ZTE Source supplies the Muve Music (pictures)

With its sub-$200 price tag, 4G LTE, and Android 4.1 OS, ZTE's Source is a prepaid smartphone for the budget-conscious.

Lynn La
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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.

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Not the highest resolution

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.

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Thick on the sides

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.

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Decent mid-range innards

Powering the phone is a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm and a 2,070mAh battery. The battery has a reported talk time of up to 15 hours and a standby time of nearly 10.5 days.

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Get into the Muve

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.

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Up to 32GB of extra room

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.

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Smooth matte finish

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.

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A few photo options

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.

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