ZTE Imperial (U.S. Cellular)

The Good The ZTE Imperial is dirt cheap under contract, has 4G LTE, and takes decent photos.

The Bad The Imperial is bulky, its speakerphone volume is too low, and its screen is difficult to see outdoors.

The Bottom Line If you’re an existing 4G LTE U.S. Cellular customer, the ZTE Imperial is an excellent and cheap phone -- but new subscribers should explore all options and promotions.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
6.7 Overall

Compare

ZTE Imperial (U.S. Cellular)
ZTE Imperial (U.S. Cellular)
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Price $300 MSRP $930 Amazon.com $650 Amazon.com $600 Amazon.com $750 Best Buy
Design
6
8
8
8
7
Features
7
10
9
9
9
Performance
7
9
9
9
9

Review

At last, ZTE delivers a solid entry-level handset

When I began using the ZTE Imperial, I was struck by how well it worked. Given the usually poor performance of lower-tier ZTE devices, I was expecting yet another handset that had an inaccurate screen, an unimpressive camera, and glacial internal speeds.

However, to my pleasant surprise, the phone works well: the display is responsive, its camera is decent, and it performs smoothly.

Keep in mind that the Imperial still isn't a powerhouse by any means, and its bulky build is an eyesore. In fact, U.S. Cellular is offering it for only a penny under contract. But if you want a cheap, reliable, 4G LTE device, this handset won't disappoint.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $300
  • Brand ZTE
  • Service Provider U.S. Cellular
  • Diagonal Size 4 in
  • Weight 5.43 oz
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Additional Features Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), E-911 compliant, TTY compatible, intelligent typing (SWYPE)
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