ZTE‘s upcoming Axon M might end up being one of the more interesting devices to close out 2017 with, but that doesn’t mean the Chinese manufacturer has forgotten about more typical designs. Enter the Blade Force, the latest addition to ZTE’s Blade series of phones that looks to deliver the goods in an affordable package.
One of the Blade Force’s more notable features is the its inclusion of Sprint‘s High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) technology. In general, HPUE allows Sprint’s current network (and Sprint MVNOs like Boost Mobile) to offer faster speeds, increased coverage, and more capacity for devices that utilize the technology. On a slightly more technical level, HPUE lets users experience the benefits of mid-band spectrum, such as wide coverage, and the benefits of capacity that high-band spectrum gets, all in one package.
Not only does the Blade Force support HPUE technology, but it is also the cheapest smartphone on Sprint that does so. The technology is usually found in more higher-priced phones, so it’s nice to see it trickle down to more inexpensive handsets.
Apart from that, the Blade Force is rather unremarkable on paper, with the phone featuring a 5.5-inch IPS HD display, 8 MP main camera, 5 MP selfie camera, a 1.4 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 processor, and 2 GB of RAM. You can tack on an additional 128 GB on the 16 GB of native storage through the microSD card slot, and the 3,000 mAh battery should keep the lights on for a full day of use.
Finally, the Blade Force runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, which is a bit depressing, since Android Oreo is already available for manufacturers to play with.
If something about the Blade Force caught your eye, the phone is now available through Boost Mobile for $130.