ZTE C88 review: ZTE C88

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The ZTE C88 is a well-built flip phone with a few basic multimedia features like a music player and a camera. Call quality is excellent.

The Bad The ZTE C88 suffers from a flat keypad, and the external display can't be used as a camera viewfinder nor can it display photo caller ID. Photo quality was disappointing and the music player has very limited controls.

The Bottom Line The ZTE C88 is a mostly ho-hum midrange phone from MetroPCS, but it does offer superior call quality.

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Even though ZTE is one of China's largest cell phone manufacturers, most of us here in the United States aren't aware of the brand. However, ZTE is attempting to make some inroads in the U.S. with its first-ever U.S. cell phone, the ZTE C88. The C88 is a fairly average handset and appears to be tailor-made for mainstream appeal; with a traditional flip-phone design and midrange features like a camera, music player, and stereo Bluetooth, the C88 will please most people. That said, the C88's designated carrier is MetroPCS, which is only available in selected regional markets. It's available for $139, with no contract required.

Design
The ZTE C88's design is nothing new. With its wide and slim flip-phone look, the C88 looks a lot like all the other skinny Razr clones we've seen in the past few years. Measuring 3.9 inches long by 1.9 inches wide by 0.66 inch thick, the C88 is flat all the way around and is thin enough to fit comfortably in a back or shirt pocket. And at less than 3.5 ounces, it won't weigh you down, either. The hinge mechanism felt solid as we were opening and closing the phone, and the phone itself fits comfortably in the hand.


The ZTE C88 has a basic VGA camera.

Like with most flip phones, we're glad to see a 1-inch diagonal external display on the C88. It is a color display, but unfortunately it can neither be used as a camera viewfinder nor as photo caller ID, which we think is a shame. It does display the usual date, time, status, and battery information, though, as well as regular caller ID. Above the display is the camera lens, but there's no flash or self-portrait mirror, which is a double shame since you can't use the external display as a viewfinder. A dedicated camera key plus the volume rocker sits on the left spine and the charger jack is on the right.

Flip open the phone and you'll find a 2-inch-wide 262,000-color display. Though images were saturated with color, we would've preferred a sharper look. We also weren't fans of the blue-washed default menu screen. You can adjust the backlighting time, the menu style, the clock format, the dialing font size, as well as the wallpaper.

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Where to Buy

ZTE C88

Part Number: C88BLKULK
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 3.5 oz
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Service Provider metroPCS
  • Diagonal Size 2 in