ZTE is known for being the parent company of Nubia, the subsidiary which produces high-end gaming smartphones. However, ZTE uses its proprietary brand name for all sorts of different smartphones as well. Recently, the brand launched the Blade A54 in November 2023. The entry-level smartphone brings a design overhaul with some interesting quirks. Let’s have a detailed look.
Key Specs of ZTE Blade A54
Design and Build Quality: Revamped Design with Same Old Plastic Build
At first look, the A54 looks much like the Realme GT 5 with its large end-to-end rectangular camera housing on the back. ZTE had a complete design overhaul on the A54 from the A53 as has been the case with all their models. The rectangular camera housing has a glossy finish whereas the back itself has a matte tone.
The smartphone has a 164 mm by 75.8 mm by 8.5 mm dimension with a plastic build all around. That brings the weight to around 185 g. The A54 keeps the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the dedicated microSD slot in place as is widely seen in this price segment.
The plastic material is durable with drop and scratch resistance. The smartphone is available in three colorways, blue, gray, and lilac.
The Display: IPS LCD Panel with 90 Hz Refresh Rate
The display on the A54 is a 6.6-inch IPS LCD panel with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The water drop style notch and the large chin is a usual feature in any budget-friendly smartphone. The HD+ resolution comes in at 720 by 1612 pixels and 267 ppi density. The display fetches around 84.2% screen-to-body ratio.
There’s nothing really special about the display other than that it can get relatively bright indoors. The color reproduction is satisfactory with a slightly cooler tone. Viewing angles are passable with color shifts at extreme angles. Outdoor legibility isn’t all that great with the panel struggling under direct sunlight.
The Camera: Dual Camera with a Single Usable Lens
The main camera on the A54 is a 13 MP one with AF. The supporting sensor is a 0.08 MP auxiliary sensor which unsurprisingly, does nothing. And if an auxiliary sensor wasn’t a marketing gimmick enough, there’s a camera sensor-like design on the housing which is just printed graphics. Such design choices can be distracting for potential buyers.
The front features a 2 MP selfie shooter which ZTE claims to be “interpolated to 5 MP”. What it means is that post-processing can enhance the image up to 5 MP quality. The results aren’t all that great even in well-lit conditions. It’s disappointing considering even the most stringent entry-level smartphones these days come with at least 8 MP front shooters.
The performance from the main camera was as expected from a budget-friendly smartphone. Pictures taken under direct sunlight had good details but the dynamic range was average at best. Pictures taken at night or indoors had exposure issues and noticeable grain here and there. The warm tone pop was missing in photos captured by the A54. However, this feature is common on the average basic-level smartphones.
The videography on the Blade A54 is rated at 1080P at 30 fps. But without any external stabilization, videos came out choppy and shaky.