ZTE Warp Elite Review – Is It An ‘Elite’ Device? [2020 Update]

ZTE is not the most popular phone manufacturer around. They do budget devices well, though. The Warp Elite is 5 years old and its specs still give newer ones a run for their money. We’ve talked all about it below.

ZTE Warp Elite Specs

Device Specifications:

ZTE Warp Elite (ZTE N9518)

 Launch Date



 5.39 ounces (153 grams)


 6.18-inch x 2.86-inch x 0.35 inch (157 mm x 72.8 mm x 8.9 mm)

 Graphics Card

 Adreno 306

 Display Screen

 5.5-inch (139.7 mm) TFT LCD 720 x 1280 pixel

 Operating System

 Android 5.1


 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916


 Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53


 2 GB

 Internal Space

 16 GB

 Front Camera

 5 MP

 Rear Camera

 8 MP

 Supported SIM types

 Nano (single)

 Network Coverage

 2G, 3G, 4G

 Battery Coverage

 3000 mAh


It shouldn’t surprise you that it’s made of plastic. Sadly, the plastic on its rear isn’t the good kind. What doesn’t help the handset’s feel is that it isn’t ergonomic. You can probably guess this by looking at its sides – they’re sharp.

It’s not the thickest device. The following are its dimensions, 6.18 in x 2.86 in x 0.35 in (157 mm x 72.8 mm x 8.9 mm).

It’s not a feather. It weighs 5.39 ounces (153 grams). It should’ve weighed a bit more; it would’ve felt more premium.

The Warp Elite is supposed to be the better counterpart to the ZTE Warp Sync. Compared to it, it’s superior in the build department. It’s thinner, so it feels more premium.

The dimensions above might’ve given this away, but its screen isn’t very big. It stretches 5.5 inches (139.7 mm) across.

What’s the glass on its front? It’s regular strengthened glass, so be careful.

Looking across its sides, you won’t find a fingerprint sensor. If it’s any consolation, its buttons are in easy-to-reach positions. They’re tactile as well. You are also getting a 3.5 mm headphone jack and microSD slot. The presence of the MicroSD slot is appreciated as the memory it offers isn’t very good.

ZTE N9518

The panel on its front is a TFT LCD. It’s not vibrant. More affordable phones these days come with IPS LCDs, which are brighter. The fact that its display is so small doesn’t help it be immersive either. This is especially true as there’s some serious bezel action going on. Do we know its specific screen-to-body ratio? No, ZTE left us in the dark.

Its screen is not pin-sharp. But it does alright. It comes with a 720 x 1280-pixel resolution

If you’re not happy with its colour production, you can try meddling with its colour and temperature settings. You can improve things a bit.

Battery wise:

We’re not mad. You’re getting a decent 3000 mAh unit. The Elite can last a little over a day once fully charged. Its battery is non-removable. If its system were to get stuck, you can remove it to force-close it.

When it comes to charging it, we’re not the biggest fans. You’ll be making use of an ultra-dated micro USB port. The fact that you’ll be using 10 W regular charging isn’t great either – the handset takes well over 2 hours to go from 0-100%.

However, it comes with good power-saving modes. You’ll be able to prolong its life for longer than specified.

As mentioned, we’re glad that it comes with expandable storage. There is only 16 GB of space inside it. The device is available from Boost. This means that carrier bloatware would be included. If you don’t know what that is, it’s applications that are alternative to Google’s. You aren’t able to uninstall them.

In terms of how much you can expand its storage, the manufacturer didn’t make this public knowledge.

The Elite offers 2 GB of RAM. It’s pretty good. Even more expensive units come with that amount. Force-closing won’t be an issue.

Let’s talk about its processor:

A Snapdragon 410 chip is available. It’s super basic. Don’t get too extensive with it– you can imagine how difficult gaming will be.

Remember how we mentioned the Warp Sync earlier? The processor it rocks is the Snapdragon 400. It’s much worse.

Out of the box, you’ll be running Android 5.1. You can upgrade its systems to newer Android versions. However, you won’t be able to upgrade them to Android 10. This is a shame as it’s the most good-looking and customizable the OS has ever been.

There’s a single shooter on its rear. It is a 13 MP lens. On its front, a 5 MP shooter is present. Its back camera comes with an LED flash. Sadly, its selfie camera doesn’t.

In the connectivity department, how does it do? You can connect to 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. You’ll be able to transfer files to others through Bluetooth 4.1.

Before we look at alternatives, remember that the handset was released 5 years ago. We think it packs a punch.


We thought about looking at phones similarly priced. They’d help you decide on the ZTE Elite Warp better.

The Alcatel device was released 3 years after its counterpart. It is made of plastic too. Unfortunately, the plastic on it feels cheap. That being said, its rear was curved well. It’s much more ergonomic.

Its display is smaller than the ZTE’s. You’re met with a 5-inch (127 mm) front. The panel on it is the superior IPS LCD, though. Although it’s better, know that IPS LCDs don’t hold torches to Super AMOLEDs.

The phone’s sadly thicker than its rival. The following are its dimensions, 5.42 in x 2.59 in x 0.39 in (137.6 mm x 65.7 mm x 9.8 mm). Its screen resolution isn’t that good either. You’re getting 480 x 960 pixels.

Thankfully, its screen-to-body ratio saves the day. Alcatel decided to tell us what its ratio exactly is – it is 71.4%.

Inside of it, the Mediatek MT6739 is present. It’s faster than the Snapdragon 410. The chipset would power Android 8.1. Regular Android Oreo isn’t present. The GO variant is on it. We’ll fill you in on what it is in the entry below.

It comes in two different storage options. You can pick it up with either 8 or 16 GB of space, along with 1 GB of RAM. The 1 GB RAM is far from ideal. Its system would force-close if many apps are running in the background.

Can you expand its storage? The answer is yes.

The battery inside of it will make you sweat. It’s only 2000 mAh. The Alcatel 1 will barely last a day. To charge it, you’ll be making use of 10 W regular charging and a micro USB port. As you can imagine, it would take over 2 hours to go from 0-100%.

What about its cameras? There’s a single shooter on its rear. It is a 5 MP lens. On its front, a 2 MP camera is present. You’re getting an LED flash on its primary camera but not on its selfie one.

As you can tell from its name, it was released 4 years after its counterpart. That’s why it should do much better than it. Well, it is not made from plastic. You’re getting a glass rear. It makes it feel richer. But the glass on it is not strong. It’s regular strengthened glass. The presence of the glass would cause a lot of fingerprints to be collected too. Depending on the type of person you are, this may not be a fun thing.

The A3 is also quite ergonomic – ZTE curved its sides well.

Its display is smaller than its counterpart’s. It is 5 inches (127 mm). The panel on it is superior to the Warp Elite’s – an IPS LCD is present. Its resolution isn’t as good, though. It is 480 x 960 pixels.

There’s some bezel action going on. But it’s not as bad as its cousin. Its screen-to-body ratio is 69.6%. Like its back, regular strengthened glass is on its front.

Battery wise:

A 2000 mAh unit is present. The A3 barely lasts a day. Its battery is non-removable; its back is glass and sealed after all. You’ll be charging the phone through regular 10 W charging and a micro USB port. That’s why it takes over 2 hours to fully charge.

The processor inside of it is something we’ve not seen much before. It is the Unisoc SC9832E. When compared to the processor on the Warp Elite, it outdoes it.

There’s 16 GB ROM inside of it. You’ll be making use of 1 GB RAM. Luckily, there’s a microSD slot. However, the 1 GB of RAM means force-closing is a real issue.

Out of the box, Android 9 is available. It’s the GO edition. It was modified and stripped to work with the device’s basic chipset.

Yes, you can expand its storage. A MicroSD slot is present, but we don’t know how much you can expand its storage to.

How are its cameras? There’s an 8 MP shooter on its back camera. On its front, a 5 MP sensor is present. You’re getting a LED flash only on its primary set-up.

Final Thoughts

What did you think about our ZTE Warp Elite review? The phone is seriously old. No surprise, it was discontinued. You’ll mostly find it used online. Depending on the seller you work with, you could snag it for different prices.

When comparing the Elite to alternatives, they were a bit more expensive. That’s because they aren’t discontinued, so you can snag them new.

Although the phone is dated, we think it gives the alternatives we compared a run for their money. It not only came with the larger display, better RAM, and a sharper resolution, but its processor was just a bit inferior to theirs.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a back-up unit, we think the Warp Elite is right up your alley.

But if you’d like to find more affordable devices from the brand, you can check our Pinterest out. We regularly create pins, ranking handsets.

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