It’s a battle of the budget Android this time around, as we compare the ZTE Skate with Huawei’s Blaze

Not everyone has heaps of expendable income just waiting to be splashed on the latest dual-core Android or iPhone. Some of us set a budget and stick to it. But where does that leave us when it comes to picking up a smartphone?
Well, thankfully there’s plenty of choice and among the leading sensibly priced devices Huawei’s Blaze and ZTE’s Skate stand-out as genuine contenders. But how do these two budget marvels stack up against each other?
Let’s find out.

ZTE’s Skate features a 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen that operates at a resolution of 480 x 800 and displays 16 million colours. The device also offers a decent pixel density of 217ppi, putting it way above the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Ace, and other so-called budget smartphones.
The Huawei Blaze offers up a 3.2-inch TFT display that operates at a resolution of 480 x 320, displays 16 million colours and features a pixel density of 180ppi – which is considerably less than the Skate but still higher than the aforementioned Galaxy Ace.
Both of these devices pack a considerable punch in the display stakes, despite their modest price point but the extra screen real estate of the ZTE Skate gives it the advantage.
Winner – ZTE Skate

Huawei’s Blaze is powered by a single-core 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 CPU and features 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM and support for Micro SD cards up to 32GB in capacity.
While there’s distinct lack of serious horsepower (and some lag at times) the smaller processor does cope amply with what it’s intended to, making it a good balance of economy and necessary oomph.
The ZTE Skate raises the stakes (but not by much) with an 800MHz CPU and 512MB RAM, giving it a definite advantage over the little Huawei. The Skate offers support for Micro SD cards up to 32GB too.
Naturally we weren’t expecting fire and brimstone from the device but the performance is surprisingly fluid overall!
Winner – ZTE Skate

ZTE Skate – 125.9×67.8×10.4mm, 120g
Huawei Blaze – 110×56.5×11.2mm, 104g
Both of these contenders are solidly constructed, using mainly plastics. Neither are heavy, bulky or unusually uncomfortable to handle either.
The ZTE Skate definitely takes the tape ahead of the Huawei Blaze in terms of good looks though, with the latter looking like the jumbled offspring of a Nexus One and an LG Optimus P500.
Winner – ZTE Skate
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is the order of the day here, with both devices operating on the popular Google platform.
There are minor customisations made by both Huawei and ZTE though, giving users a few widgets and apps to help spruce up their homescreen. And while the effort should be commended we wish that manufacturers would just let Android be unless they’re planning on putting in some serious effort.
Both contenders perform well on the operating system, though the ZTE Skate clearly benefits from the extra 200MHz of grunt at its disposal.
Winner – ZTE Skate

CameraHuawei’s Blaze features a 3.15-megapixel snapper with autofocus that performs as you’d expect it to, which is to say pretty poorly.
The device does benefit from a secondary camera though, which is a nice inclusion on a low-end smartphone.
ZTE has equipped the Skate with a solid 5-megapixel shooter that benefits from autofocus, LED flash and geo-tagging.
Performance is middling on the whole, but in decent light conditions you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised with what the device is capable of producing.
Unlike the Huawei the Skate does not feature a front-facing camera though, so if video calling is a must-have you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Winner – Draw

Despite its considerable charm the Huawei Blaze has been roundly beaten in this comparison, but that needn’t reflect poorly on the overall appeal of the device.
At its price point (around £175) the Blaze is a very competitive little smartphone but for around £15 more you can pick up the ZTE Skate and in all honesty you couldn’t spend that sum better if you tried.
The Skate is a really pleasing device to use and offers up solid performance, good looks and robust construction at an excellent price, and it’s a worthy winner today.


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