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The skinny ZTE Blade V7 and V7 Lite look awesome, but are frustratingly hard to buy

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ZTE continues its assault on our wallets with the new Blade V7 and Blade V7 Lite, two smartphones headed to a select few markets later this year, that continue the company’s tradition of making smart, capable, and attractive devices under the Blade name. It’s a popular range, with ZTE having by the end of last year, sold more than 30 million Blade phones.

Will the Blade V7 tempt buyers? It just may, thanks to an all-metal body the curves its way from an average of 7.5mm thick to just 3.5mm at its thinnest point. Few midrange phones can boast such a slight profile. There’s a 2.5D piece of curved glass covering the 5.2-inch screen, which has a 1080p resolution.

The specification list continues with MediaTek’s MT6753 64-bit, octa-core processor, which runs at 1.3GHz and supported by 2GB of RAM, plus the phone has 16GB of internal memory. On the rear of the Blade V7 is a 13-megapixel camera with a dual-color flash and super fast autofocus, plus a 5-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is installed, and a slightly weedy-sounding 2,500mAh batter runs the show.

The Blade V7 is joined by the Blade V7 Lite, which drops the screen size down to 5-inches, the resolution down to 720p, and the cameras to 8 megapixels on the front and rear. Sadly, the processor is also downgraded to a MediaTek MTK6735 quad-core chip.

Oddly, ZTE’s added a fingerprint sensor to the Blade V7 Lite, which doesn’t seem to be present on the regular V7. It’s a multifunction sensor that not only unlocks the phone, but can also be used for opening apps and navigating through different menus. It’s something we’ve seen on other smartphones in the past — such as the Huawei Honor 7 — and it’s a surprisingly handy feature. There’s a range of gesture controls built into both phones.

If the Blade V7 family sounds good, prepare for some possible disappointment, because neither phone is getting a wide international release. The Blade V7 has been announced for summer in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mexico. The Blade V7 Lite is for Russia, Thailand, Spain, Germany, and Mexico, with a spring launch date teased.

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