Orange San Francisco, the ZTE Skate proves that you can have a decent Android smartphone for little money. The Camera could be better and at times we struggled to take decent snaps, but with effort some good results did come through. Sadly, video capture was problematic to say the least.
We have read reports that the battery is not great on this phone, but would disagree. We have had no problems getting through one and a half days use so far, even when pushing the phone hard.
This is a quick review so we won’t to go on, but for the money we would rate the ZTE Skate as comparable to the Orange San Francisco for value. This isn’t a phone for most of people, but when compared to phones like the HTC Wildfire, it is in another league.