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That results in shots like what you see above, where the lower half of my face is properly exposed, but my forehead and hat are considerably blurrier. That said, I prefer ZTE's method of lighting the scene to Motorola's, which, again, tries far too hard to dial in more saturation that necessary. Processing power is usually at odds with price, and the Blade Max View is further proof of that.

More casual titles like Super Mario Run are well within the Blade Max View's wheelhouse; the phone gets warm to the touch, but the experience is at least smooth. The Blade Max View's delivered underwhelming results in Geekbench 4, a test of overall performance.

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There, the device topped out with a multicore score of 2, — about 1, points behind the Moto G6 and its peppier Snapdragon silicon. The Blade Max View may have its fair share of shortcomings, though running out of juice too quickly isn't one of them. ZTE's latest budget offering lasted nearly 13 hours in our battery test, calling it quits after an impressive 12 hours and 48 minutes.

That's several hours longer than the vast majority of devices in its price range, and can be attributed to the device's beefy 4,mAh power pack. Unfortunately, one other thing that can be attributed to that massive battery is how long the Blade Max View takes to grab a full charge. The Blade Max View's efficiency certainly makes the lengthy charging times easier to swallow. However, considering the phone needs a long overnight charge to be usable the next day, it's still not spectacularly easy to live with.

There's really no excuse to launch a smartphone at any price with software that's two years out of date, yet that's exactly what ZTE has done with the Blade Max View. ZTE recently pushed out an update to Android 8. And it's not even a clean install at that — ZTE's flavor of Android is stock in some ways, but unnecessarily duplicates most of Google's apps and services. That means you get a second internet browser that is worse than Chrome and strangely can't be disabled, as well as an extra photo gallery and music player that you'll probably never use.

While I appreciate the spacious display, maybe quite not so much of it needs to be taken by oversize navigation keys. And who thought it'd be a good idea to replace Android's traditional swipe-up-to-unlock behavior with a press-and-hold? Considering Oreo only just became available, we wouldn't hold out hope for an update to Android 9 Pie during the device's life span. Perhaps ZTE should have just kept things simple and gone the Android One route, as budget phone specialists Nokia and Motorola have done lately to great success.

It has a decent display, lasts pretty long on a charge and provides you with some respectable cameras for what little you're paying. The problem is, that's not really enough to get our attention in a very crowded market for budget phones, where serviceable full-HD LCD screens are not hard to come by, and energy-efficient mobile chipsets typically grant long battery life.

From calls dropping to slow streaming, bad signal can be the bane of our existence. Do your best to narrow it down to which one is causing the most trouble. Move to a better location. Check for coverage issues in your area. Before you drive yourself nuts trying all these steps, you can reach out to your carrier and ask if there are any coverage issues such as a downed tower or one under maintenance in your immediate area.

Perform a signal refresh.

How to find a lost ZTE Majesty Pro LTE Z798BL

Read More. The debate over whether and when to give kids cell phones stretches back to the dawn of smartphones. Early attempts at balancing the empowerment of mobile technology with the control of parental oversight included novel and limited feature phones Firefly Mobile , an MVNO specifically for kids Kajeet , and specialized handsets from major carriers LG's Migo.

More recently, we've seen parental tools for standard smartphones such as Google's Family Link soon to be integrated in Android Q as well as the audio-only concept Relay from Republic Wireless. Also: Facebook and Instagram don't wreck kids' lives, claims new study. Now, Gabb Wireless , a startup braving the unforgiving world of mobile virtual network operators, is hitting Indiegogo to fund a heavily modified ZTE Android device.

It has the looks and operation of a smartphone but has the feature set of a messaging device.


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The Gabb Phone is an LTE capacitive touchscreen phone with the appearance and specs of a prepaid entry-level smartphone, including a 5 MP rear camera. But it's capable only of calls, plain text messages no MMS support to avoid obscene images , a calendar and calculator. As one might expect of a smartphone designed to discourage distraction among kids, there are no social apps and no games. But there's also no email, no media player, no browser and no app store.

The removal of many of the standard apps certainly helps reduce potential loopholes for unsafe content. Last year, for example, disturbing content appeared on the supposedly kid-friendly YouTube Kids website and app. Google responded with a mix of relying on trusted partners and granular parental controls. Nevertheless, the absence of any app store is the most surprising aspect of the Gabb Phone.

Sure, Google Play is filled with lots of content that's not suitable for kids and even Amazon's more limited app store offers plenty of time-stealers.

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But why not populate its own app store with useful, educational content? Gabb argues that cutting off all new apps removes any decision burdens on parents.

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Removing the app store, the company reasons, removes arguments about what apps can be allowed or at least shifts the argument to what phone should be used. Indeed, most other carriers wouldn't be too eager to have such a phone in its portfolio as the device has no need for a data plan as configured. Best Phones for Indeed, not all of Gabb's omissions are necessarily helpful to parents. For example, one popular feature offered by Google's Family Link app is the ability to pinpoint the location of the phone on a map and, in some similar apps, even set up alerts when certain geofences are crossed.

The Gabb Phone offers no such tracking. While the company acknowledges interest in such a feature, the lack of cellular data makes implementation challenging.