How does Zopo’s latest Zopo ZP530 Tocuh stack up to rivals? Find out in our Zopo ZP53o review.
It has been a very long time since we have reviewed a Zopo phone at GizChina, unsurprisingly really as we have been quite vocal about how Zopo should improve themselves. And that is what the phone maker claims to be doing.
A new Zopo experience
For the past few years international Zopo fans have been dealing with Zopo’s international team, a group hired by Zopo China to work on selling phones and supporting international fans. It didn’t go to well, and as well as upsetting fans this ‘international’ team also managed to cause issues for a number of Zopo resellers around the world.
Apparently that’s all changed now though. The old team are now no longer part of Zopo and have a new project, and bridges are being built again with certain Zopo resellers to resume business.
So now that Zopo proper are in charge of China and international business we should see some changes, but what and when those changes will take place we are not 100% sure.
Zopo ZP530 Touch Review: Specifications
Zopo have never been an innovative company so to see them following the rest of the field comes as no surprise. Just as we have seen Xiaomi, Meizu and other big brand phone makers work less on the hardware side of things and concentrate more on design and quality this is what Zopo have done.
In my previous hands on I was under the impression that the Zopo 530 Touch cost $199.99 (Zopomobileshop.com should look at a slight site redesign to avoid similar confusion for customers). Obviously at $199.99 the ZP530 would be over priced, but now that I know the real price is $169.00 it does seem much better value for money.
At this price the Zopo ZP530 is the same price to the Ulefone Be Pro. It has the same 64bit MT6732 processor, same LTE support, same resolution display (but on a smaller 5-inch panel) and same 8 mega-pixel main camera. The Zopo does only have 1GB RAM compared to 2GB RAM on the Ulefone, but then again the design, material and look of the ZP530 is much more up market than the Be Pro, and I have a feeling that both phones are after different customers.
Zopo ZP530 Review: Design
As already pointed out, Zopo are not an innovator. So to find a design that is similar to the iPhone 6, and near identical to the ZTE Blade S6 is hardly a surprise.
It is a good-looking phone though, the side and corners are all super smooth and have a great rounded profile. The 5-inch form factor means it is comfy in your hand even for one-handed use, and the gold alloy chassis give an added touch of class to the appearance.
The anodised chassis is visible on all sides and features a power button on the left, volume rocker on the right and headphone jack plus USB in the very top of the phone. There are not SIM trays as the back is removable, but before we take the rear off let’s have a quick scan across the front of the phone.
2.5D glass is nothing new, but it is showing up more and more often on Chinese Android phones. This year Xiaomi, IUNI, and a few other smartphone makers have added the slightly curved glass to their phones. Well it isn’t curved really but thinner in at the edges than in the middle giving he feel of a slight rounded edge.
The glass runs the full length of the phone over the top of the capacitive buttons on the chin (backlit), across the 5-inch HD display and up to the top where the a 5 mega-pixel Selfie camera is located. There is no dedicated notification LED but rather a ‘breathing’ home circle similar to Meizu and Nubia phones.
Flip the phone over and we have the white (in this case) removable rear cover with a slight pattern marked across it. At the bottom there is a single speaker grill on the right (just where my hand can muffle it when in landscape), the Zopo logo, single LED flash and 8 mega-pixel main camera. The rear panel is apparently made of 9 layers with the top having an anti finger print coat, odd as my review model managed to pick up smudges and smears quite easily.
The rear cover is made of a flexible but thick material and with a little more effort than usual you can get at the removable 2100mAh battery, dual LTE SIM slots and micro SD card reader for up to 64GB SD cards.
At $169 the Zopo ZP530 Touch finds its self at a competitive price, with some nice hardware and a very well made body. It’s odd to see Zopo in such a situation, they are usually well under par for the money but it’s quite difficult to fault the ZP530 now I know it doesn’t cost $199.99. It certainly is one of the best made and looking phones at this price.
Zopo ZP530 Touch Review: Screen
I’ve already mentioned the screen on the Zopo ZP530 Touch has a 2.5D glass panel and it is a HD screen, meaning a resolution of 1280 x 720, but what else does it have on offer?
In use it is a very nice screen. It reproduces pictures to represent real world images with bright and vivid colours.
As for touch response, well my review model does seem to suffer from missed touches. It seems I have to press on certain apps, options the camera shutter, more than once for the phone to finally register the touch. The accuracy if the touch screen is also a little poor too. In the Play store for example I have to touch slightly abover very small icons for the phone to see what I am trying to do.
Screen issues in Zopo phones are nothing new either, but at least I haven’t suffered the dreaded Ghost Touches of old (yet), and perhaps the NEW ZOPO, will solve everything with updates?
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Zopo ZP530 Touch Review: Performance
It’s odd to see a 64bit phone with just 1GB RAM as the whole point of 64bit SoC’s is that they are better at handing more RAM. Once a Lollipop update becomes available on the ZP530 Touch, we might have really seen a potent phone with 2GB RAM or more. 1GB on this phone is just a waste.
Despite having only 1GB RAM the phone does handle all current applications and the games we tested well, just don’t go running too many apps in the background or you will bog the phone down, and don’t expect much from advanced graphics as this is area the Zopo struggles.
Benchmarks are OK too, as we have found with similar MT6732 phones, but in real world 2GB RAM would have been more preferable. 1GB RAM really hinders this phone and could potentially prevent it from being more popular than it will eventually become.
Zopo ZP530 Benchmarks
- Antutu: 31,608
- Quadrant: 9,304
- Geekbench Single-core score: 726
- Geekbench Multi-core score: 2,177
- Vellamo Metal: 936
- Vellamo Multicore: 1,510
- Vellambo Browser: 2,305
- 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme: 4,971
- Nenamark 2: 65.1fps
- GFX Bench Manhattan: 507.5
- GFX Bench Manhattan 1080p offscreen: Out of memory
Zopo ZP530 Benchmarks screenshots
Zopo ZP530 Touch Review: Camera
There are $169 phones on the market today (and cheaper) with 13 mega-pixel rear cameras, but they either end up being interpolated 8 mega-pixel sensors or really poor quality units.
Zopo have played it safe with an 8 mega-pixel rear sensor with F2.0 aperture. The speed of focusing and capturing a photo on the Zopo is impressive, one of the fastest Mediatek phones to date, and the image quality is pretty good too.
For Zopo to opt for an 8 mega-pixel sensor is a marketing gamble (some people buy purely on spec) but they have made a good decision here and the rear camera on the ZP530 easily out performs camera’s on similar priced phones (Mlais M52, Ulefone Be Pro ETC).
Being just 8 mega-pixels does mean you cannot enlarge your images as much as you might need, but if you just use your camera photos for social media sharing the results will be more often pleasing enough.
A front 5 mega-pixel selfie camera performs well, but an F2.4 aperture means more light is needed to make the most of it.
The camera application on the Zopo is your standard Android 4.4 Kitkat version. The features are all bog standard and include HDR, Panorama and a very basic Beauty mode for the front camera.
Zopo ZP530 Touch camera samples
Zopo ZP530 Touch Review: Connectivity
As usual if you don’t have much to say then there is really nothing to complain about. This is true for the connectivity and wireless performance of the phone.
In my tests, LTE, WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0 were all flawless through out my time with the device. GPS is also a lot faster and more accurate than it once was on Mediatek phones thanks to the updated SoC.
Zopo ZP530 Review: Battery Life
From the style of the phone, specifications and even the marketing, it is plain to see that Zopo are not after the hardcore Android phone user with the ZP530 Touch. The customer who the device is aimed at is someone who want’s style over function, but with decent speed and main camera for updating social media.
For it’s intended use the 2100mAh battery is ok. it is still a little on the small side, but if you just need to make it through the work day with moderate/high usage (4G browsing, mail, camera, calls, GPS) then you can get away with it. If you are planning a night on the town after work then I suggest taking a charger with you just in case.
Zopo ZP530 Review: UI
Zopo have gone for a mostly stock Android 4.4 Kitkat system in terms of features, with a new UI tweasks to the applications icons, and the settings. Once applications are open they are just as Google intended they look on a Kitkat phone
In the settings we do find a smartwake option, but it only currently supports double tap to wake and there are no on screen gestures. There is an ‘air gesture’ type option which should monitor hand movements above the camera. It’s a feature I have never been compelled to use, just as well as they don’t work on the ZP530.
Zopo ZP530 Review: Conclusion
The Zopo ZP530 is by far the best Zopo phone that I have tested recently. The design and build are punching much higher than the retail price would suggest for the intended buyer the device is going to be a fun and stylish way to keep connected.
But, it could have been much much better. We have seen other companies get 2GB RAM in to their phones at this price so why haven’t Zopo been able too? An extra 1GB RAM would have made the phone smoother day to day and would have stopped us going in to the task manager all that often.
The 2100mAh battery too is on the small side. So we only have 1GB RAM and a HD display, but the phone is quite clearly marketed at people who want to be social and keep connected and that means long nights out and traveling to and from places. I’m sure a 2600mAh battery could have been fitted in to the same space, and would have given a little peace of mind for when you do head out on the town.
When I came in to this review I was still under the impression that the Zopo ZP530 Touch costed $199.99, and for that price I was ready to rip in to the phone, but once I learned that the RRP is $169 I had to reconsider some of my initial thoughts and ideas (as well as rewriting much of this review).
I think the ZP530 is a clear step above the rest of Zopo phones, and we have actually seen a vast improvement compared to previous models, and this pleases me a lot, but I also expect more.
As well as the small amount of RAM and tiny battery I am concerned about updates and the issues with the display. In the past Zopo have been terrible with updates, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for news of Lollipop on this phone, as it really deserves it.
Zopo are certainly heading in the right direction, and if they are willing to keep their fans needs and expectations in mind we might once again see them at the top of the game. As it is though the Zopo ZP530 is close but still a little wide of hitting the mark.
Thanks to Zopomobileshop.com for supplying use with the Zopo ZP530 Touch for review.