Comparing the Straight Talk Alcatel OneTouch Sonic and ZTE Unico

Today we compare two very similar phones from Straight Talk, namely the ZTE Majesty and ZTE Unico. This is a good comparison because both are very similarly sized spec’d. That said, they are different technology phones altogether, particularly when it comes to data speeds because the ZTE Unico is an LTE phone thus providing you with up to 10x data speeds.

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ZTE Unico

Unico Availability

 

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Alcatel Sonic

Sonic Availability

 

Phone Dimensions 5.25″ x 2.59″ x 0.43″ 5.25″ x 2.75″ x 0.45″
Screen Size Diagonal: 4.5″ Diagonal: 4.6″
Processor Speed 1.2ghz 1.4ghz
Weight 4.95 oz 5.45 oz
Android Version 4.1.2 Jelly Bean 4.1 Jelly Bean
Technology & Calling Area GSM LTE Activated via AT&T or TMobile (Check your local LTE coverage) GSM LTE Activated via AT&T or TMobile (Check your local LTE Coverage)
Speaker Yes Yes (Excellent audio quality!)
Headphone Jack 3.5mm (iPod type) 3.5mm (iPod type)
SD card slot 8gb Included, supports up to 32gb Not Included, supports up to 32gb
Camera 5 mega pixel/LED flash/Front facing vga
5 mega pixel / LED Flash/front facing VGA
Price $199.99 $179.99

Technology and Calling Area

Today we are comparing two GSM LTE 4g phones. Both of these phones will be activated with either AT&T or Straight Talk. My bet is AT&T.  Note that neither of these phones will work with Verizon or Sprint so you will need AT&T or TMobile LTE coverage in your area to get the 4g LTE speeds. If LTE is not available in your area from either of these carriers, then you will get standard 3g speeds.

Specs

I was pleasantly surprised by the Sonic specs. It’s got a 1.4 ghz dualcore processor to the Unico’s 1.2 ghz unit. The screen size is another element where the Sonic is better. Both of these phones come to you with 5mp cameras, led flash and front facing VGA cameras.

I just felt the Sonic to be a better performer in the specs department. Everything performed quickly and without that annoying hesitation. That’s not to say the Unico is a dog by any means, I just felt the Sonic experience was better. One item of note is that the Sonic does not include a preinstalled SD card so I dock 1 point for that =).

Screen, Audio Quality and Phone Size

Both of these phones are more or less the same physical size. Though the Sonic is a bit wider by 1/4″. That said, the Sonic comes with a larger 4.6″ screen versus the 4.5″ screen found on the Unico. Additionally, I found the display quality to be superior on the Sonic. That is to say, the screen was sharper, brighter and overall more pleasing to watch videos on.

On the Audio Quality, I was quite impressed with the crisp sound coming out of the Sonic. This is attributed to a better speaker placement and larger speaker opening. The Sonic is the hands down winner here.

Design & Build Quality

Build quality is about the same on both of these devices. Both phones are all plastic construction, sorry no Gorilla glass on either of these. Both feel like quality devices, that is to say they don’t feel cheap in any way despite their relatively low price. The Unico does have a metal look design trim going around the phone so it looks better overall. The Sonic on the other hand is all black with semi gloss plastic surrounding the phone. Both have the semi rubberized batter covers.

While the design is pretty much the same on both of these, I felt that speaker placement on the Sonic was much better thus winning extra design points in my book.

Conclusion

If you haven’t noticed, I felt that the Alcatel Sonic was the vastly superior device in this comparison and that’s not because it’s the cheaper of the two. I thought the Sonic outperformed the ZTE in just about all aspects. I will go so far as to say it is the best Straight Talk device I’ve reviewed in the sub $200 category.