ZTE Score (x500) Product Review

Welcome back ladies and gentleman. This time I plan on reviewing the ZTE Score (x500). I purchased this phone (I use the term “purchased” loosely you’ll see why later.) a little over a month ago. It was my first smartphone so I wanted to wait at least a month before I reviewed it because I wanted to wait for that exciting endorphin rush to wear off.

OS: Android 2.3(gingerbread)
Weight: 4.5oz (128g)
Display: 3.5in
Resolution: 320×480
Processor: 600MHz
Camera: 3.2Mpx
Storage: MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32gb)

This is a really nice phone created by ZTE for Cricket Wireless. As you can see from my spec table it runs Android 2.3 gingerbread which I really like.  It weighs in at 4.5oz which is on par with many phones today. The Display is the largest supported display and the resolution is really awesome as well. The 600MHz processor cranks out more power than I will ever need and I am a hardcore user. The phone runs on the sprint network, and while I have heard some people complain about signal on Sprint I have had absolutely no problem with signal whatsoever. It supports SMS and MMS and displays them in a threaded form, the included email app supports  IMAP/POP3/SMTP and the Gmail app comes with it. It supports full web browsing and I have had amazing results with that. Unlike most smart phones I have encountered though it doesn’t use the “pinch” zoom instead opting for a double tap for a standard zoom and a small +/- button to adjust. The keyboard is a little small for me but I have abnormally wide thumbs and most keyboards don’t suit me so I don’t see that as a problem. The battery can drain pretty quickly if you aren’t paying attention but as long as you remember the cardinal rule of new cell phones (Let them charge fully and die fully twice straight out of the box) the battery life is comparable to every other phone I’ve ever had.

Now that the technical crap’s out of the way let me tell you, this phone is amazing. It is responsive to the touch, It has an SD Slot and comes with included 4Gb SD card. It does come preinstalled with some crappy game trials you can’t really toss easily, but what phone doesn’t. The MuveMusic feature ($10/month from cricket) was something I didn’t expect to really get into but I found that when I was out and about I would suddenly hear or see something that would remind me of something to download. I now have almost 1000 songs on my SD card. The awesome part about Muve is they have a fairly wide selection and Shazam (music identifier) is built in. The down side to Muve is in order to use it you need a special MuveMusic SD card. The included SD card is a Muve card but that means that 3Gb of my SD card can only be used for Muve while I am left with 1Gb of personal space. They do of course sell varying SD card sizes. The sound quality through either headphones (not included) or the loudspeaker is top notch. The phone does have GPS capability and included GPS software. It also comes preset for voice recognition, whether sending an sms, searching the web, or getting directions. It is really a handy feature when your hands are full or maybe you just can’t muster the energy to type on the onscreen keyboard.

On the negative side this phone has no flash for it’s 3.2 Mpx camera. I don’t personally mind because I don’t take a ton of photos and when I do I am usually in well lit places and it does have a decent zoom and a filter so your pictures don’t come out too washed out. Also I have yet to return to the Cricket store but about a week ago the phone refused to charge on the charger that was included. Luckily I am a tech nerd and had about 7 chargers lying around and one of the other chargers worked just fine. I will be bringing the phone and charger back into the store shortly to discuss this problem. But those are the only problems I could find with it.

All in all I would say this was an excellent buy. Oh and I didn’t even have to pay for it because when I stopped into my local Cricket store to inquire about it in mid-December they had a deal where they were giving it away free when you payed for your first month.

This is a real handy phone for anyone looking for a cheap and easy smartphone solution. This is also an excellent phone for music lovers or anyone looking for a cheap throw away android… (did I just say that?). It’s hard for me to think of many people, in the market for a smartphone, who wouldn’t enjoy this phone. As for those not in the market, for only 69.99 on cricket’s website, it’s practically a steal.

I have included some photos for sizing and also to show the case that I purchased from my local Cricket dealer ($25 and worth every penny.

4.75 inches tall with case

4.75 inches tall with case

2.75 inches wide with case

2.75 inches wide with case

4.375 tall without case

4.375 inches tall without case

2.375in wide without case

2.375 inches wide without case

For a full page of photo’s of the phone, and the case please click here.

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