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

zte blade v7 news header
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.

Product Review

If Huawei sells the Mate 20 Pro in the U.S., Samsung needs to watch its back

Huawei knocked it out of the park with the P20 Pro earlier this year, and it’s looking to do the same again with the Mate 20 Pro. The Mate series has traditionally been sold in the U.S., so will Americans finally be able to get a taste?
Cars

Can't see in front of you? Here's how to change your windshield wipers

If you can't see out of the front of your car, it's time for a new set of wiper blades. Thankfully, changing your car's windshield wipers is quick and painless if you know what you're doing. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

The super-cheap Nokia 2.1 brings two-day battery life to the U.K.

HMD Global has taken the wraps off of the new Nokia 5.1, 3.1, and 2.1. The three phones boast improved specs over their predecessors from last year, along with larger displays. Each also runs on Android One and Android Go.
Computing

Razer Blade 15 gives more bang for your buck, adds ‘mercury white’ edition

Razer introduced a new base model of its popular Razer Blade 15 laptop; gamers looking to get their hands on great hardware at a lower price are now in luck. Otherwise, pick up Razer's new "mercury white" limited-edition PC.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Product Review

You’d be crazy to dismiss the Huawei Mate 20 as an amateur

Traditionally, Huawei’s Mate series of phones has been a little staid. That started to change with the Mate 10 Pro, and now both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro have come along to turn our heads. Here’s a look at the standard Mate 20.
Mobile

Mate 20 range now includes new 20 X model with huge 7.2-inch display

Huawei has released the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20 X. With all new Kirin processors, advanced A.I. brains, and an amazing triple camera, here's absolutely everything you need to know about the new Mate 20 series.
Mobile

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next phone, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.
Mobile

Here are our favorite wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Google will start charging Android manufacturers to use its apps in Europe

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement comes as an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2018

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? No worries. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? Don't sweat it. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.