Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Review: MT6589T, 1080, 2GBRAM

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Review: MT6589T, 1080, 2GBRAM

[templatic_msg_box type=”info”] This is a GizChina reader review by Hamsteyr. If you would like to post a review of your own, article, how-to or video then please feel free to get in touch. Contact GizChina.com [/templatic_msg_box]

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Introduction

So I finally made the step and got down to purchasing my first ever Chinese built mobile phone. There was a lot of decision making that went into the process, things like processors, understanding the MediaTek processors, their limitations, the MTK6589 and its Cortex A7 Architecture. I wanted a phone that would of course be able to match up to today’s modern smartphones, while maybe not in the benchmark sense, but in the user experience sector. More importantly, it had to be somewhat better than my current device, the Galaxy Note 2.

In the end, I settled with the Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Edition, and so I looked online for ways to get the device. While, I contemplated getting it off websites I already know, and that are published all the time in GizChina, in the end, I went for something I already knew and had experience with, AliExpress, and got my phone shipped for 330 USD including DHL express shipping which meant that the phone arrived in 4 days to Malaysia. Pretty good time!

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Unboxing

Popping open the box, you find the usual stash of things together with a few extras. My package came with the following:

  • Zopo ZP980 mobile phone (Well of course!)
  • Zopo ZP980 flip case
  • 2x Original Zopo ZP980 Batteries
  • User Manual
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Earphones (For calling and receiving calls as well)
  • EU Plug USB Wall Charger @ 5.0v, 1 A

I found the contents of the box to be very nicely packed together, and not to mention quite securely, even though the side of my retail box had mild damages, I’m almost certain that none of the contents got damaged at all in the process.

zopo zp980 ultimate unboxing

Notice that the box notes that the specs are of the lower end 1GB RAM with 16GB internal memory version. I’ve checked the phone since then and confirmed that it IS the 2GB with 32GB internal memory version.
So let’s move on to the device shall we? The ZP980 Ultimate is probably known all over GizChina by now, but to rehash our memories, let’s go through its specifications.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Specifications:

  • OS: Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • Processor: Mediatek MT6589T Quad Core Cortex A7 @ 1.5Ghz
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX544 (Single Core)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Internal Memory: 32GB
  • Camera: 13.1 MP rear camera with LED flash, 3MP front Camera
  • Display: 5.0” IPS TFT LCD Display @ 1920×1080 (440 ppi)
  • Connectivity: WiFi802.11a/b/g/n o, Bluetooth4.0, GPS
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Dimensions: 143.3mm x 70mm x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 150g

Walk around the device

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate hands on

Front of the phone, you get to see the beautiful 5” 1080p panel, supposedly made by Sharp, looking real fly. The panel is an OGS panel, which means that the touch sensitive glass and the LCD sit on the same layer, meaning that you don’t have that ugly gap in between the touch screen and the LCD.

The panel is an IPS panel as well, so viewing angles and colours are great.

You’ll also find the supposed 3MP front facing camera, but if you follow the video down below as well, you’ll see that I discover it to be an 8MP camera instead. Not a bad discovery!

Another not so bad discovery is the fact that the phone in itself came with a screen protector installed. Minus for the bubbles that can be fixed, that’s not too bad either!

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate hands on

You have your 3 capacitive buttons up front, in options-home-back respectively. They DO light up, but don’t expect them to blind you, rather the only other time you’d be able to see them is probably at night, which sort of makes sense in a way.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate

You have the logo and a speaker grill up back, all in a visually textured checker back. I say visually textured because it just feels like a matte surface, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Doesn’t seem to gather any fingerprints upon usage. The speaker is not the loudest of them all, but it’s not exactly soft either.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate camera

You’ll also find the 13.1MP camera. I realized that even though Antutu shows it as 12.6MP, the built in camera still recognizes it as a 13 MP camera. Sample photos down below.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate

Looking on the right means you’ll find the power button with a small print that shows the power icon. It pops up nicely and is easy to press, unlike some other phones I’ve had before, mainly HTC devices.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate

Up top you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, which hooks in quite firmly, and doesn’t move around. Plus points for build quality.

The provided earphones feel quite cheap in build quality in comparison to the phone, and they only seem to have one button, which allows for answering calls, where some other headsets have the ability to play/pause, prev track and next track. The connection point to the earphones themselves are also quite flimsy. The sound quality of the earphones isn’t TOO bad, but you can certainly get better by providing your own. Bass is clearly lacking, though there seems to be quite a bit of mid. Treble isn’t as clear as I’d like it either. Things become much better after hooking in a pair of proper headphones (Tested with my pair of Philips O’Neill The Stretch).

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate hands on

On the left you’ll find the volume rocker, that like the power button, also had a nice press to it and feels nice and solid, and doesn’t move or bump around.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate hands on

And finally on the bottom, you’ll find the micro USB port, for your data and charging etc etc needs. USB port clicks in quite nicely and doesn’t wobble. You get the choice of USB Storage, MTP, PTP or Charging only or Connecting it as a CD- ROM to install additional software when you hook it into a PC. Always nice to have extra options.

Overall, I’m really happy with the build quality of the device. It’s put together quite solidly, though there is that issue with the flexing that Andi here in GizChina has brought up before. Just don’t put it into your back pockets, problem solved!

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Hands on and Benchmarks

Benchmarks are great, and the system runs really nice and fast, as expected from a quad core with 2GB of ram anyway. Battery life so far from usage is great, despite only having 2000 mAH under the hood, and running all the benchmarks and tests. It should be noted that you’re unable to copy apk files into your internal system (didn’t allow me to copy apk files in device from my local server into the phone), however, as a fun fact, somehow hooking up the phone into my computer, and running adb commands, my computer recognized it as “My HTC”. Odd.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate benchmarks

GPU Performance is impressive as the system pulls a good 51fps on Unreal’s Epic Citadel. Strangely enough, I noticed that there was some sort of FPS cap at 51fps however, though I can’t be too sure of that. While not the smoothest in 3d Mark, it did manage to pull above 10fps on the normal test, though it dipped lower when set to extreme. Strangely though, it didn’t manage to finish the test without 3D Mark crashing.

It should be noted that the options in Developer Options seem to be quite limited, as I’m unable to turn on the usual animations that come with Android 4.2.1, but no matter. Not a big deal. Vibrations on the phone seem to be on the weak side though, as I would have liked it a tad stronger, for… feedback purposes. Just don’t expect it to do a lot of rumbling. The Galaxy Note 2 in that sense is a lot stronger.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate touch

Running a multi touch point test, I realized that the ZP980 only registers up to 5 touches at any given time, a short far cry of the 10 of my Note 2. Still, one shouldn’t need to have that many fingers on screen I guess, but it would have been a nice thing to have.

USB OTG Seems to work fine as I hooked in the microUSB cable and began typing away with a physical keyboard to reply messages.A nice addition to have, as you can do plenty with these.

To wrap up this section, the phone comes installed with the usual google package, Play Store, Google drive, Gmail, Youtube, Maps, without any Chinese applications really seen in sight. Always nice for them to have this for international customers.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Camera

The camera app that comes with the Zopo ZP980 isn’t too bad at all. The focus time is fast enough, and the photo quality seems good enough, but don’t rely on any astounding low light performance to blow you away. In the end, it’s just a really capable smart phone that takes pretty good pictures.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Connectivity

The one thing that the Zopo ZP980 really delivers on in my opinion, is in signal strength in connectivity.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate wifi

In the WiFi department, almost all the times, the ZP980 has better range and pickup vs my Note 2. At 5m away from the AP, the signal strength can be up to 5 dBm better, but moving close to the edges of the WiFi range, almost 20-25 meters away, the difference between the ZP980 and the Note 2 is up to 15 dBm, with the Zopo ZP980 leading! That’s a VERY big difference!

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate signal

Moving on to the mobile signal department is almost the same story, except maybe less pronounced, still a very good difference. Signal strength pickup is about 5dbm or so better than the Note 2, meaning that for the most part, I get more signal bars vs the Note 2! Nice improvements.

The ZP980 supports HSPA+ as well, so surfing is really fast and snappy, and a real pleasure to deal with.
GPS as well connects fast and locks on relatively fast, with pretty damn good accuracy.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Extras

I was given a custom cover case as well with a flip cover by my seller



As far as I’m concerned, it looks like a Zopo original part. It snaps into place nicely, if not more tighter than the default back, and has a textured feel to it, that makes it pleasant to touch. Like its default counterpart, it also doesn’t collect a lot of fingerprints, so that’s always a plus point, and it’s slightly glossy which gives it quite a more premium look, arguably better than the default back.

The front cover is made really well with no signs of cheap manufacturing, and has a very nice tactile feel to it up back, a leathery look and feel, with the other side (facing the phone) being of a black felt-ish material.

Me likey.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Conclusion

I think that even though this may not be the cheapest Chinese made phone out there, it’s certainly one of the better ones. Sure you pay a bit of a premium for it, in comparison to other Chinese made phones, but the advantages could be evidently clear, with really top notch build quality and connectivity backing you up, as well as the aesthetics to boot. Not many phones can cost this much and look this good after all. At 330, delivered with 4 day delivery, I think it’s a pretty good buy, considering you’re given quite a few extras as well.

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Pros

  • Excellent build quality, solid feel and nice buttons
  • Nice classy looking aesthetics (Not looking like a Samsung Kirf is always a plus point in my books)
  • Great 1080P OGS Display
  • Fast Quad Core Performance
  • Great 3D Performance
  • Unbloated, i.e. doesn’t come preinstalled with a lot of nonsense.
  • Great flip cover if you ever get it. Adds to the value of the device
  • 8MP front facing camera if you ever need to get your duck-face on.
  • GREAT connectivity, fast GPS

Zopo ZP980 Ultimate Cons

  • Weak capacitive backlight, could be brighter
  • Weak vibration, could be stronger
  • Sub-par earphones
  • Speakers, while not entirely soft, could be somewhat louder
  • 2000 mAh battery. At least 2500 would have been nice, but it’s not that bad since I have two.
  • Metallic looking plastic trim around the body could have actually been made out of aluminium, boosting rigidity.
  • Camera, while not bad, could have its colours a bit more balanced for a more natural look
  • Lacking on the developer options, can’t have access to extended controls.
  • Price point, though I would say it’s really worth it.

All in all, I give the Zopo ZP980 a good 8.5/10 😀

[templatic_contentbox type=”author” title=”About the Author”] Hamsteyr is an avid technology freak from Malaysia, who loves keeping up with the world of mobile technology, recently those coming from the far east. As a programmer and indie game developer, I also have an active role in XDA-Developers as an app/ ROM developer, when I’m not too busy developing self indie titles. [/templatic_contentbox]
Previous article6mm JiaYu S2 specifications reveal 8-core MT6592 processor and 5-inch FHD display
Next articleJiaYu G4 Advanced Review: One week of normal usage
  • vijayshimla

    Very nice , well rounded review . In fact a model for a phone review Sir. Kudos .

    • hamsteyr

      Thanks 😀 I tried to cover all bases when I did the review.

      In essence I basically did what I loved to see in reviews myself.

  • Mr.BlackWolff

    Very good full review..nice work 🙂

    • hamsteyr

      Thanks man :3

  • Airyl

    Yo bro, regards from Malaysia! Really good review, had all the good stuff in it. The Wifi signal comparison with the Note 2 was also a nice touch.

    • hamsteyr

      Sup braw! :3 I noticed it was quite a common worry/ complaint about china made devices, so it was naturally one of my concerns as well, hence I decided to address it with my review 😀

  • Aeonia

    Great review..Quick Question..What setting were you using on the Epic Cidatel benchmark? Performance or High Quality

    • hamsteyr

      It’s set on High Performance, which seems to be the default setting. When set to Ultra High Quality, it seems to bog down just like in 3d Mark.

  • hamsteyr

    Some additional follow up comments based on user experience:

    – Contrary to popular belief, the phone lasts perfectly fine with the 2000mAh battery. I made it 18 hours into the day with 42% left to spare on medium usage with some game time in between.

    – The clearing for the glow on the capacitive backlight could have been a lot cleaner, at the moment it just looks messy underneath.

    – I’ve already acquired root on my device, and flashed a cleaner Custom Rom on it. Performance is a LOT better, and battery life seems to have improved as well. I felt that the default ROM had a lot of issues with RAM management.

    Pretty much all for now 🙂 Enjoy.

    • MSTF

      Really great review, I liked it. +1
      I would like to what Custom ROM did you use and where did you get it?
      As I am going to do the same as soon as I receive my unit.

      • MSTF

        *I would like to know

      • hamsteyr

        As I can’t send any links over, I’m using the ZP980 Based on stock android rom that I got off NeedROM.com.

        So far things are alright, and performance is great, a lot better than the default rom that came with the device, but that may have to do with the fact that I now have root.

        • MSTF

          Thanks for the link.
          Actually there are 12 roms one can choose from, even JB4.2.2.

          • hamsteyr

            Yep, there are plenty to choose from 🙂

            • Jay

              Awesome review!

              This phone has me bowled! Am buying it.

              Hamsteyr, I too saw a lot of JB ROMs on needrom. Which amongst these did you go in for? Please help so I don’t have to sift through installing each one and finding out.

            • hamsteyr

              Replying to my own comment as I don’t have space to reply yours. :\

              It’s one that says “ZP980 based off stock android”

    • thachad098

      can you mention the rom that you used? any known issues on the new rom?

      • hamsteyr

        As per above, A more stock version of the default ROM from needrom.

  • Victor

    Nice review ! And congratulation for your first China’s android. i Can’t mine to reach me , this EMS is really slow sometimes

    • hamsteyr

      4 days waiting time, I’m not complaining for mine! Let us know how it goes 😀

  • eugen

    where you buy it? thx!

  • Harald

    That was a great review. Zopo GPS better than your old Galaxy Note 2? Maybe it’s true that M6589T GPS is much better than M6589 GPS?

  • hamsteyr

    Thanks, As far as I can tell, the GPS seems good, I’m not sure if BETTER, but I would say it’s pretty much on par. my Note 2 has some awfully long lock on times sometimes :\

  • Xpert

    I would like to know if Zopo ZP980 Ultimate is available in Europe ? Compatible with the networks here?

    • http://www.zopomobile.it/
      I’ve bought a zp910 from them a few months ago, good and fast service, they’ll reply to you in english. Price for zp980 32GB/ 2Gb ram: 318 Eur (all tax incuded)

  • mme

    Great review. Very information. AM also awaiting my Zopo 980 ultimate in India for last 6 weeks 🙁
    And my supplier (Zopo India) is not supplying flip case either 🙁

    • Rahul

      Have you received your phone ?. I am planning to buy one from zopo india. The customer care told me that I will receive the phone in 10 to 15 days. Now after seeing your comment I am little worried. Please let me know your thoughts.

    • Jay

      No extra battery either, with the India store

  • BrianJackson

    Great Review ..Thanks

  • AndyW

    I can only echo the comments on a great review.

    Also, the vendor’s details would be appreciated.

    • hamsteyr

      Thanks for the feedback :3

      I bought mine off AliExpress, GizChina doesn’t allow me to post links without them being moderated though.

      • AndyW

        There all lots of sellers on AliExpress, the vendor’s name would suffice 🙂

        • hamsteyr

          Hong Kong Goldway Electronic Co., Limited

          4 Diamonds (Meaning a very good seller).

          They’re selling it for 349.99 now with DHL shipping inclusive.

  • geo

    Thank you great effort!

  • uday

    one thing I wanna ask,plz do reply,u have said u got this mobile in 330 usd.but what about custom duty?
    I m from india,I also want to buy one but I heard custom clearance is not so easy while importing?
    plz reply sir

    • hamsteyr

      I didn’t get any custom duties for mine, it… slipped by undetected 😛

      I paid 330 flat.

      • Santosh

        Lucky u… 😉

  • Simon

    Fabulously comprehensive review thanks very much.

    • hamsteyr

      Thanks 😀 I tried hard to deliver :\

  • smokey

    Great review..I’m from Malaysia too..could you tell me how long a battery can last from 100% till 0% ?
    And hows Real Racing performance?

    • hamsteyr

      Battery lasted about 34 hours today. Not bad for a 2000 mAh device.

      Real Racing is playable, though it’s not entirely smooth. A single core SGX544MP1 can only do so much on a 1080p display after all :\

  • Mark

    “mmmmm…that feeling of taking off a fresh protector of a new phone.”
    I know exactly what you mean, I especially enjoyed watching that bit.

    Thanks for the excellent review Hamsteyr.

    • hamsteyr

      ahahaha, It was quite fun writing up this review as well, thanks for the comments XD

      I actually really enjoy reviewing devices, and I wouldn’t mind doing it more often, though I don’t have enough access to said devices to do so

      *wink wink nudge nudge at GizChina*

  • Greg

    Awesome, thanks. It’s particularly useful to read a comparison between the 980 and the Note 2. How do you find the smaller screen? Have you tried an MHL adapter to see if it’s capable of tv out? (I’m guessing it isn’t). It’s interesting to read that it struggles with Epic Citadel on the highest setting. Thanks for including that benchmark, I think it gives a good indication of hardware performance for those of us that like to play a game now and then – it’s impressive that it scores highly on the basic setting given the hi screen res. You must be really pleased 🙂

    • hamsteyr

      Well, for the most part, I missed the 5.5″ screen, so I went back to the Note 2 and gave the ZP980 to my brother (who is using a much older phone). I felt he needed the upgrade more than I did anyway, but of course, he’d be paying me for it 😛

      I actually don’t have an MHL cable to test video out, and that’s why I didn’t manage to do so. I don’t commonly use that anyway, so I felt it wasn’t as necessary.

      As far as those benchmarks go, That’s the one thing that I find pure Antutu tests lack at really translating. A good Antutu score really can mean nothing to GPU performance, and that’s why I felt it was very much necessary to run dedicated GPU tests as well. Still quite the bummer that 3d Mark didn’t work out.

      Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the review 😀 *thumbs up*

  • Waqas

    Nice review, I am torn between this, Zopo ZP980 and Iocean X7 Elite… ahhh

    • hamsteyr

      I had that very same conundrum as well! You should get the X7 and do a review of it and post it here hehe

      • Jay

        I too was in love with the iOcean x7 Elite just for sheer looks, until I came across the front and back 13 MP snapper – the THL KingKong. The latter has the same specs (2G RAM/32 Gig ROM et. al.). Not clear about OTG and MHL though, so I assume it’s non-existent.


        • hamsteyr

          Oh man, that IS a very beautiful phone, but I’m unsure of THL as a brand 🙁 The most I’ve known of them, they only made HTC Kirfs D:

          • Jay

            Very correct. In fact, you can make out that trait from the logo itself. Looks like they’re seriously “inspired” by HTC |-D

            What’s noteworthy is that the battery is not user-replaceable. Well, at least they didn’t copy HTC’s attribute of not having expandable card slots. I just don’t get why HTC would that to itself.

            • hamsteyr

              Hmm… yeah. I would instead go with the TCL (Alcatel) Idol X if that was the case :\

  • Well done dude!

  • Job_CF

    Many thanks! Good to see a recommendation from a knowledgeable user.
    I am interested in buying a phone based on Mediatek MT6589. But as a newbie to Chinese phones, I am confused about which are the reliable and trustworthy manufacturers to choose. Anyone in addition to Zopo?!

    • hamsteyr

      You could look at bigger brands like ZTE, Meizu or Xiaomi if you’re not into gambling about quality much.

      I don’t know much about the other slightly bigger ones, like Umi, Jiayu etc etc, but I do know that they’re a lot cheaper (usually half the price of bigger names) if you’re willing to give them a shot.

  • Simon

    Hamsteyr I think you definitely should review more tech gizmos, you definitely have the edge.

  • hamsteyr

    I would very much love that, but I just don’t get much of an opportunity to do so 🙁

  • Simon

    Hopefully it will happen, one way or another 🙂

  • vijayshimla

    hamsteyr has said this is priced at $ 330 delivered..now that is the catch..for us in India with the customs amounting to more than 10 percentum overall- plus- we r approaching a price point of $ 400.. and that is where the big bad 1000 pound Gorilla- Samsung comes in– In India now the price of Galaxy Note 2 with its superlative 5.5inch display and excellent service back up worldwide- is virtually this price point..and S3- is even less…Likes of Zopo etc beware..the big Gorilla is stalking you..and will want the entire forest to itself…hence to survive- either grow BIG or reduce prices..

    • hamsteyr

      Yeah, I didn’t get taxed for mine, though I was probably eligible to being taxed for the device.

      Depends on your luck I guess.

  • Job_CF

    Customs & Excise in the UK have been know to whack buyers with duty and VAT. There are two things the sender can do to help.
    1. Do not enclose an invoice
    2. Send as a gift.
    3. In the green form enter value at no more than $50 (for UK).

    Over the years I have bought many things from US, Canada, India, Hong Kong and China. So far has never paid any duty or taxes 🙂
    Can only hope my luck does not run out when buying a phone!

  • safaxy

    wonderfully detailed review…
    just wanted to ask your opinion about UMI X2 32GB….approximately same configuration but less price?
    what would u say we we compair both UMI X2 vs ZP980 ?

    • hamsteyr

      I was initially interested in the Umi, but I didn’t really like the build quality after taking a look at it in the photos. It looked a bit cheap in my opinion, with the white glossy plastic, and I’m also unsure about the overall quality, but that’s where it would have been good to get hands on for both to get the most informed decision.

      Still, the Umi is a lot cheaper.

    • MSTF

      Search in youtube “ZP980 vs Umi x2”.
      You will get your answer.

  • Prasanth


    Thanks for extraordinary review…I am about to order this… can you please confirm if this has gorilla glass protection. if not, do we really need to worry about gorilla glass. this is only point where i am thinking before buy this phone. and how about build quality ( i know it is plastic but how much good it is). I am worried about battery but as you said. you will get two along with pack. so you can assume that you have 4000 mah…I heard this has only tempered glass..

    • hamsteyr

      It’s difficult to confirm something like this without smashing the front of my phone really 😐

      I know that gorilla glass isn’t really glass (duh) but rather a composite material, so if its any consolation, tapping the front of the phone with my finger nails gives a similar noise to say my note 2, unlike say… an iphone 4.

      • Prasanth

        thanks for your answer… though i am not really worrried about glass gorilla or not. after all its our responsibility to protect it..:) can we connect to HDTV. I heard review says it does not have HDMI.. is MTH is similar…? can you test and let us know…

        I am thankful to you as this detailed review going to more sales for zopo 🙂

        • hamsteyr

          Well, I don’t have an MHL cable with me to output to HDMI, so I’m not sure how I can test this. I can probably try and get one this weekend, but no guarantees as well.

          • Jay

            AFAIK from the vendor’s specs, this does not have MHL. OTG is supported though, which you have found out as well through your keyboard experiment 🙂

            • hamsteyr

              Yeah, a little search on google came up with the same answer. Oh well.

  • Manan

    Thanks for the great review, but did any one notice the buggy touch screen with zp980 32 gb ? following are my problems with the brand new zp980 32gb i have
    1. notification drawer , is not easy to drag down, sometimes it will come out 25% and go back sometimes it works fine.
    2. have to touch some icons two -three times to open, first time nothing will happen.
    3. the screen will shake if you touch and hold the display at one point,specially in browsers, (any browser)
    4, old ghost touch problem, while scrolling horizontally or vertically, it i will click open one of the item from list, this is most frustrating.

    I tried 6-7 different ROMS , all have same problem, tried ghost touch fix from zopo, still same problem. I thnk THL is way more better in terms of touch screen , i had thl w7 dual core, and touch response was 100% without any errors.

    Any ideas anyone ?

    • You see, that is the problem with chinese phones, they are way to expensive, as soon as you have a problem you got no service

      • Manan

        i used 3 Chinese phones before, this is the first expensive one i bought, and it has touch screen problems, i cant believe how zopo is such famous company having problems in all heir models , and still they can sustain so high price ? I think thl easily wins here, all my previous phones were THL, I just tried zopo and not satisfied. Those planning to buy zopo, please reconsider.

        • Job_CF

          Quality assurance procedures cost money and can not be expected to be the best when buying cheap phones, I guess.

    • hamsteyr

      Hmm. I don’t get any of those problems on my Zopo, but I heard on the official Zopo forums that there is this phantom touch problem that some have fixed via the official OTA.

      I don’t have any of the problems you listed above in fact. Sorry to say, it sounds like you got a lemon 🙁

    • Do you have this problem /or the problem gets worse when you plug-in charging?

      I have played around with some Star and Haipei China phones that have screen problem (i.e. touch jumps around, drawer can’t drag down etc). The the problem seems to be alot worse when I plug in charging the phone so I think it’s either 1. the screen not properly grounded / calibrated 2. The dirt cheap charger didnt regulate the vol & damaged the screen.

      After the news of the electric iphone girl, I suggest all user to throw out hte charger that comes w/ the China phone and get a proper one.


      • hamsteyr

        I’m not using their provided charger at all since I have a 4 USB port wall charger, so I can’t really say for sure.

        I know what exactly you’re talking about though. That’s to do with these chinese wall chargers using unregulated voltages as you said, and it screws up the touchscreen with interference. I used to get that quite commonly with my crapper chargers, that I’ve since thrown away/ gotten rid of.

        I can/ should test this charger though.

  • manan

    Thl w8s is same config 265$ and zp980 340$ …I made big mistake by choosing the 2nd atleast in my opinion ..let’s see if they have any firmware which corrects this issue else I will sell it…anyone want it here ?300$ 😉

    • hamsteyr

      I heard on the forums that there already are firmware updates that fix these problems, if that helps :\

      • Manan

        Hi Hamsteyr , Already applied that, doesn’t work…dont you have all ths problems in your zp980 ?

        • hamsteyr

          No, none at all 😡 as you can tell from my videos as well, I have quite near to a perfect user experience right now. The touchscreen works perfectly.

          I can only imagine that their QC Process maybe isn’t as strict and a couple of lemons went off by :/

          • Manan

            Can you givve me the exact ROM version from about menu…and if possible a link to download it, I will try to install that and see if it makes any difference, I see in your video you dont have those problems.

            • hamsteyr

              I got mine off needrom, it’s the one which says “ZP980 Based on stock android rom”

              I would give you build number, but it’s quite undescriptive.

    • Job_CF

      Looks like you got a ‘lemon’, as Hamsteyr said. With mass production, there will always be lemons. High levels of Quality Assurance system would reduce the number of ‘lemons’ but can not eliminate them. This is where good warranties and good after sales service from reputabel deler comes in. So, before giving up on your phone, may I suggest that you get a replacement? Good luck!

      • hamsteyr

        Indeed, I get 1 year from my seller, and while it may not be as much as say a Samsung, it’s certainly at least still something. :\

      • manan

        Getting replacement is headache with Chinese sellers…and I still think it is problem with all zp980 ..I read on lot of forums…even my phone has patches of perfect working for few minutes or couple of hours here and there …so it might be possible lot of ppl havent noticed this yet ..I will rather wait 6 months and work with whatever it is and thn sell it ..buy a new one..:) thanks for your feedback and suggestion

        • hamsteyr

          so far so good for me, with no problems with touches whatsoever. I’m tempted to say this is how it is with first batch phoens, but it’s not really either, as far as touch screens go anyway.

          I still think a replacement would be good, but okay :\ good luck man! I hope you get it resolved. Such a bummer that you ran into issues. Try THL next round! 😀

  • Anon

    Since no one has said it yet…

    Zopo ZP⑨80

    • hamsteyr

      LOL. I approve of this.

      Baka. xD

  • Yuki

    Dat チルノ。

    • hamsteyr

      Lol XD Someone notices my Limited Edition Nendo Cirno x3

      She’s awesome.

  • Manan


    Are you referring to this one? which version from this link ?

    • hamsteyr

      Yep, exactly that, v0.18 without data speed on notification.

      • manan

        Using this ROM now…used it before also…kind of reduces some of the problems not 100% yet
        .I will say 95%

  • Job_CF

    Was on the verge of buying from Hong Kong Goldway Electronic Co. Limited at AliExpress. Then found this:
    “Antelife are currently listing the 2GB RAM version of the Zopo ZP980 at $349.99 but they have given us a discount code to bring the price down to a more affordable $305.$44”
    discount code: gzp980u44
    Flip Leather Case is $4.49 extra.

    Does any have experience of buying from Antelife?!

    • manan

      Yes ante life is good. You can buy from there…and just a suggestion consider thl w8s also…it has e config with a lot less $..

    • hamsteyr

      I actually looked it up, and to get the same package I got is just slightly more expensive.

      Their baseprice is good, but once you throw in the express dhl and battery and case… yeah.

      but if you don’t need those, it comes up cheaper as well

  • manan

    I got 3 days shipped via dhl 2 batteries and flip case for 340$ …let me know If you are interested…can give you details

  • steve harman

    Great review. Only thing I couldn’t find was tests of the GPS? Of all things this has to be the biggest gripe with MediaTek phones – just how fast (slow) GPS satellites come into view / are usable by say a Maps app.

    Any chance you can do some tests please? Also can you give the name of the AliExpress store you used?

    Many thanks,

    Sent from my Zoo

    • hamsteyr

      While I actually did mention it in the review above, I admit guilty to not dwelving in too deeply for it. I did the GPS tweaks for MTK devices found here in GizChina, and I haven’t had problems getting a GPS lock.

      Going outside, and slapping on GPS, I got 11 satellite locks in about 5 seconds?

      The store is Hong Kong Goldway Electronic Co. Limited at AliExpress

  • Marcin

    Does it support 64GB SD card? Where can I find some sample photos or videos? thanks

  • Prabhakar Kamath

    Hi, thanks for the great review.
    I had booked this phone ZP980 32GB Ultimate from Zopo India on 15th July. It is still not delivered. They claim there was a “ROM” problem in the phone, hence there was a delay in getting supplies to India.
    Can you tell me if the one you have has a stable ROM? Do we have to believe claims made by Zopo India (this is a official Zopo partner in India)? I dont know where to throw weight to get the phone delivered.

  • hamsteyr

    Stock rom that was provided with the phone was quite stable, didn’t really run into any real problems with it.

    I don’t see why they would say that.

  • ronn

    Hi Hamsteyr,
    I’m also from Malaysia, does this phone being held by our custom?
    Any additional charge or tax required, I heard AP is required for clearance, kindly advise.
    BTW, nice review, how’s the battery life, need charging daily?
    Oh yeah is the storage split like 4/28GB?

    • hamsteyr

      Nah, the phone wasn’t held by customs in my case, though I heard its entirely on luck. Smaller packages usually fly by (they’re not very hardworking) and boxes that don’t have clearly labeled things usually escape as well (mine wrote android tablet, and not phone)

      Battery life is pretty good, I can easily surpass 24 hours, my usual battery life is about 28 hours with everything turned on.

      Storage… is split 1.5/29

      • Job_CF

        At Aliexpress, I noticed that some sellers offer to send the the phone as a gift at a value to avoid customs duty.

  • hamsteyr

    There’s that as well, but I think it’s also quite hit and miss, there’s only so much “gifts” that go by.

    I’ve had things labeled as such that still get opened.

  • Job_CF

    Hi Hamsteyr, Don’t know if you are a music fan but have you tried it with a pair of good quality headphones?
    And, does it play lossless formats such as FLAC rather than MP3?
    Also, does the manual say anything about the maximum microSD card the ZP980 could take?

    • hamsteyr

      I did try them with my Philips O’Neil Stretches, I consider them to be pretty good headphones, that I normally use beside a Cowon J3 with a FiiO e5 amp.

      Although I didn’t have extended time with it, the music quality seemed okay from tests. As far as formats go, I’ve not tested it with flac, but I think that has more to do with software player supporting it, that you can easily install.

      I have a 32gb sd inside, though I can test with a 64gb. I’ll let you know the details if you’re interested .

  • Cedric


    Thanks for this very good full review.

    I will buy it in the future but I need to know if the phone is not to big to be in front jean pocket ?

    Can you help me ?


    • hamsteyr

      It fits in mine without any issues 🙂

      • Cedric

        Good news 😀

        Anys other opinion 🙂

    • I have a 5 inch phone, it is suitable in my pocket, I believe you have no problem.

  • Rahul

    Yes it fits perfectly for me as well. But I am facing one problem. When I speak for more than 20 minutes the phone gets heated up. Is anyone else facing the same problem?

    • hamsteyr

      Quite a normal occurance, it’s actually “cooler” in comparison to chips like the Tegra 3 :\ I have a One X, and when it heats up, you can’t even hold it up. The Zopo heats up as well, but not exactly very often or neither is it REALLY hot.

      In comparison, the Note 2 does heat up quite substantially as well, but I managed to prevent that by doing high level kernel tweaks (Voltage control/ fine tuning).

      I’m hoping that a custom kernel with OC/UV hits the Zopo soon, then I can get to work 😀

  • Rahul

    Thanks a lot for your comments Hamsteyr. I thought It was problem unique to zopo zp980 and I was little worried about it. I didn’t realize that there are other popular phones which had this problem.

    Please post your comments once you come to know about a custom ROM which doesnt have this problem.

  • Rahul

    I am also facing one more problem. I have inserted my SIM in SIM2 slot and its a local sim but my phone is detecting as a Roaming SIM . Does anyone know how to correct this problem.

    Will any SIM inserted in SIM 2 slot will be detected as Roaming ?

    • hamsteyr

      Sim 2 is the full sized sim slot is it not?

      In my case, both are working fine for me :\

  • Rahul

    Yes I have inserted a full size sim sim in SIM2. But I dont know why its showing as roaming. I am actually using the stock firmware. I have not updated the ROM.

    • hamsteyr

      Odd. Did you took a look at the date of your firmware? Prior to flashing a custom ROM, mine was dated to mid June, pretty much few days before I received my unit.

  • Rahul

    There is no date in the build number. But the kernel date says 08 June 2013.

  • Rahul

    I received many device 2 days back

    • hamsteyr

      You can try out the custom rom I am using now above as well if you’re feeling like it, if not head to the zopomobileshop forums and see if there are some official rom updates :\

      Seems like latest is 10th June, not sure if it matters.

  • Rahul

    There are 2 version in zopo site B version and normal version. Mine is 32gb version which one should flash

    • hamsteyr

      4shared .com/zip/zJX1xjnF/980_c2_version_b_zopomobilesho. html

      remove spaces and try :\

  • Rahul

    Ok Thanks I will try this and get back to you

  • Job_CF

    Came across these two online shops.
    Could they be both genuine shops by the manufacturer?!

  • hamsteyr

    Thought that I’d chime in an update here, to say that I discovered that there are some ROMs online that reportedly solved the touchscreen issues, namely GeoMod’s ROM, and the Chinese Emotion UI ROM. People have reported 0 touch screen problems after flashing these roms.

    As a further update, I’ll note that I’ve flashed my phone over to LewaOS, a Chinese ROM (But in English) and I’ve gotten the best battery life to date! 😀

    I’m sitting at 16 hours since unplugged now, with 50% battery left, as opposed to previously 12 hours with 18% battery left! As I thought, these devices definitely have potential, given their hardware. Question then is whether those problems can be solved.

    Anyway, I hope that was helpful 😀

  • Rahul

    Hi moderator delete my previous comment. I have given different email id.

    I tried flashing the firmware mentioned by you. But while selecting the scatter file I am getting the error invalid scatter file format.

    So I downloaded the custom ROM from

    I was still facing the same problem, So I cut my sim and put it into to the sim1 slot but still facing the same problem.

    1. SIM is detecting as roaming and when you make a call to IVRS (Interactive voice response system) and dialing the numbers are not working.
    2. 3g is working for browser and playstore but skype, email and others dont work.

    • hamsteyr

      I see, that’s very odd seeing that I have no problems using it in my device, even with that ROM that you posted (in fact that’s the one that I used before). All I can really think of now is whether the ZP980 supports the bands that are used by your carrier. Can you reconfirm that you’re on HSDPA? I’m poking at every possibility here.

      In any other case, there’s an ongoing discussion with some of the members here over at XDA Developers about custom ROMs that seem to solve a lot of issues in the device.

      forum.xda-developers .com/showthread.php?t=2234265&page=47

      Just remove the spaces and the link should work :\

  • Rahul

    I was finally able to solve the issue mentioned in point 2. Now 3g works fine after create a new APN setting.

    But the issue mentioned in point 1 is still present

  • Rahul

    This is a weird problem I am facing. Today I got my SIM replaced by the service provider and I am still facing the same issue.

    1. I put my SIM in another phone there is no roaming indication and IVRS works.
    2. I put another SIM in my phone there is no roaming indication and IVRS works.

    • Rahul

      Hi Hamsteyr

      1. I was able to correct the error in scatter file format by removing some special charaters in the folder and flashed the new firmware.
      2. I found the exact issue mentioned in the point 1 of my previous comment.
      I am facing the same issue when I put another SIM from the same service provider as mine (Roaming indicator appears). SIM for other service provider works fine.
      3. I have identified another bug in the firmware.
      During roaming with 3g on. certain IVRS numbers dont work (eg cisco webex). If I disable 3g then IVRS works.
      Hamsteyr have you faced this while you are roaming with 3g on ?. I want to report this bug to zopo team. Is Zopomobileshop forum the right place to report the bug.

      • hamsteyr

        I really have not run into any problems you mentioned above. I’m tempted to believe that somehow you ended up with a lemon of a device.

        I would definitely bring it up in the zopo forums, or better, personally get in contact with one of their staffs so that you can have a talk with them about it, and look into getting a replacement.

        • Rahul

          Thanks you very much Hamsteyr. I am happy to talk with their staff and explain the problem.

        • Rahul

          Hi Hamsteyr

          I think, the problem I am talking about is reproducesible on all zopo zp980 phone. If possible please try the below steps

          1. Get a roaming SIM (do not use a local SIM)and insert it into your zopo zp980.
          2. Enbale 3g and verify if its working fine.
          3. Now call some toll free numbers ( try multiple IVRS call) and try to navigate through the menus using your dialpad
          Now you should be able to see that you are not able to navigate. Once you press any numbers from dialpad you dont hear anything from the other side.
          4. Now repeat the steps3 by disabling the 3g. Now you will be able to navigate through the menus using your dialpad

          Hamsteyr Please let me know if your are able to get a roaming sim and whether you are able to repoduce this.

        • Rahul

          Below is example of a toll free number (India) where the IVRS dont work. You can also try other IVRS numbers

          • Rahul

            Hi Hamsteyr

            Did you get a chance to test the above issue mentioned by me.

            • hamsteyr

              Oh sorry. I forgot to reply. No, I don’t have any working international sims with me, so I am unable to test this. Look in the Zopo forums on xda, there is possibly someone else who does.

  • hamsteyr

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with that already. Too technical for my side of things 🙁

  • Pedro
  • Job_CF

    As you guys may have read, Xiaomi and Meizu have started a price war.
    For example, the Xiaomi M2S 2GB/32 GB is down to 2009 Yuan ($327).
    Such price cuts are bound to pressure on Zopo, JiaYu and others of comparable spec.

  • Rahul

    Hi Hamsteyr

    I have got a new OTA update ZP980 20130818-173942.

    I have custom recovery TWRP installed in my system. Can I download and install this update through TWRP or do I need install the original firmware with original recovery again and then install this update.

    • hamsteyr

      You need to use their software to install those Updates I’m guessing, as from what I know they’re not CWM compatible.

      You should be able to push stock firmware back into your phone if you need to send it in for warranty.

      • Rahul

        I have the stock firmware in my system but not the stock recovery. I have twrp and my phone is rooted.
        Do you mean to say I need to install the stock recovery and unroot the phone to install the update.

        • hamsteyr

          I meant that they have their own PC software to flash stock roms.

          I’m not sure how to use it, but I’ve seen it in the Zopo Forums

  • Rahul

    I have also rooted my phone.

    • Shouvik

      Hey Rahul, Are you from India? I am thinking about buying a zopo 980.. can you please share your buying experience?

  • Murtada

    Great Review.Thanka Hamsteyi . I bought the same From Dubai and its a great mobile.

  • Rahul

    Hi Shouvik

    Yes I am from India. I had heard a lot of stories that zopo mobile india store take long time to deliver, so I bought the mobile from ebay.in for Rs22,999. Here I got one extra battery, Flip case (zopo india is selling this case for Rs 1500) and a screen protector. I also received the mobile in 3 days. So I though it is a good deal and brought it from ebay.

    Please let me know if you need more information.

    • Shouvik

      Thanks Rahul, I ordered from Aliexpress with DHL shipping, should be getting the phone tomorrow (within 4 days of placing the order). Looking forward to it. Will post my review about it over here.

      • Prabhakar Kamath

        Hi, Good decision to buy from ebay or aliexpress………….I had ordered this phone from Zopo India on 15th July and still not received delivery. The latest update from Zopo is that phones are in “customs clearance” !!! I am not the only one, guess there will be more than 500 like me. When I post any comment on their FB page, it is deleted.

        • Rahul

          Hi Prabhakar

          I am sorry to hear that you have still not received your phone. There will be not customs problem if you buy form ebay.in since it is already custom cleared and shipped from India so you should be able to receive the phone in 3 to 4 days. But with aliexpress you have to go through customs. If the Customs ask’s for big amount of money check with aliexpress and ask for a refund and tell the customs to return back to the sender.

          I hope both of you dont face this issue.

        • Rahul

          Once both of you receive the phone don’t forget to post your review comments. It will be helpful for others

          • Shouvik

            Just received my phone, see below for details.

  • Cezar

    SAR values for this model ? Thanks

  • Shouvik

    I am based on New Delhi, while I decided to buy Zopo ZP980 32GB version a while ago, I saw people complaining about the late delivery of zopomobiles india. Then I came across this excellent review by Hamsteyr, did a bit of research on Aliexpress and placed my order. Till now I am extremely satisfied with my decision.
    I placed the order at around 10 PM Friday night. The Aliexpress took 24 hours to verify my payment. By Sunday morning the seller updated that he has already shipped the package and would update the tracking number within 2 days, and updated the tracking number 3-4 hours later! (Great Job). I started tracking on DHL site. The package reached India by Sunday night. I should have received the phone on Monday morning (DHL said they couldn’t find the address) but got it on Tuesday 12 PM. The package was nicely packed with bubble wraps and the phone built quality and appearence is really beautiful! The sole issue I am facing is the local Idea sim showing as roaming. But I know, this is not a problem with the phone (My LG optimus 2x also showed it as roaming most of the times) but rather with the sim/service provider. Let me know if you have any questions for me!

    • Prabhakar Kamath

      Well, Congrats!! Does it have Cornill Gorilla Glass protection? I had read on this site that post Aug03, all Zopo zp980 32Gb models will have Gorilla glass.

      • Prabhakar Kamath

        Another question………..did you have to pay any customs duty?

        • Shouvik

          Hi Prabhakar
          Yes, I heard that too, that post august they will have gorilla glass, and it was mentioned on Aliexpress that it will come with gorilla glass. But you understand that its very difficult to test something like this. 🙂 I didn’t have to pay custom duties (I guess) as the seller made the bill of $15. I opted for DHL delivery which cost me $31.89. The phone was $332.49 which sums up to roughly $364. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • Rahul

      Hi Shouvik

      Congratulations for the new phone. My local vodafone sim also indicates roaming with 3g. If I disable 3g I dont get the roaming symbol. My phone get heated If I talk for more than 10 to 15 mins. It gets so heated that I get pain in my ears after talking for more than 10 or 15 mins.

      Please let me know if you are also facing the same issue.

      • Shouvik

        I did a skype call using 3g for 10 mins till now, there was a bit heating up, but thats acceptable because my Optimus 2x used heat up much more. I haven’t tried talking longer yet. One issue is that when I have both sims inserted, I am not able to connect to 3G on either sim and network keeps droping. I am using only Idea sim on sim2 slot now and everything is working good. The roaming indicator is probably because Idea/vodafone uses each others network. I have checked call rates and all and they are all as per local rates.

        • Prabhakar Kamath

          Hey Guys,
          Just got my zp980 2GB / 32GB today from Zopo India. First impressions were good. No roaming indication on my Vodafone SIM. Dual Sim works good. The screen resolution is aweful. About the heating issue, need to make a long call and then comment. I had a short 5min call, and I did feel a bit heating on the ear. The only con I could identify today was that speakerphone volume was very low. More later.

          • Rahul

            Congrats Prabhakar

            Did you cancel your previous order from aliexpress and booked from zopo india.
            Within how many day you got the phone from zopo india.

            • Prabhakar Kamath

              No, I never ordered on Aliexpress. I had ordered from Zopo India on 15th July & received my phone today 19th Sept…..just about little more than 2 months!!! Cost me Rs 18500.

            • SURYA

              TO my Indian brothers I have 02 questions.1. How many IMEI numbers it has? Q2. Does it support flip to Mute?

      • Job_CF

        I understand that IMEI includes information on the origin, but does it change because the phone is used in one country or another?

  • hamsteyr

    Some of you may find this useful, as I’ve currently settled onto using this ROM. LewaOS has finally released their first official version of their OS for this device, and I highly recommend trying it and giving it a shot.

    Possibly the best experience that you can get on this device so far

    forum.xda-developers. com/showpost.php?p=45707750&postcount=41

  • Rahul

    Hi Hamsteyr

    I had rooted my phone. Later I installed the original recovery and installed the latest update ZP980 20130818-173942.

    After upgrading I dont have ROOT anymore. Super user application is no longer working. RootChecker application say’s its rooted. Titanium backup and mobile uncle say’s the phone is not rooted any more.

    Previously I used EROOT.exe for rooting. This application is no longer rooting my zopo zp980 32GB ROM version. Can you please tell how to root the device again.

    • Eck Leslie

      download Vroot it will unlock any Chinese phone with one click the only down side is down loads one app with it that your better delete, but apart from that its great. Chinese super user is the root but you can change it to any one you want after you have root access

  • FCS

    Hello Folks, just order 1 x ZP980 to Brasil and a question raised. Is there any windows software for manage the ZP980 like Samsung Kies ? I did not find any indication for that. Best Regards, FCS

  • banksouth

    Got a ZOPO zp980 great phone but no user manual. Can’t figure out how to transfer photos from phone to laptop and I have software that enables me via USB to transfer from ordinary camera. I have tries clicking on the camera icon and gallery icon but no panel listing photos I have taken comes up on my laptop screen as it normally does with other cameras. The software is MP Navigator ex Canonscan which usually works fine with all photos and documents.
    Maybe some one know where I can get a user manual?
    Cheers, Dave

    • It uses MTP, it shouldn’t need any drivers at all. Mine works fine out of the box.

      Even then, there is an option to choose connection type, and you can connect via MSC.