The Tania is the first ZTE device to launch in the UK with Windows Phone 7.5, but can this Windows Phone compete against the other headline devices like the Nokia Lumia 800 and Samsung Omnia W?
Now I must mention here that this review is fairly brief, initial thoughts and opinions based on only a couple of days use so some things like battery life are not fair to judge because those 2 days are not ‘normal’ use. I will not be going into the OS in any details as Windows Phone is well pretty standard and well described in many other reviews.
So, initial impressions it’s a big phone with a 4.3” screen and is based on the chassis of the Android ZTE handset, the Skate. It feels solid and robust but the design does not stand out as being anything special. Now I can be forgiving of this because of the price point but then again I can’t help but think that they could have done something to make it a bit more appealing, none the less it looks less appealing to steal and as long as it does the job that is the main thing. It does just look a bit last year.
The Lumia feels better in the hand, more premium where the Omnia W from Samsung sits in the middle of the two.
The screen is good for video in that it feels more immersive because of the size and when tapping things on screen you do not feel like you have to have pin point accuracy like you might have to on a smaller device, I found though that I turned off the automatic brightness and put the settings onto full to get the best out of the screen. On it’s own its not bad but compare it to other screens using AMOLED technology, like the Lumia 800 and the Omnia W and well its um not as good.
If it is general phone, messaging, email and web browsing then the Tania will perform over and above the standards you would need, absolutely no complaints here.
However if you are into your audio, video and media then the Tania isn’t going to do justice for you unless you are streaming media over WiFi or 3G. 4GB of internal memory, of which some is used up by OS and apps makes for little in the way of storage space and the lack of MicroSD slot, as on all Windows Phones means streaming is really the only option unless you like only a select media library on your device. The Omnia W and Lumia have 8 and 16GB respectively.
Whilst 3G is getting better as is access to WiFi it is not to a point where you can get a reliable media streaming service at all times and what’s more this is going to impact on your battery.
Sound quality is good from the internal speaker and the 3.5mm headphone jack allows you to connect your favourite pair of headphones.
The camera is only 5 megapixels but performs reasonably well, certainly better than I expected and 720p HD video capture is available too and again it’s not bad. However if you are used to a higher resolution cameras like I am on the Xperia Arc then it’s not as good but if you are considering the Tania as an upgrade from a standard mobile, as a first smartphone I think you will be fairly impressed. The dedicated camera key is nice, not need to use the screen only.
The Tania uses a standard SIM not a micro SIM like the Nokia Lumia 800 so that saves a bit of messing about.
Windows Phone runs well on the device, I experienced no lag and web browsing was a pleasure because of the big screen and the ability to turn it into landscape mode too has real benefits especially when it comes to typing out a text message or an email.
Overall I would give the Tania a 6 out of 10.
Why? Well I feel that for an extra £50 you can get the Samsung Omnia W at approx. £299 inclusive of VAT as opposed to approximately the £250 inclusive price of the Tania. What do you get for the extra £50, 8GB as opposed to 4GB of internal memory, a faster 1.4GHz processor and a Super AMOLED display. Having said this the 4.3” screen has an appeal for many as opposed to Samsung’s 3.7” as does a £50 saving but when you would normally be sticking with a phone for 12-24 months you might as well go the extra mile to get something that offers that bit more.