A good, inexpensive smartphone is hard to find these days. Oh, there's plenty of budget-friendly phones. It's finding one that's worth buying that's the challenge. Another contender has shown up in the ZTE Fury, only twenty bucks on contract. It's packed with the same features you'll find in any low-end or mid-range phone - a 3.5-inch display, a 1 GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and Android 2.3. The phone seems promising, but these low-end phones can be tricky. Some of them are great, but some of them aren't. Which one is the Fury? I'll find that out through the course of the review period. In the meantime, here are some of my first impressions of the Fury after using it for about a day.
- With a small display, the phone itself is rather small, measuring 4.65-inches tall, 2.46-inches wide, and .47-inches thick. Naturally, it's made out of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap and hollow. It has a nice solid feel to it with some interesting metallic accents. The microSD card slot is underneath the battery cover, though it's not necessary to remove the battery to get to it. The phone ships with a 2 GB card to supplement its 4 GB of internal storage.
- There's nothing particularly impressive about the Fury's display, and I have a feeling it will be too small for comfortable typing. Despite the IPS technology I'm told it is designed with, the viewing angles are poor and the constant shifting to find the right angle gives me a headache. However, the touchscreen is smooth and responsive.
- ZTE opted to not include its custom skin with the Fury, so you get a stock Android experience. Sprint ID is included, which gives you an array of ID packs to download. Each pack has a theme and includes apps and wallpapers related to that theme. It's a helpful feature for those who are new to Android and don't feel like searching through the Play Store for their favorite apps.
- The Fury ships with a 1 GHz Qualcomm processor backed up by 512 MB of RAM. Performance so far has been good, with very few problems. Scrolling is smooth; pinch-to-zoom has been smooth; and most apps open nearly instantly. We'll see if more problems occur when I put it through its paces and have multiple apps running.
- I'm expecting good performance from the included 1500 mAh battery. Considering the phone's small, low resolution display, and the lack of 4G support, battery life should be great. ZTE estimates that you should get about 8 hours of talk time.
So far, there's nothing to be disappointed with in the Fury. The hardware is what you can expect for a phone in this price range and it seems to be performing well. Further tests will show if this phone is something you should look into if you're on a budget. Keep it on PhoneDog to see the review and check out the unboxing video below.