The budget and mid-range smartphone categories are buzzing with new phones every week, and Chinese behemoth ZTE isn’t one to be left out of the action. This year, it’s weapon of choice is the Blade V8 series. It started by introducing the Blade V8 Pro and Blade V8 (first impressions) at CES in January, and completed the quartet by launching the Blade V8 Mini and Blade V8 Lite at MWC. We had a chance to spend some time at ZTE’s booth to check out what the new phones bring to the table.  

As the names suggest, the V8 Mini and V8 Lite are toned down variants of the Blade V8, but the former is the better specced of the two. It shares several features with the Blade V8, chief among these being the dual camera setup, comprising of 13MP + 2MP shooters that can take both bokeh images as well as 3D photos, the latter being viewable only with a VR headset. The front camera on the handset has been downgraded from 13MP to 5MP, but it does come with an LED flash. The V8 Mini features a metal unibody design with a fingerprint sensor at the rear. The phone is compact and feels very premium for a mid-ranger. It also stands out on the design front with its two-tone silver and orange combination which looks quite striking. 

The phone is powered by the same Snapdragon 435 SoC as the Blade V8, but it comes in a single 2GB RAM + 16GB storage (expandable) variant. It features a 5-inch HD display, a 2,800mAh battery (incidentally larger than the Blade V8’s), and Android 7.0 Nougat with MiFlavor 4.2 UI on top. 

Coming to the V8 Mini, you can tell right away that the phone is a toned down version of V8 Lite. Even though it gets a metal unibody design with a fingerprint sensor, the quality of the metal doesn’t feel as good, and the overall design is quite boring. Unlike the Blade V8 and V8 Mini, it doesn’t get dual cameras, and instead features a single 8MP rear snapper. The front camera is a 5MP unit, but it misses the LED flash of its siblings.

That said, the V8 Mini and V8 Lite share several specifications, including a 5-inch HD display, 2GB RAM, 16GB of expandable storage and Android 7.0 with MiFlavor 4.2 UI. However, the processor on the phone is different – Mediatek’s MT6750 SoC. The battery is also smaller at 2,500mAh. 

ZTE has priced the Blade V8 Mini at €199 (~Rs 14,029), and the V8 Lite at €179 (~Rs 12,619). That’s on the steeper side considering the competition, but we’ll have to wait and see how ZTE prices the phones in India, if and when it decides to launch them here.