Cricket’s ZTE Sonata 4G One Month Review
Posted in : cell, cell phone, cellphone, phone on by : Tech Review Man Tags: 4g, AT&T, cdma, cell phone, cricket, gsm, phone, Sonata, z740g, zte
My one month review of the Sonata 4G from ZTE from Cricket. Aka z740g
Battery – 1785 mAh
Processor – 1.4 GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm® MSM8230
RAM – 1 GB
ROM – 4 GB
Camera – 5 MP (backside only, No front camera)
Resolution – 480×800
OS – Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
So Cricket’s parent company got sold to AT&T and everyone who was on Cricket’s CDMA signal has to switch over to AT&T’s GSM phones. I was on the edge about moving from my Samsung Galaxy Admire II. I knew that we still had 5 months before we would have to make the switch, decided to just go right ahead and not wait until the last minute. I made the change.For more on the Cricket AT&T AIO Merger.
I shopped for the best processor, lowest cost, most storage fastest boot/reboot.
My budget (this is the budget tech review website so deal with it) was to spend between $80-$150. My total cost was $75.78 that covered the phone and my first month on the Cricket/AT&T GSM network.
First app I noticed was a task manager that none of my previous Android phones had, without me having to root the Sonata. Next thing I found is I can move apps to the SD to save storage space on the phone, and yes completely without having to root the phone.
Disappointing that I didn’t notice there was no front facing camera. but if you need a selfie, you can do a shelfie. Just set the timer (click the gear in camera mode you will see it) and set the camera to 3,5,10 seconds and back up and pose. When done, crop the image.This works well with my case that came with a stand. but again, it takes a whole lot of pictures before you get one decent photo. A BUNCH OF PHOTOS.
There was much more to learn. So I had to dig into the camera and see what it is capable of.
First 10 photos came out very poor.
I even tried a few of my best tricks. Like hold the phone braced firmly against a tree or a wall or rested on a table. Still blurry.
I tried a few changes in the setting but everything by default was set up to the best settings.
The zoom… the zoom was like the first issue of android. A slider bar at the bottom of the screen. No pinch zoom.
The video camera shoots at very high resolution and the slider zoom feature is great. but clunkier and has a bad focus rate as compared to pinch zoom cell phone cameras.
Do not shoot video footage of concerts. The audio is horrendous. The audio/noise filters (maybe???) seem to try too hard to cancel noise and you are left with what sounds like a concert in a wind storm. Here is a comparison of the Sonata ZTE Z740G camera verses iPhone 4s camera.
Actual phone function
Sounds are clear. When people speak you hear everything they say and no one ever asks you to repeat yourself. No chop in audio at all.
Video play back
This phone has the clearest video I have seen as of yet. Loads all sorts of sites and I didn’t have to load any apps to the phone. No plugins needed. Just right out of the box loading every video on Reddit and Facebook I would stumble into. There is a download button on one of the video players . This lets you watch and download a lot of different videos.
Web browser on the ZTE Sonata is frustratingly jumpy. Pages keep loading and jumping all over the place. I suggest you install Opera or Opera mini. Either will be fine and solve this jumping issue. Forget all of the other cell phone web browser. Opera is the king of cell phone web browsers.
Have not yet found a game that will make this phone stutter. Every game plays well.
The screen frustrates me. You have only one angle to view from. Move too high up and you lose visibility. Move too far right and the screen gets white and fonts are hard to read. Move left and screen gets super dark.
Ehh nothing special. battery drains just as fast as all of my other phones. You get around 8 hours of battery life if you don’t touch your Sonata. Play any games or browse Reddit or Facebook, you’ll be on the charger in under an hour, completely drained in 2 hours.
Not understanding this. The ZTE Sonata seems to not handle resources very well. I don’t see anything lagging or stuttering, but looking at the task manager, the Sonata seems to always be using more than half of it’s R.A.M., even if I go through the task manager tabs to disable applications.
The phone picks up a great signal and nearly never is without a signal. but this is AT&T so we are looking at dropped calls seemingly for no reason what-so-ever.
Along with dropped calls, there is a constant need to reboot. Called Cricket and they told me to just pull the sim card out and replace it. Me being a person who has been on AT&T (who owns Cricket now) a few times, I know better than to do this. You will wear out that sim card pretty quick. The main trick is to get you to do a full shut down and take the battery out for a few seconds (go ahead and leave it out for about a minute) and replace the battery then reboot. This does it for you nearly every single time. No logic in taking the sim card out at all.
IMHO this is a decent phone. Looks and feels like a strange knock off of the Samsung Galaxy Admire II.
The back button is in an unusual (sort of stupid) spot, unless you are left handed. In fact a few things about this phone would be beneficial to lefties. Like the power connector. If you are right handed and use the phone for wide screen while on the charger, the cable points straight up. So you are battling the power chord.
App shortcuts keep disappearing. Constantly. but they might just be the apps that have been moved to the sd card. and this could be during updates.
Review score of ZTE Sonata:
Video Playback: 10/10
Battery life: 7/10
Resource life: 5/10
Total Score of the ZTE Sonata: 6/10
Programs are crashing left and right. This thing loses wifi constantly. I get notifications of apps closing like every 20 minutes. I just turn the thing off when I am at work so I am not looking at phone every 3 minutes. There was an update about the same time the Starbucks app updated and everything crashed so I think it is an overall issue with the phone and whatever default programs are on it, one of them updated and is causing complications with other apps. because it isn’t just the Starbucks app crashing.
The camera is a bit better than I expected, there are tons of settings in the menu area, from iso to saturation to contrast setting. This camera is great really.
Dark settings ISO 1600
Bright settings ISO 60
Turn everything in the “image” section down to 1/3 or a tad bit less. Adjust accordingly with location and lighting.
Default image save file type is .png