Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

    ZTE Kis Review

    ZTE were kind enough to lend us a Snow White Kis for review, but how does this ultra cheap Android handset stack up?

    Paul covered the basics of the device in the original announcement.

    Opening the Kis box, you get the Snow White Kis, a black stereo headset, black USB data cable, quick start guide and a black charger:


    To save space and cost, the USB cable also doubles as the charger cable although any micro USB cable will do the job.

    Powering on the Kis, you are greeted with a Virgin bootscreen, and then the following lockscreen:

    As the Kis runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a custom lockscreen is a blessing and a curse. Yes it's pretty, but you have to unlock the device to silence it! On the stock 2.3 lockscreen, you slide right to unlock, and slide left to silence. On Android 4.0 you can use the volume keys to silence. On the Kis's lockscreen you can do neither, you have to unlock the device... :(

    On to the hardware! The ZTE Kis features:

    • 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7225A CPU
    • Embedded 350MHz Hexagon QDSP5 DSP sound
    • GPRS, EDGE, W-CDMA/UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, MBMS baseband support
    • Qualcomm Adreno 200 Enhanced GPU with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenVG 1.1, EGL 1.3, Direct3D Mobile, SVGT 1.2, DirectDraw support
    • HVGA (320x480) 3.5" display
    • VGA (640x480) video decode
    • gpsOne Gen 7 GPS module
    • 3.15 MP camera
    • Wifi B/G/N

    The MSM7225A chipset supports up to 512MB RAM, but ZTE have decided the Kis only needs 256MB RAM to function. The chipset also supports a 5 MP camera, but ZTE have only given the Kis a 3.15 MP camera.

    The ZTE Kis feels sluggish to use, upon checking the 2.3.6 ROM build.prop it is apparent that the Adreno 200 GPU is not being utilised for drawing the screen, and the VM Heapsize is 40MB:


    From a fresh boot, with no Google account setup or any application taking extra RAM, this leaves 49MB free from start up!

    [center][lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-memory.png]kis-memory.jpg[/lightbox][/center]

    The lack of RAM becomes apparent when you are playing Angry Birds Space, the cut scenes are slow and when you exit the application, it takes a while for the launcher to reload. As mentioned above this is due to the GPU not being enabled for composition, and the VM Heapsize being too large.

    The Kis has 512MB of built in ROM storage, 234MB of this is taken up by the system partition, only 152MB is given for user data, which will be filled up so quickly you will be glad that a 2GB Micro SD is bundled with the device.

    ZTE have also given the Kis a custom launcher to go with the lockscreen:

    [center][lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-launcher1.png]kis-launcher1.jpg[/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-launcher2.png]kis-launcher2.jpg[/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-launcher3.png]kis-launcher3.jpg[/lightbox][/center]

    I find the wealth of notification settings buttons useful:

    [center][lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-notify1.png]kis-notify1.jpg[/lightbox] [lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-notify2.png]kis-notify2.jpg[/lightbox][/center]

    I like the launcher, I'm also full of please to see ZTE not bundling Facebook and Twitter into the rom, only Google+. ZTE have also bundled Touchpal, Documents to Go and their Task Manager and Filer into the rom.

    Touchpal looks far better than it was on previous ZTE devices, though because of the HVGA Screen you don't get to see much of the previous messages:

    [center][lightbox http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/kis-touchpal.png]kis-touchpal.jpg[/lightbox][/center]

    Every Virgin Mobile application is nothing more than a shortcut url to the web browser and the Virgin Mobile website, they could all be safely deleted if they were not bundled in rom.

    From the shape and the launcher, it is quite clear which device the Kis imitates:



    The ZTE Kis costs £49.99 (+£10 topup) on PAYG with 12 months free data (1GB per month) included, worth up to £60.

    In the same price bracket it competes with the LG Optimus L3, and the HTC Explorer. The HTC Explorer matches the ZTE Kis for specifications, but has 512MB RAM. The LG Optimus L3 only has a QVGA display but has 384MB RAM and 1.5GB ROM.

    The Kis is a nice device, I had no problems with call quality or data connection. As a first Android device for a new Android user, it would be a good introduction to Android and with Virgin giving you 12GB data over a year for free, it would also work as an emergency handset or even used as a satnav. Just don't expect too much from it.

      Report Item
    Sign in to follow this  

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    So ZTE won't let go of Qualcomm!.... Stubborn guys, no?

    Will they ever go pass the 2.3 Android? Since Qualcomm won't give them the libs for upper versions! (As far as I know)

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Social

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Guest
      Please delete this account aswell and notify me 
    • NOMU, in my mind, is a good phone maker, the phone is strong and tough. Only about function and practicality, nothing with beauty. But this phone, totally change my view about NOMU. Favorable opinions of NOMU double.
    • “Modern-day Blues Man” Davy Knowles has paired up with Florida based 360 VR company 1:9 Technology LLC to bring music and VR fans alike a new app. He has played with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, George Thorogood, Buddy Guy, Kid Rock, Joe Satriani, Warren Hayes, Jeff Beck, Chickenfoot, Sammy Hagar, Peter Frampton, The Grateful Dead and more. Now you can experience Davy Knowles in concert right at your fingertips on your Apple or Android! This interactive 360 live concert virtual reality app offers music fans the ability to watch, on demand, the entire Davy Knowles show recorded in 360 ° at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT.  Check out a preview on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=113&v=161ECou2sLE. A truly unique experience, the app can be used with or without google cardboard in 3-D 360. The user has the ability to select individual songs, or to watch a behind-the-scenes interview with the Davy Knowles, allowing the user to be completely immersed in the experience.  1:9 Technology’s CEO, Tim Hogg said on the release: “There truly is nothing like this available on the market today. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of the future of Virtual Reality in the entertainment industry.”  For those who do not own a Google Cardboard headset or prefer to watch in 2-D 360 ° on their mobile device, a non-Virtual Reality mode option is available from the app’s home screen.   Get a peek of the app at davyknowles360.com .  It’s available for downloads on Google Play for Android at: http://bit.ly/2oKTfFC and in the iTunes app store for IOS at: http://bit.ly/iTUnes360 .
    • IP68 and MIL-STD-810G certified. The water-proof function is guaranteed. I wonder if the drop-proof performance is as good as NOMU previous phones, after all, to have a mirror-like cover should sacrifice something.
    • Very excited to hear the good news, Uhans finally makes a step ahead. It’s not only a big step for Uhans, but also a big step for rugged phone industry. Always have a big faith in Uhans. Believe it can be better in the future.