ZTE has cracked out Buck’s Fizz at MWC 2012 with the launch of the ZTE Mimosa X; it’s a dual-core Android 4.0 handset but is it worthy of its celebratory name?
The Mimosa X has a certain Nokia-esque look about it, with the 4.3-inch screen housed in an extended, rounded chassis.
As with most ICS devices, the Mimosa hasn’t got many buttons to speak of, although there are four softkeys running along the bottom of the screen, as well as a power button and volume slider.
The top of the phone plays host to the power button and 3.5mm headphone jack, while there’s a micro USB slot on the side of the device. It’s not a particularly fat handset, but it’s certainly packing a little more girth than the comparatively-specced HTC One S, for example.
Like most ZTE handsets, the Mimosa X feels fairly plasticky in hand – this is not top end build quality, that’s for sure – but these materials do help to keep the handset’s weight down, so it’s not all bad.
ZTE Mimosa X The Leg Work
We like the qHD screen, although it is very reflective and the viewing angles are fewer and further between than the HTC One Series handsets coupled with Sense 4.0.
The camera is a respectable 5MP affair, complete with a single LED flash and not too much of a lip sticking out from the back of the handset. But again, the camera hardware looks a bit Nokia.
The Mimosa X comes running Android 4.0 with ZTE’s Mifavor UI running on top. It’s been styled to look very ZTE (sorry, that’s not a good thing) with generic clouds background and horrible digital clock which, luckily, you can customise away.
The widgets are easily arranged by just pinching out on the home screen and rejigging as you see fit – you can also arrange apps into folders which is very reminiscent of iOS.
The dual-core processor did a fair job of whipping through home screens and opening apps – it’s not the fastest we’ve seen with a second’s delay evident more than once, but that’s pretty good.
As usual with ZTE hardware, we did have trouble getting the handset to respond to our commands occasionally, although this may have been down to pre-production hardware, we wouldn’t want to brand the handset fiddly until our full ZTE Mimosa X review.
The camera did a passable job. Our images weren’t amazing and the autofocus just a touch slow so that we ended up with quite a few blurry shots, but the interface is straightforward, and there are effects aplenty to play with.
Regarding typing, the predictive software wasn’t excellent (it didn’t suggest we change ‘wgat’ to ‘what’) but the keyboard is not bad, so if you’re an accurate typist you might not have too many problems.
The screen isn’t so big that many people will struggle thumb-typing with the handset in landscape mode either.
To be honest, we’d prefer it if ZTE had stuck with vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich as its additions are not brilliantly designed and don’t add very much to the software beyond a bit of administrative prowess.
The hardware isn’t bad though, and the design is not so hideous that we’d be ashamed to bring the handset out in public.
The Mimosa X suffers by comparison to the HTC One series handsets that, quite frankly, blow it out of the water. But then the Mimosa X won’t be rocking an HTC One Series price tag – if ZTE can get the Mimosa X on to market quickly and at an attractive price point, we imagine it could find itself doing quite well.