Tech reviews

Yet another affordable, but slow, Android tablet


Techaeris Rating 7.6/10

When one thinks of smartphones, a few brands come to mind. When one thinks of tablets, the iPad rules the roost. That’s not to say there aren’t other options out there because there are. Android tablets are a bit of a mixed bag as there are plenty of super-affordable options that you can use for tasks you may not have thought of.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Our ZTE Grand X View 4 review looks at an Android tablet with an 8-inch display, LTE support, front-firing stereo speakers, and more. Read on for our full review to see if it can keep up with the tasks we tested it with.

Specifications

The ZTE Grand X View 4 we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

Model ZTE Grand X View 4 K87CA
Processor 1.3GHz Quad Core Qualcomm 215 Mobile Platform
Display 8-inch 1280×800 (188ppi) TFT
Memory 32GB ROM, 2GB RAM, up to 2TB microSD
Camera 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
Connectivity SIM Card: Nano
LTE Bands: B2, 4, 5, 7, 12 (MFBI), 13, 66 (MFBI)
HSPA+/HSPA Bands: B2, 4, 5
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Device Speed (LTE): DL 150Mbps / UL 50Mbps
Bluetooth Support: BT 4.2
Audio Front-facing stereo speakers
Operating System Android 10
Dimensions 213 x 125 x 9mm (8.39 x 4.92 x 0.35″)
Weight 370g (13.05 oz)

What’s in the box

  • ZTA Grand X View 4 Android tablet
  • Micro-USB to USB-A cable
  • Power adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
What's included with the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet
What’s included with the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet.

Design

The ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet has a pretty simple design. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the good old Nexus 7. The back is textured, allowing you to grip it nicely. When looking at the back, the rear-facing camera is in the upper left corner. The card slot cover is located in the upper right and snaps open to access the nano-SIM and microSDXC card slots.

When looking at the tablet from the front, the aforementioned tray slot is on the left hand edge. The right hand edge has a volume rocker and power button towards the top. A 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the top of the tablet while a Micro-USB charging port is on the bottom. The display is standard fare, with speakers along the top and bottom edge of the display. The front-facing camera is in the upper right corner.

The rear facing camera, power button, and volume rocker on the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet
The rear facing camera, power button, and volume rocker on the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet.

The tablet does feel pretty solid and has a nice weight to it without being to heavy. It is pretty slim though so you’ll definitely want to get a case for it, especially if a younger child is going to be using it.

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Display

With an 8-inch TFT display, the ZTE Grand X View 4 has a resolution of 1280×800 for a ppi of 188. When you’re used to smartphones with smaller screens and higher resolution, you notice the lower resolution of the larger tablet screen. The lower resolution of the tablet is really noticeable when gaming. It’s not the worst when it comes to displays, but it would have been nice to see an FHD 1080p display as a minimum.

Text is readable but is slightly fuzzy. Colors aren’t too bad, but do feel a bit washed out. It is a TFT screen so it is lower quality than what you’d get with a tablet with an AMOLED display.

Software

The ZTE Grand X View 4 ships with Android 10. Surprisingly enough, it appears to be stock Android without any custom UI. Given that the tablet is basically an oversized smartphone when it comes to the display, it ran fine for the most part. It was a bit slow, as I’ll discuss in the next section. If you have an Android smartphone, it’ll be familiar to you. If not, it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.

Being stock Android, there are very few apps pre-installed. These include the typical Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Messages, Play Movies, Play Store, Duo, and YouTube. Swiping right from the home screen brings up your Google News feed. Swiping up gives you access to the installed apps. Swiping down gives you access to your notifications and shortcuts. If this is your first go with Android, it’s pretty easy to figure out once you start poking around.

The rear facing camera, power button, and volume rocker on the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet
The rear facing camera, power button, and volume rocker on the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet.

As far as security updates are concerned, the tablet is currently running the June 1, 2020 Android security update, so it’s almost a year out of date. As such, I wouldn’t expect it to receive regular updates.

Performance

As with most affordable Android tablets, the ZTE Grand X View 4 is pretty slim on the specifications. It is powered by the 1.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm 215 Mobile Platform CPU and 2GB of RAM. On the storage side, it has 32GB with support for up to 2TB microSDXC cards. Unfortunately, the 2GB of RAM and the CPU aren’t the greatest performing.

The tablet is slow to boot up for normal operation when turned off, taking about 40 seconds or so before you can use it. Launching an app takes a few seconds but once launched, it runs fairly smooth for the most part. Scrolling around the Android interface, reading email, or browsing the web is also fine. I found that having more than four apps open at once started to cause a bit of lag, especially when switching between the apps.

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When loading up YouTube on Wi-Fi, videos defaulted to 480p. Testing with movie trailers and streaming music, I set the video resolution to 1080p. Some videos played through to the end, while others buffered between one- and three-quarters of the way through for 10-30 seconds.

This tablet supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, as well as LTE with a nano-SIM card. I currently have a Wi-Fi 6 router in my house and 5G is prevalent in my area. While doing speed tests on both Wi-Fi and LTE (4G), the tablet was pretty slow. At best on either mode, I was able to hit about 40Mbps down and 10Mbps up. While on my phone, I can easily hit 200Mbps down and 40Mbps up on 4G LTE and over 400Mbps down and 100Mbps up on Wi-Fi. In addition, it frequently disconnected from my wireless network, something I haven’t had issues with for any of my other devices.

The ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet supports Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity
The ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet supports Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity.

Gaming is a mixed bag with this tablet. Simpler games like Super Mario Run or Mario Kart run fine, but not without the occasional loading issue. Super Mario Run fails to launch on occasion with a “need a better connection” error message. When downloading ~550MB to play Mario Cart, the tablet took just over 10 minutes to download. While Mario Kart played, the graphics were really poor compared to other devices. As for more CPU and graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 or Call of Duty: Mobile are a little more hit and miss. While Asphalt 8 was playable, it was choppy. Call of Duty: Mobile, on the other hand, is pretty unplayable due to the lag and load times. That is, when the game actually loaded… On a whim, I tried streaming games from Xbox Game Pass. Half the time, the game actually loaded, but once it did, my gaming session didn’t last long before it lost connection to the server.

Going back to three uses for a tablet you may not have thought of (as suggested by ZTE), the tablet would be fine as a second screen, displaying your calendar or using it for video calls. As for a home security hub, viewing my security cameras on it worked, albeit at a fairly low resolution due to the display. The last suggestion, using at as a mobile hotspot, will be hit and miss. In my area, with strong LTE coverage, the tablet did perform pretty miserably averaging around 20Mbps down.

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Sound Quality

The ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet has dual front-facing speakers. This makes for decent, loud sound, albeit without much in the way of bass. It does get a bit distorted at maximum volume, but I found around 50% volume was adequate enough for watching videos or playing games.

Camera

In my experience, cameras on tablets are generally lacking. This holds true with the ZTE Grand X View 4 as well. With a rear 8MP and front 5MP shooters and no flash, pictures are better in brightly lit areas. The tablet does have video, photo, manual, and timelapse options with HDR and some fun filters, but no night mode. In the default mode, which most people use, there is no way to select a point to focus so you’re stuck with where the tablet chooses to focus unless you switch to manual mode.

Reception

Reception with the SIM card installed was the most reliable, albeit fairly slow when it came to download and upload speeds. As mentioned above, the tablet frequently disconnected from my wireless network, something I haven’t had issues with for any of my other devices.

Battery Life

ZTE claims up to 9 hours of video playback on the Grand X View 4 with the 4630mAh battery. During testing, which consisted of checking emails, browsing the web, streaming from YouTube and playing a few games, we were able to get close to 9 hours, if not slightly more, of screen on time.

The micro-USB charging port on the bottom of the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet
The micro-USB charging port on the bottom of the ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet.

Price/Value

The ZTE Grand X View 4 Android tablet is available in Canada from Telus, Rogers, and Freedom Mobile. While it has a retail value of CA$180, you can get it for $7.50/month for 24 months from Telus, currently $0/month from Rogers or Freedom Mobile. You’ll also have to pick a data plan which will vary by carrier. These start at $10/month at Rogers, $15/month at Telus, or $55/month at Freedom Mobile.

Wrap-up

Unfortunately, the ZTE Grand X View 4 falls into the same trap as other affordable Android tablets. It’s fine for email and web browsing, but it’s simply too slow for day-to-day use for anything of substance like playing games, watching videos reliably, or even using as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Even if you can get it for $0 down at one of the listed telcos, it’s just simply not worth it with the specifications and performance.

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ZTE Grand X View 4

CA$180

ZTE Grand X View Android tablet

Nailed it

  • Simple, solid design with textured back
  • LTE support
  • Decent battery life
  • Works ok for basic tasks like email, web browsing, and simple games
  • Speakers are loud
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Needs work

  • Low specifications give poor performance
  • Slow LTE and Wi-Fi speeds
  • Not very crisp resolution
  • Speakers distort slightly at full volume
  • Not much bass in the audio
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Frequent disconnects from Wi-Fi
  • Running June 2020 security update



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