ZTE Kis – Initial Impressions

The other day ZTE and Virgin Mobile announced the new white version of the Kis. Their hugely popular “record breaking” Kis is an entry level 3.5″ device and we’ve had it for a couple of days and here is our initial impressions. Starting off with good and bad points.

Good Points

  • It’s white 😉
  • It’s super cheap
  • MicroSD slot
  • Removable battery
  • Very solid build

Bad Points

  • Small screen
  • Fingerprints appear on the screen with the slightest touch
  • Plasticy
  • Hvga



The hardware is very basic, but there are a few standout features.

Here is the spec:

  • Dimensions 114.3 x 61.6 x 11.5 mm
  • Weight 120 g
  • Display TFT capacitive touchscreen HVGA 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches (~165 ppi pixel density)
  • MicroSD 2 GB
  • Internal Memory 200 MB storage, 512 MB ROM, 256 MB RAM
  • NFC
  • Camera 3.2 MP autofocus
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • CPU 800 MHz
  • Battery Li-Ion 1400 mAh

The MicroSD slot and the removable battery are the most important features in the spec. The rest is just standard entry level stuff. You could easily use this as a cheap Android MP3 player or holiday phone with this spec. The small internal memory means that once you have installed the standard set of Google apps, Facebook, Twitter, iPlayer and a few games you will be struggling to fit anything more on. Then starts the daily memory card app shuffle.


It’s running Gingerbread, like most entry level devices. ZTE have recently started skinning their icons and the KIS is no exception, they have added a bubble effect around the icons presumably to make them look like te glass ones on an iPhone. If fails as the HVGA screen just makes them look blurry. The lockscreen has been changed as well, with a nice spinning animation, no shortcuts or anything though.

Amazingly there isn’t much lag moving around the interface, I guess using a HVGA screen doesn’t eat up too much memory. ZTE haven’t really added many apps to the build, Virgin however have added a few utilities. Which take up valuable memory space.


In conclusion the Kis does what it sets out to do, that is offer a basic introduction to Android for people on a very tight budget. The compromises are only things I’ve spotted as a regular user. They certainly aren’t something the target market would spot. So if you’re looking for a budget phone head over to the Virgin Mobile page here for only £59.00 to get one. You also get the following if you buy one – Twelve months free data, £10 airtime included in the price of the phone and an extra 300 free texts.

Over the next few weeks we will be testing out the ZTE KIS a bit more, so if you want to see how it does at spmething specific then leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do.