Visible Mobile ZTE Blade A7 Prime

I got this phone for free, today, with the swap deal.

It's a lot nicer than I expected and I like the 3GB/32GB specs.

One strange thing, though.

6.7GB of the storage is taken up, right out of the box, by "Other". That's in ADDITION to "System" (2.2GB) and built-in "Apps" (1.5GB).

That leaves 22GB of usable storage.

Does that seem strange to y'all?

Maybe that's how much memory it takes to make it difficult for ordinary folks to use the phone on a carrier other than Visible.

I got one a few weeks ago too, just to check out how one goes about working around the carrier restrictions. It's actually quite easy to make it work on T-Mobile and AT&T. It also works on Verizon post paid without any tweaks. What I haven't managed to do, however, is make it work on another Verizon MVNO such as Xfinity Mobile.

I suspect it is just the phone using different classifications. My Moto E5 play system is 5.5gb vs your 2.2gb for example. My ZTE R2 even has 4gb of system. So 2.2gb is low and I suspect the rest is just shoved into other.

That makes good sense. Thanks.

So the A7 works with other carriers? I had assumed it was carrier locked.

Is there anything special that needs to be done?

It's unlocked; it doesn't reject a non-Visible SIM. The issue is that the operating software is set on certain defaults that are locked out in a way that can't be changed by simply toggling through the settings. Specifically the phone is set on a default so that voice relies on VoLTE but the phone can only access VoLTE on Visible (and the Verizon mothership). Nevertheless, the phone has 3G GSM antennas. So you need a work around to change voice/text to 3G mode in a way that can be used by a GSM carrier.

The way you do that is to download an app from the play store that will force the phone to go into 3G mode for voice and text. The one that I use is Mobile Network Mode but there are others like it. Once that is downloaded, you change the toggle for "Set Preferred Network Type" to "GSM auto (PRL)" Voila. You have 3G voice/text access on AT&T or T-Mobile. Then, you just have to manually input the APN to get data.

Keep in mind that this phone is still not ideal on AT&T or T-Mobile because you are relying exclusively on LTE bands 2 and 4. You do not have bands 12, 17, 29, 30, 66, and 71. Your performance is going to be like using the unlocked Verizon version of the Galaxy S6 on a GSM carrier.

Given that it's usable on AT&T (on limited LTE bands) after using certain apps to change preferred network type, can we assume a FP AT&T SIM will work on the device?

You don't have to assume. I've used/tested mine on FreeUp. Other carriers that I've tested the A7 successfully include Mint, Cricket, and FreedomPop.

Has anyone tried the dual SIM capability of the ZTE Blade A7 Prime?

Supposedly the micro-SD slot is a hybrid dual SIM slot.

I'm tempted to try keeping my FreeUp, Truphone, or Piranha Mobile SIM in the phone with my Visible SIM. Or maybe a T-Mobile SIM.

I think that is just the non visible version.

FYI: My A7 did three updates, today, ending in B07, B08, and B09.

Not sure why they all updated back to back but nothing seems to be amiss.

Mine did B08 and B09 on the saame day - 12/25 last year.

That's what I was afraid of. I didn't realize it was updating until it was too late.

Fortunately, it's still on Android 9, so MTK still works.

And I've had to use MTK a bit more, the past few weeks, so I'm glad I've got it.