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ZTE Source
ZTE Source
ZTE Source
ZTE Source

Informr score
The ZTE Source currently has an Informr score of 4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 2 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Good touch screen sensitivity and responsiveness
  • Budget-friendly

What's bad

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Occasional lag when opening tasks
  • Middling camera performance

The ZTE Source is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers 4G LTE coverage. Although the chassis is made entirely of plastic, reviewers found it to be quite bulky, weighing 142 grams and measuring 5.31 x 2.64 x 0.4 inches. Experts also discovered that the case attracts a lot of fingerprints and oils due to the matte soft-touch coating, especially around the removable battery cover.

The 4.5-inch TFT display has a resolution of 480x854 and a pixel density of 218ppi. Some graininess was noted when viewing HD videos and images; however most found that it was not that big of a distraction. Critics go on to say that the display offers decent color reproduction and screen sensitivity.

On the back of the display is a 5MP camera. Experts warn that the camera is only good for informal shots as it suffers from poor color fidelity, poor focus and digital noise. There are numerous pre-installed camera apps to help capture better images as well as a flash. On the front is a 1MP camera for video conferencing.

The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Daily tasks launched in a satisfactory amount of time for experts though they did notice some lag occasionally. When playing graphics intensive games, critics were surprised that they did not experience any stuttering or force quits, though they also mention that the frame rate was relatively low as well.

Nestled behind the removable battery cover is a 2,070mAh battery. ZTE reports that the battery has a talk time of 15 hours and standby time of 10.5 days. After synthetic benchmark tests, actual standby time looks to be around 1.5 days and 8 hours talk time.

Aside from the relatively mediocre hardware and display, the ZTE Source also has a fairly high radiation level. According to FCC radiation measurements, the phone has a SAR rating of 1.41W/kg. As the scale ranges from 0 to 1.60, 1.41 is a relatively high number, though still within the safe limit. Still, there are other ZTE phones with less radiation like the Warp 4G.

Overall, reviewers find the ZTE Source to be a decent phone for the price, though they would still recommend other handsets. CNET states, "The ZTE Source is a satisfying, low-cost option. But if you can spare another $60, opt for the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2…if you're not tied to the carrier, other phones are worth considering."

Operating system
Operating system
1.2 GHz
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
5+ MP
5+ MP
2070 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


The ZTE Source offers Cricket customers inexpensive LTE, but if you can spare a bit more money, pass it over for better devices.

- Lynn La, Cnet

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Source user manual here.

ZTE backs up the Source with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Source has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact ZTE support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find ZTE's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The ZTE Source's screen size is 4.5 inches with x pixels resolution.

1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm SnapDragon MSM8930 Dual core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ MP camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.


Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2070 mAh battery. ZTE's performance ratings are 10.4 days standby time.

ZTE Source Specs

Release Date October 17, 2013
Regions Available USA
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SnapDragon MSM8930 Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage No
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.41 W/kg
Body: 1.28 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
1xRTT, EV-DO Rev. A, LTE
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
5+ Megapixels
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, Scene mode, Blink detection
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
1+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel Density 218 pixels
Size 4.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2070 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to 10.4 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.5 x 6.7 x 1.0 cm (5.3 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 142 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Messaging: SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA: Yes
Graphics: Yes
Backlit Illumination: Yes
Zoom / Magnification: Yes
Screen Orientation Lock: Yes
Predictive Text Entry: Swype
Voicemail Key: Yes
Voice Commands: Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock: Yes
Multiple Numbers Per Contact: Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups: Yes
Auto Answer: Yes
Voice Activated Dialing: Yes
Photo Caller ID: Yes
Web Browser: Yes
Email Client: Yes
Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
PC Synchronization: Yes
Audio Formats: MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV, M4A, OGG, AMR-NB
Video Playback Formats: 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video: Yes
Custom Ringtones: Yes
Vibration Alert: Yes
Downloadable Ringtones: Yes
Ringer ID: Yes
Speakerphone: Yes
Haptic Feedback: Yes
Data Tethering: Yes
Mobile Hotspot: Yes
Games: Downloadable
Apps: Downloadable
Included Software / Apps: -
Calendar, World Clock, Alarm, Stop Watch, Timer, Calculator, Weather, Maps, NotePad, Voice Memos / Recorder

Other Names (AKA): ZTE N9511
Related Links Manual (PDF)
ZTE Source Reviews
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