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Spotlight on U.S. Cellular's ZTE Director (pictures)

Featuring a 3-megapixel camera, a 1GHz processor, and a 3.5-inch touch screen, the ZTE Director is U.S. Cellular's latest entry-level smartphone.

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Lynn La
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
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1 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

The ZTE Director's big debut

Although it comes with a low price tag (without a contract, it's $99.99, but with one, the price drops to 1 cent) the ZTE Director still has a long way to go. Especially considering its unimpressive camera, slow CPU speeds, and low-end screen.

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2 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Not for shooting 8mm movies

The camera has very few photo options. It has a flash, digital zoom, five white balances, three photo sizes, three shutter tones, a timer, compositional lines, an exposure meter, and geotagging.

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3 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

GIve 'em the best angle

Compact and comfortable to hold, the handset measures 4.65 inches tall, 2.46 inches wide, and 0.48 inch thick. On the right edge is a launch button for the camera.

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4 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

We must dig deeper

A closer look at the hard-key camera button on the right edge.

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5 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

More like an IMIN theater...

The 3.5-inch HVGA touch screen has a 320x480-pixel resolution. Unfortunately, the display isn't very responsive, and oftentimes it took several taps for an action to finally register (whether it be launching an app or closing a window).

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6 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Slow rise to fame

The phone is powered by a sluggish 1GHz Qualcomm processor inside. Not only is the camera slow, but also simple actions like swiping the lock screen, changing from landscape to portrait mode, and returning to the home screen took a few moments longer than I'd like.

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7 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Making it to the top

The handset's left edge houses a Micro-USB port for charging and a volume rocker. Up top you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a sleep/power button.

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8 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

App credits at the end

The phone runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and features your standard number of Google apps, such as Gmail, Chrome, Plus, Latitude, Local, Maps with Navigation, and Messenger, to name a few.

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