When Apple and Samsung developed and released their own brand smartwatches, there were a lot of oohs and aahhs. Both have that “watch of the future” appeal, which most manufacturers have struggled to produce. They hit it in the nail with the Apple watch and Gear S models. Manufacturers such as LG, Asus, and Motorola have produced great options for buyers that want the Android wear experience, but there are different styles of build, quality and looks. In April, ZTE and T-Mobile took the center stage and produced a nice watch. Sorry I didn’t exaggerate it but it’s just that a decent looking smartwatch with a awesome price point. It can be yours for about $192.
The first thing I want to get into is the design . The watch design has nice look and it is not overly flashy catching either.
It’s build is similar to the Gear S3, however there is just something lacking when comparing the two design wise. The Gear S3 just has more of a refined finished and look. Now, I’m not saying the design is not lovely, there are just different volumes between them. The touch screen is a large 400×400 1.4 inch Amoled. The colors are accurate, vibrant and can definitely hold its own versus the competition.
Can we please just get this out of the way, the watch bands? Wow! They have got to be the worst included watch bands I’ve ever had on my wrist. As comparison, I have used the LG watch Urbane 2, and it’s known for having a rather unappealing and rather restrictive band. However, they didn’t feel as cheap and knock off worthy as the ZTE Quartz .Take a look at the above picture. As heads up, switch it out for something different. Moving on, there are far and few carrier smart watches that have carrier 4G. In the case of the ZTE Quartz, it has 3G. Yep, you heard me right, 3G. I’ll ask this, do we really need a watch with 4G or 3G? It’s nice, but are we in a day where 4G connectivity in a smart watch is necessary. In my opinion, not yet. We still need to have an Android device with the Android Wear app to sync or add certain things. Most of the service is funneled through the phone to the watch anyway.
Speaking of Android Wear, one of the greatest things about this watch is that it showcases the potential and allure of the newly released Android Wear 2.0. For those that aren’t aware, there are currently 3 or 4 watches that have Android Wear 2.0. Basically 2 of them are on 4G/LTE carriers, one of which is the LG watch sport and it has sold quite a bit. After using the LG watch Urbane 2, I honestly couldn’t stand how Android Wear 1.5 ran. It was choppy and just felt more rushed than the 2.0. Many people, like myself, waited almost year for the full OTA release to update from that awful 1.5. After all that time, Google instead presented new watches with it instead. Many like myself were still left waiting and wondering, “will my Moto 360 2nd generation get the update”. Alas, the ZTE Quartz was released to T-Mobile. For the most part, the Android Wear 2.0 flies on this smart watch. The Snapdragon 2100 processor assisting makes this one of fastest smart watches. Towards the bottom, there is a hands on video of Android Wear 2.0. It will give you a more detailed review of the latest software, as well as, what’s new. The watch comes with IP67 water resistance. That is a steal if you ask me. With that said, we are lacking NFC and a heart monitor. Personally, I have mixed feelings about these missing features. They were never as important until you realize that you don’t have the feature. That is when you will begin to miss them. Also, remembering how many steps you took all day and if you don’t feel like reaching in your pocket for your phone, so you use your watch to do a mobile payment.
So on to battery, with 500mah of power, the watch shouldn’t fail right… Well, the battery life is quite good. ZTE states that the watch is able to last 36hrs or more. In reality, it will only last about 24 to 48 hours with normal use. That’s still better considering the competition. I personally think that smart watches are becoming a need in life versus a want. ZTE took a chance with this watch and it shows potential without breaking the bank, much like the ZTE AXON 7 devices they released earlier.
As someone who wasn’t aware of this initially, Samsung Galaxy devices and most non-stock Android devices can’t place or receive calls through Android Wear 2.0 yet. For whatever reason whenever I was receiving a call, all the watch allows you to do is forward. So, unless you have a One Plus Moto, Pixel or a Nexus, you may have to wait until the next patch is released.
Hands on with Android Wear 2.0