It’s getting increasingly hard to justify a smartwatch purchase when so many of them are launching with such high price tags. Paying $400 or $500 for a watch that works the same as one that costs half as much is a tough sell, not that a cheaper watch is an easy sell either. That’s what makes the ZTE Quartz intriguing. This is an Android Wear device that costs less than $200 and has a dedicated cellular connection on T-Mobile.
The Quartz is a bit large and clunky, and it’s missing some of the features you get with more expensive watches. However, the design is solid considering the price, and it runs Android Wear just as well as more expensive watches. The cellular connectivity is an interesting bonus that coincides with important changes over at T-Mobile. This isn’t the best smartwatch, but it might be the best deal on a smartwatch.
Design and display
I feel like a broken record here, but the ZTE Quartz is another big watch. Most smartwatches I’ve used lately are in this same size range of 45-46mm case diameter, which is the same as a large men’s mechanical watch. It’s 14.5mm thick, which is similar to the LG Watch Sport. This is mostly a consequence of having cellular connectivity (more on that later).
There’s a single crown button on the Quartz at the 2 o’clock position, and it’s just a button. There’s no digital crown functionality on this watch, which is a bummer. That said, the button is sturdy and has a nice tactile click when pressed. The bezel of the watch has tick marks on the hours around the face, which is a good middle ground between completely plain bezels and numbers. The Quartz bears a striking resemblance to the Samsung Gear S3 when you lay eyes on it, though