• Welcome to our feature - 'Chinese Import Device of the Week'. Here at MoDaCo we've developed something of an obsession with scouring the likes of AliExpress for interesting (and super cheap) devices, so we want to help you find the interesting ones!

    We'll be covering generic brand devices as well as the better known brands like Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei, with highlights and lowlights together with reviews of some of them both from the team and from MoDaCo members. This week we're looking at one of the 'big brand' devices... the ZTE V970.

    What is it and what makes it worth of CIDotW?

    The ZTE V970 is another Dual Core, Dual SIM Android phone. It shares it's body with the UK ZTE Grand X (bar the silver rim it looks virtually identical), but the internals are quite different.

    Instead of the Tegra 2 setup on the Grand X, the V970 has the dual core Mediatek 6577 chipset. Coupled with a 4.3" qHD IPS screen, 4GB of storage (expandable via microSD) and 1GB RAM the package is pretty appealing.

    How about if I told you it came in at just a shade over £110? :)

    What's the specs?

    The device features...

    • Dual SIM
    • 4.3" qHD IPS screen
    • Android 4.0.4
    • GPS
    • MTK6577 Dual Core CPU
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4GB ROM
    • microSD expansion
    • 5.0 Megapixel camera, with auto foucs, LED light, 720P video recording
    • 1600mAh battery
    • 127.4 x 65 x 9.9mm
    • 140g
      How much, from where?

      The V970 comes in at $179.99 plus delivery from this seller on AliExpress. In this instance I can personally vouch for the seller - I bought one from them and it's arrived safe and well (I opted for DHL delivery). :) Note that you may be charged import duty on the phone and express delivery is also available at additional cost.

      You've got one, what do you think of it?

      I have... and i'll be writing a review! First impressions are very good, it definitely feels well made, I like the textured battery cover that we've seen before on the Grand X. The screen is excellent at the price point (although with some uneven lighting at the edges) and the software feels snappy. As one would expect, the software build is very Chinese - no Google apps here - but in 5 minutes flat I'd rooted, installed the Play Store and downloaded some apps. No big issue then. :) I haven't used the camera much yet, but I don't expect anything particularly exceptional... it does take pictures fast though.

      I'll post more of my impressions here as I use it (it literally just arrived!) and keep an eye out for the full review.

      Pros and cons?

      Pros
      • Cheap!
      • Hackable
      • Good dual SIM functionality
      • Decent performance
      • Good screen

      Cons

        [*]Warranty claims may well be troublesome if required

        [*]Google Play Store may not come pre-installed

        [*]Free slow delivery is often slow

        [*]Upgradeability to future OS releases is very much unknown

        Do you have the ZTE V970?

        Do you agree / disagree with my thoughts? Post below!

        v970.png


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    User Feedback




    all these phones look great however without some sort of support they pritty rubbish for the average user

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    could you try using it as wifi hotspot? looking at getting 2nd phone for use as hotspot & spare if needed

    cheers

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    I'd normally give these cheap chinese handsets a go, but within the last year or so, the most used feature on my phone has been the camera (incessantly snapping my new baby), so my next phone absolutely must have a good camera.

    I would say that the camera module on these phones is probably one place they can't really compete with the big boys in the market?

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    I'd normally give these cheap chinese handsets a go, but within the last year or so, the most used feature on my phone has been the camera (incessantly snapping my new baby), so my next phone absolutely must have a good camera.

    I would say that the camera module on these phones is probably one place they can't really compete with the big boys in the market?

    They can do but the price would have to be increased. The camera is one of the most expensive parts of any smartphone and the most expensive part of the camera (and the part that makes the biggest difference) is the lens.

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    The MT6577 is designed to deliver rich multimedia experiences, with an 8MP camera, support for up-to high-definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high-resolution displays up to HD720 (1280x720) resolution. The platform also pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM. The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575, allowing handset manufacturers to easily produce multiple tiers of devices leveraging a single PCBA hardware development effort.

    found here, so 720p screen res and 8mp camera are the maximum a MT6577 can do.

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    How does it compare to the ZTE Grand X, which in your review you felt disappointed with. Does it represent a better buy, and have they addressed any/all of the shortcomings that you found on the Grand X?

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    Very much looking forward to an indepth review of this device - at first glance is seems like a very competent device for pocket-change.

    The first thing I'd like to know - is the digitizer/screen as fingerprint-tastic and dificult to see in sunlight as the Grand X?

    I might just buy one anyway, I'm sure I wouldn't lose a fortune if I decided it was not for me and stuck in on eBay.

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    How is the battery life Paul?

    Also, does the GPS lock-on quickly and function reasonably

    cheers!

    J

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    I recieved this phone yesterday and I must say that I am impressed with it. It cost me $220 and I got specs comparable to phones way more expensive.

    The first thing that struck me is how light it is. When I compare to my old ZTE Blade it feels like it's lighter eventhough it's quite a bit larger. Everything is snappy and I haven't had any problems when installing apps so far. I ordered mine from etotalk with their custom ROM so I got play store installed and all chinese apps removed.

    The only problem I've had so far is that the phone thinks that I am roaming. I use the SIM from my old phone (bought in Sweden) that both works perfectly and does not consider me roaming. The new phone lets me surf but only if I say "Allow roaming on mobile network". Anyone who has any knowledge about this? APN settings are same as on my old phone. Are there any country settings or such that I should set? It might believe that the phone's "home country" is China?

    I also haven't been able to do a backup using etotalks custom recovery. It seems to hang on "Backing up boot image", this could be that I didn't wait long enough though.

    I'll come back with more information when I've had some time to use the phone.

    EDIT: I changed my IMEI numbers from 86** to 35** but it still says roaming. My provider sent me an SMS with APN information though. I choose that APN but still roaming.

    Edited by whettingstone
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    The only problem I've had so far is that the phone thinks that I am roaming. I use the SIM from my old phone (bought in Sweden) that both works perfectly and does not consider me roaming. The new phone lets me surf but only if I say "Allow roaming on mobile network". Anyone who has any knowledge about this?

    Anychance your provider is using MVNO network? I noticed someone mentioned an issue with MVNO networks in XDA thread about V970.

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    Hello chaps!

    How is the battery life? :)

    How is the screen in sunlight and is the GPS functionality OK?

    cheers!

    J

    Edited by jimac
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