ZTE Kis review

Seth Barton
26 Jul 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Even cheaper than it appears, and with no major flaws, the ZTE Kis an incredible bargain



Android 2.3.6, 3.5in 480x320 display

Usually we shy away from introductory paragraphs about how expensive things used to be and how cheap they are now, but the falling prices of Android smartphones justify just such a tired intro format. Two years ago the idea of a pay-as-you-go smartphone was pretty outlandish, with SIM-free devices costing at least £400. Even earlier this year, with prices tumbling, we wowed at £100 smartphones. Now just six months on that figure has been practically halved to just £60.


The earpiece makes the Kis a little reminiscent of an iPhone

In fact, the ZTE Kis is even cheaper than that price first suggests. Buy it today and you'll get a £10 voucher thrown in for calls and texts, 300 free text messages (worth £30), 1GB of data a month for a year, plus 100 free minutes of calls if you port your number over. Add all that up and Virgin Media is practically giving away the handset to get your business.


Amazingly then, the handset itself is actually pretty decent. It's tastefully finished in black, black and more black; with a lightly rubberised finish on the rear. It feels very sturdy, with no flex or creaking parts. There's a volume rocker and power button, plus four touch sensitive buttons below the screen for Menu, Home, Back and Search. These proved consistently responsive, though the haptic feedback is a bit weedy.


It feels sturdy and well built

The 3.5in screen is surprisingly capable. We've seen more expensive handsets using 240x320 resolution displays, so were delighted to find a 320x480 resolution here. It's hardly luxurious, but Android is perfectly usable at this resolution with regards to texting, emailing and watching videos on the little screen. The display quality isn't great, being a little dull and with narrow viewing angles, but again it's on a par with phones that cost twice as much.

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