The ZTE Racer is a Google Android 2.1 handset that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Its curved black rubber and silver plastic design looks good and the Racer is comfortable to hold when making a call or surfing the web. It's lightweight too, at just 100g.
The sleek look is complemented by touch-sensitive home, menu and back keys on the 2.8in touchscreen display. The only actual button is call/end call in the form of a long, slim silver button.
We found the onscreen qwerty keyboard slightly too small for our fingers, resulting in us hitting the wrong keys on several occasions. Using the Racer in landscape mode didn't improve the experience a great deal. When typing short text messages, we didn't mind the issue so much, but composing long emails certainly became a frustrating process. We also had to press quite hard on the screen for our commands to be registered. Making and receiving voice calls on the handset was easy and sound clear.
With 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the handset ensures it's easy to browse the web or check emails when on the go. However, there's no pinch to zoom like on other Android handsets. Instead you need to tap the screen to zoom in and out. This makes reading some web pages difficult.
Since the ZTE Racer is running version 2.1 of Android, there's no support for Flash, though the jury is out on this feature's merits anyway. There's also a GPS function, but this wasn't precise as we'd have hoped. Documents to Go is included as a nod to business use and allows you to open and view Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF files. Editing capabilities are available through chargeable add-ons that can be downloaded from the Android Market.
Entertainment is covered by an FM radio, media player and 256MB of built-in memory that can be expanded by the 2GB microSD card that comes with the device.
The phone's 3.2Mp camera offers a zoom by simply tapping the screen. There's also a handful of basic edits such as the ability to adjust the white balance. We found the pictures taken were relatively clear and sharp, although in some cases too much light created a halo effect on the images.
The ZTE Racer is powered by a Qualcomm 7227-1 processor, which we found to be relatively fast and responsive, without too much lag when loading apps. Meanwhile, a Skype app from 3 means users can make free Skype calls, which is sure to please talkative teenagers.
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