- Bright, crisp display with wide viewing angles
- Decent battery life
- Relatively smooth and snappy performance
- Poor call quality
- Sluggish data connection
- Screen attracts and retains fingerprint smudges
Like other ZTE phones, the Vital is targeted towards budget-minded consumers. Despite the budget price tag, the device impressed reviewers with its overall performance and quality. At 5.59 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide, the handset doesn't easily fit into standard jean pockets. Fortunately, critics found that it was comfortable and easy to use one-handed due to the soft-touch back cover and gently sloped edges.
Unlike standard budget phones, ZTE opted for a 5 inch IPS display with a 720 pixel resolution. Although it pales in comparison to more high-end phones like the iPhone 5, the ZTE display still manages a decent 293ppi. The quality surprised testers as it provided them with wide viewing angles, vivid graphics and good bright light legibility. Engadget does note, however, that while the whites are fairly bright, the blacks are lighter than AMOLED displays. Like most smartphones, the screen offers capacitive touch, which CNET says is, "adequately sensitive and responsive…" Unfortunately, the screen was found to retain fingerprint smudges, which eventually impacted touch performance as they built up.
Behind the screen lies a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. While not the fastest smartphone available the Qaudrant benchmark test placed the ZTE Vital above both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Express. Real-life tests back up these results as experts describe the phone as "snappy" and had no issues with lag when opening or using apps. In order to keep running, ZTE equipped the device with a 2,500mAh battery. Digital Trends tests clock the battery life at 9 hours with heavy usage though they also say, "conservative usage owners might be able to squeeze a longer day out of it."
To appeal to the phonographers, the ZTE Vital offers a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera and a slew of editing options. For the most part, reviewers had no complaints about the overall image sharpness or color accuracy in regular lighting. In bright light, however, PC Mag noticed that light colors got washed out and the camera had difficulty capturing both dark and bright areas.
While the "smart" aspect of the ZTE Vital works well, many reviewers were disappointed with the phone aspect. Reviewers experienced poor signal, tinny voice quality and numerous dropped calls. When connecting to the LTE network, even in areas with good reception, critics were met with sluggish connectivity speeds.
Despite a few issues, most experts had favorable reviews of the ZTE Vital though Phone Arena goes on to say, "Despite being aging, previous flagships…remain more compelling offerings at the same price point."
What the Critics Are Saying...
- K. T. Bradford, Digital Trends
The Sprint Vital fits comfortably in with other mid-range Android phones in the $50 – $100 price range. It combines some elements and features found on flagship phones with internal hardware that was high end last year and is now affordable. Call quality and battery life aren’t great, es...
- Brad Molen, Engadget
So where does this leave our assessment of the Vital? Overall, it's a pleasant device to use, though it has very few qualities that make it memorable. There's not much about the handset we truly loathe, but mainstream consumers are becoming much more picky about what they carry. On one hand, this pa...
- Brian K., PhoneArena
ZTE continues to make solid handsets for the budget minded, but their problem is that they just can’t stack up with the big boys. The display, system performance and build quality are all good, but not great, and the Vital takes a serious hit in the phone performance categories.
- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop
The ZTE Vital is a bit of a puzzler for me. Though ZTE did a good job with the hardware and design, there are some fundamental functionality issues that concern me. For one, the poor behavior on Sprint's network, the crummy call quality, and the slow data performance. These are all things that moder...
- Zach Epstein, BGR
A $99 off-brand handset is not supposed to feature a gorgeous 5-inch break-resistant display with HD resolution. It’s also not supposed to include a terrific 13-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 + LE, fantastic battery life and stock Jelly Bean. Sprint’s Vital is defini...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Vital user manual here.
ZTE backs up the Vital with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Vital 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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Manuals / User Guides
- ZTE Vital Quick Start Guide (PDF)
- ZTE Vital Manual (PDF)
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