With its sub-$200 price tag, 4G LTE, and Android 4.1 OS, ZTE's Source is a prepaid smartphone for the budget-conscious.
Cricket Wireless' ZTE Source
If you're able get Cricket Wireless' LTE coverage, the ZTE Source delivers LTE speeds at a decent $189.99 price. True, it isn't banging on all cylinders, but it does feature a decently sized 4.5-inch screen, expandable storage, and Cricket's recently revamped Muve Music service.
Equipped with a 4.5-inch display, the device has a 480x854-pixel resolution and 218ppi. This isn't the sharpest resolution, and indeed, you can see a subtle "crunchiness" when it comes to default wallpaper photos and high-quality YouTube videos. The graininess isn't overly distracting, however, and the screen is still sensitive and responsive to the touch.
The handset measures 5.31 inches tall and 2.64 inches wide. Given that it's 0.40 inch thick and weighs 5 ounces, the device is hefty. I immediately felt its weightiness the moment I picked it up, and it feels bulky when I put it in my front pockets.
The Source comes with Muve Music, a subscription service that's tied to your service plan. It lets you download and play thousands of songs and albums. After finally receiving a desperately needed face-lift, the service is more manageable and easier to use.
Using a small indentation on the bottom left corner, you can pry the device's battery door off to access the microSD card slot (which accepts cards of capacities up to 32GB), the battery, and the SIM card slot.
The handset's back houses a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and on the bottom left corner are two small slits for the external speaker. Coated with a matte soft-touch material, the battery door surprisingly traps a lot of fingerprints and oils, but you can easily wipe them off.
Both the 5-megapixel and front-facing camera has auto-focus, a 4x digital zoom, five white balance options, five ISO levels (from 100 to 1600), geotagging, compositional grid lines, and three photo qualities.