Remember when smartphones were ugly?

Both Sony’s Xperia XA and the Lenovo Vibe K5 have already set the tone for alluring mid-range smartphones at MWC 2016, and the ZTE Blade V7 is here to crash their shapely party. It’s specs are unremarkable enough, but you wouldn’t assume that from its fully metal exterior.

The Blade V7 resembles a cross between an iPhone 6s and a HTC One M9, and it’s an attractive prospect purely for that reason. We got hands-on with the device to see how it shapes up in person.

Classy display

ZTE has clearly prioritised externals with the Blade V7, but that’s no bad thing. A 5.2-inch Full HD model with 2.5D glass that curves into the V7’s metal casing, it feels classy in a way that cheaper phones from yesteryear never used to. At 7.5mm thin, this handset will easily glide into a jacket pocket. Granted, the Blade V7’s Mediatek 6753 processor and 2GB won’t offer you loads in the way of power, but there’ll be enough to get along with for most people.

Likewise, it’s 16GB storage isn’t particularly generous. In the absence of a microSD card slot, media hoarders should steer clear clear. A 2500mAh battery will withstand a day’s worth of Facebook, Spotify and the like though.

Quickfire snaps

While the Blade V7’s cameras are fairly run of the mill, they’re no embarrassment either. A 13-megapixel snapper on the phone’s rear has a sharpish 0.3 seconds autofocus, while this phone’s selfie camera is a 5MP affair. With a good amount of light about, the Blade V7 isn’t going to sell you short.

ZTE hasn’t yet announced pricing details for the Blade V7 or its plastic cousin, the Blade V7 Lite. That handset holds a fingerprint scanner over the proper V7, but isn’t quite as powerful.

At present, the Blade V7 is scheduled for release in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mexico, so we’ll have to see whether it makes it to the UK. If not, you may have to import the Blade V7 to get ahold of a handset.