ZTE isn’t one of the more popular cell phone manufacturers, but this Chinese firm makes pretty impressive handsets. The ZTE Tania, for example, is a dirt-cheap that performs surprisingly on a limited budget. And if any of these perks are right up your alley, we recommend taking a chance on a relatively unknown phone.
This has less to do with ZTE than it has to do with Windows, but it’s worth mentioning. The ZTE Tania phone comes pre-installed with an Office hub that puts you in touch with mobile versions of OneNote, Word, Excel, SharePoint, Office 365 and PowerPoint. It’s great for creating, tweaking and getting assignments in just under the deadline. And anything you do on your phone can be linked to any PC, laptop or tablet via SkyDrive.
The ZTE Tania’s 5MP camera and LED flash are surprisingly functional. The shutter speed is a little on the slow side, but most pictures turn out well and colors are true to life. There are lots of fun filters and you can set pictures to automatically upload to the free SkyDrive cloud service.
It can also take fairly decent 720p video. Unfortunately because the ZTE Tania only has 4GB (just under 3GB readily available) of internal storage with no microSD card, you will be severely limited in the amount of video you can store on the phone.
3. Battery Life
In today’s market, a removable battery is a big deal. Especially for people who frequently travel or forget to charge. So we were happy to see that feature in the ZTE Tania.
And although the included battery is only 1400mAh, it lasts surprisingly long. You’ll easy get a day to a day and a half’s usage on a single charge. If you need more mileage out of your phone, there are several Battery Save options that help you reduce the power drain and keep track of how much life you have left.
The ZTE Tania’s 4.3-inch 800×400 display isn’t top of the line, but it’s good enough to make browsing fun. And on Windows 7.5 Mango, you get localized web searches that incorporate your frequently visited websites, local services and images tailored to fit your needs. You’re much more likely to find what you need right off the bat and that’s important when you’re already in the car and you need instantaneous results.
Once you find what you need, you can even pin your favorite web pages to the Start screen for easy viewing. There is a little blurring when you scroll (there’s only 512MB of RAM and a 1GHz processor) but seeing as that was our biggest complaint, that’s not too shabby.
For people who like to stay connected, this may be the ZTE Tania’s best feature. Once you log into Windows Live, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter the Windows OS immediately merges those contacts with your phone’s contacts list.
And to keep things from getting two crowded, Mango merges similar accounts. Consequently, each contact gets its own personal hub with all of their accounts listed neatly below their smiling face. But Windows didn’t just stop social media integration there. You also get a narrow window of those contacts’ latest news feeds from their various accounts so you never miss out on pictures of their cats.
With Virgin Mobile, the ZTE Tania phone is free with a month-to-month contract. And considering what this phone can do, that’s a pretty good deal.