Friday, August 24, 2012

ZTE V970 (Dual SIM with 3G support)

Introduction

Approximately one month after MediaTek's official launch of the new MT6577 platform, the first devices based on that same chipset started to emerge...

The usual replicas of the hottest smartphones available on the market will always continue to appear, but also big Chinese companies are betting hard on MediaTek platforms. Lenovo is a great example of that, with some successful models such as A60 (MT6573), A750 (MT6575) and the most recently released A789 (MT6577).

Another known Chinese manufacturer choosing MediaTek platforms to power its devices is ZTE. By 2011, ZTE was the world's fifth-largest telecommunications equipment maker measured by its revenues and the world's fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer measured by unit sales. This review will cover details about the newly released ZTE V970, a dual SIM smartphone based on MT6577 chipset.

Specifications

Chipset

Name:MediaTek MT6577
CPU:Dual-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex™-A9
GPU:PowerVR™ SGX 531
Instruction set:ARMv7

Software environment

Embedded:OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Body

Dimensions
(width x height x depth):
127.4 x 65 x 9.9 millimetres
Weigth:140 grams (battery included)
Color:Black

Battery

Capacity: 1600 mAh

Memory

RAM:capacity:1 GB
ROM-capacity:4 GB
Expansion slot:microSD memory card, supporting up to 64 GB

Network support

Primary phone:GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS900, UMTS2100
Secondary phone:GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
Data links:GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA

Display

Type:IPS-LCD capacitive touchscreen
Size:4.3 inches, qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels)

Camera

Main (rear):5 megapixels with autofocus and single LED flash
Secondary (front):None

Interfaces

Bluetooth (802.15):Bluetooth 3.0 + Enhanced Data Rate
Wireless LAN / Wi-Fi (802.11):  IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
USB:USB 2.0 Client, Hi-Speed (480 Mbit/s)
USB Series Micro-B (Micro-USB) connector

Satellite navigation

Built-in GPS module:MT6620 chipset
GPS antenna:Internal
Complementary GPS services:  MediaTek EPO (Extended Prediction Orbit)

Additional features

Sensors:Gravity, Proximity and Light sensors
Analog Radio:FM radio (87.5-108 MHz) with RDS radio receiver
Others:Dedicated LED for notification of missed calls / new messages

Design and construction

The overall design of V970 is relatively sleek, resembling the Nexus S in its preference for slimness and rounded corners. The outer bezel around the display is made of metallic plastic while the back cover is made of a textured rubbery which provides good, solid grip and a nice feel when holding the phone.




There are four Android touch-keys on the bezel  –  Menu, Home, Back and Search. The buttons are illuminated by a backlight when the screen is turned on.


On the top left corner, it is placed the usual power charging LED (red colored). But in addition to that, there is also a green LED that becomes permanently lit when the battery is fully charged and also blinks as form of notification of eventual missed calls / new messages received.

The volume rocker is placed on the top left edge while the microUSB port is located further bellow.


The 3,5 mm headset jack and power button are located on the top edge.


On the back side, there's a 5 megapixels autofocus camera placed left to a single LED flash.


Placed in the lower-left corner, there is a small notch that allows you to peel off the rear cover, providing access to the SIM card slots, battery and microSD card slot.



The fact that you can access this memory expansion slot without removing the battery isn't just a matter of convenience - V970 lets you hot swap microSD memory. That means you can remove and replace memory without turning the handset off, much like you would on a computer.

Display quality

The phone features a IPS-LCD. Its 540 x 960 resolution and 4.3 inches diagonal are in line with the HTC One S, and while the 256ppi density means it doesn't approach retina display levels, it's still extremely sharp.




Functionality

This phone comes pre-installed with Android 4.0.4. It makes no sense to detail the features all over again taking into consideration that the framework from MediaTek hasn't changed much from the previous Android 4.0.3 builds. So, I'll leave here just a few screenshots and deeper details can be found under ZOPO ZP300 functionality review as the same applies to V970.



The phone supports quad-band GSM as well as UMTS 900 MHz and 2100 MHz as confirmed under hidden MTK Engineer Mode.


The stock ROM from ZTE doesn't provide access to Google services, but that situation can be easily overcome by installing the latest version of Google apps.




Final thoughts

I'm very impressed with V970 and must say that it is actually one of the best dual SIM smartphones I have ever had, leaving behind the memories of my "good old" G11i Pro.

This phone can be bought from etotalk.comZTE V970 is now available for 205.99 USD.

Highs:
  • High quality product from one of the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturers
  • Very good performance
Lows:
  • Lack of front camera

26 comments:

  1. Hi Bruno, are you planning to create and provide one of your fantastic customized ROM's? Regards, JohnDoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I will provide at least one custom ROM for ZTE V970. I already started working on it and should be released soon.

      Delete
  2. Sounds very good! Where you will provide these ROM? Thanks, JohnDoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be published on XDA forums, but I will also announce it here.

      Offtopic: please use the threaded reply feature when you want to reply to a reply.

      Delete
  3. Dear Bruno,
    Nice to hear good feedback about ZTE V970 becouse I am order the same phone 3 days before.
    Very intrested your customized version of Firmware for this phone.
    BR!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice! I will keep an eye on it...probably I will sell my A750 and buy the ZTE V970...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Bruno. How did you enter MTK Engineer Mode?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi..nice review..I'm expecting my v970 in a week time..just wandering whether the phone can become a wireless hotspot?since I'm going to tether my 3G to my tablet n laptop..
    thanx in advanced..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, wireless hotspot feature is native since Android 2.3. Make sure you read ZP300 functionality review for more details on all the features available.

      Delete
  7. Would you recommend this phone against Zopo ZP300+ MTK6577 variant? What I'm looking is build quality, durability and after sales support. Other features like camera and higher resolution screen I don't really care. And one last thing how's the performance of this phone in Google play store will I be getting a frequent "not compatible" message especially in Gameloft games? TIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would definitely recommend V970 instead of ZP300+, but that is my personal opinion. I do like the design of this ZTE phone, much more than ZOPO's design. Not to refer that the 4.3" screen size is just perfect and the bigger screen from ZP300+ makes the phone look huge.

      Regarding your question about Google Play Store, there is no problem with it.

      Delete
  8. Muito obrigado Bruno for your hard work.
    I was looking for a simple chinese non branded dual core phone, but when I saw this model and that you had already developed a ROM for this device, I bouht it inmediatly.
    It has just departed from China, by the time I get it, version 1.3 of your modded ROM will be out ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Bruno great review, i pre-ordered the Newman N1 but i should have found your review first... Now i don't know what to do, should i cancel the pre-order and buy instead this one or should wait for the Newman N1. Only because of your custom rom, any change you make one for the N1 also?

    Thanks and keep with the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Bruno great review, I just got mine today. I was expecting to get 1GB of RAM and 4GB of ROM but Android storage setting reports 512MB of RAM and 2GB ROM. I contacted the seller, she said I have to buy a software for $25 to see that it has 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM. Next I tried to download and install Apps from Google Play it does not show no error but nothing downloads and installs. I tried to download your latest ROM from your 4share folder but the folder is empty and it says file not found. Could you please, help me get a copy of your ROM, may be that fixes all. I am willing to pay if I make sure it will resolve the problems and does not void warranty.
    Kind regards
    H. Niv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, you are confusing RAM with internal storage. The phone has 1GB of RAM and that is for sure. If you go to Settings / Apps / Running, you will notice that there is displayed the amount of RAM used by the running processes and also the free RAM.

      Now, to the ROM part: almost every MT6575 and MT6577 devices have 4GB of ROM, but as you may understand part of it is used by the system and cache. Also, manufacturers have decided also to partition eMMC and create an internal sdcard. In sum, the 4GB of ROM are real, but the available internal storage partition for user data is around 750MB.

      Anyway, I have already posted the support thread where you can find my custom ROMs as well as a mod to extend internal storage (by disabling internal sdcard). Please refer to that thread as it is much more convenient to discuss this issues. Keep in mind that this is a blog, not a discussion forum.

      Delete
  11. Hi Bruno
    I need to post my success and failures on your XDA developer site, V970 thread but I will not let me. Do you have an email so I can send you my test results on V1.0 and V2.o MODs.
    You have done a great job and it is quite fascinating, Again thank you so much.
    H. Niv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please guys, don't use the blog as a discussion forum. I know that some of you can't post on the development section over XDA forum, because you need to have at least 10 posts, but make an effort to meet those requirements and use the thread that was created for that matter.

      Delete
  12. Hi Bruno,
    First of all, thanks for your great efforts for all these reviews.
    I'm currently considering between the V970 and ZP300. One part of your review on the ZP300 is very interesting to me :
    "3G can be enabled for SIM1 or SIM2 (one at a time), which means that you don't need to exchange the SIM cards from one slot to the other when you want to enable 3G data services"
    Could you advise based on your experience whether this feature is also available in V970, or only unique to ZP300 ?

    Cheers,
    Adi SN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can confirm that 3G can also be enabled for SIM1 or SIM2 (one at a time) on V970.

      Delete
  13. Hi

    I've read your review and all the comments and am looking at buying the ZTE v970 from etotalk. I was just wondering what one should expect with any Chinese Smartphone purchase? Especially those that have been unlocked and had a custom ROM like etotalk's installed? Is it realistic to expect a 95% working phone that's reliable all the time? or should I expect far more phone reboots / app crashes than an equivalent mainstream model (i.e the HTC X) Are their many Apps that you can't install on the devices from the PlayStore? How exactly is the conversion to English done as well? I'd presumed a stock android was installed in English but it sounds like some bits & pieces get left over that are in Chinese? Sorry I was searching for a "what to expect with Chinese Smartphones article" but couldn't find much.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, with any Chinese smartphone purchase you should expect it to have several Chinese applications installed and sometimes Google services are not pre-installed. That should not be too much of a problem taking into consideration that I have already released custom ROMs for it (read above comments). You can rest assured that you won't find any "bits & pieces" left over in Chinese. More, even though it is a Chinese smartphone, the OS is Android and the base language is English.

      As mentioned on the review, this phone is really one of the best dual SIM smartphones that I have ever had (and I already had many) and in terms of stability is rock solid.

      Delete
  14. Great phone, especially with your latest 4.1 rom!
    Annoyingly, the silver bexel trim looks tatty very quickly and the textured back is easily marked. Other than those minor annoyances, it;s a superb bit of kit!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You mention easily installing the latest version of google apps. How do I do that? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read some of the first comments and you'll have your answer.

      Delete