Compare the ZTE Rapido LTE and Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star LTE

Today we are comparing two all new LTE phones from Straight Talk. Namely in the form of the ZTE Rapido and the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star. These two phones are worthy of comparison because both are of course LTE phones and both are in the same sub $200 price range. Both of these phones are unique in that the ZTE Rapido is the first Verizon LTE device while the Pop Star is the lowest priced LTE Straight Talk phone to date.

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zte-rapido

ZTE Rapido

Rapido Availability

 

alcatel_pop_star

Alcatel Pop Star

Pop Star Availability

 

Phone Dimensions 5.30″ x2.60″ x 0.42″ 4.80″ x 2.51″ x 0.36″
Screen Size Diagonal:4.5″ Diagonal: 4.00″
Gorilla Glass Screen Yes No
Processor Speed 1.2ghz Quadcore
1.2ghz Quadcore
Weight 4.94 oz 4.66 oz
Android Version 4.0 4.3
Technology & Calling Area CDMA LTE/WiFi (Verizon, Check your local LTE coverage) GSM LTE Activated via AT&T(Check your local LTE Coverage)
Speaker Yes Yes (Excellent audio quality!)
Headphone Jack 3.5mm (iPod type) 3.5mm (iPod type)
SD card slot Not Included, supports up to 32gb Not Included, supports up to 32gb
Camera 8 mega pixel/LED flash/Front facing 1.0mp
5 mega pixel / LED Flash/front facing 1mp
Price $179.99 $149.99

Technology and Calling Area

If there is one key item to take note of, it is the calling area. The ZTE Rapido requires Verizon LTE coverage while the Pop Star will require AT&T LTE. Please check your local calling area before you purchase either phone. One noteworthy item here is the fact that the ZTE Rapido is the first Verizon LTE phone available from Straight Talk. All other Straight Talk LTE devices to date have been for AT&T.

Specs

There are three key differences between these phones other than the above mentioned calling area. The first is the fact that the Rapido comes to us with the durable Gorilla Glass screen, while the Alcatel device does not. Next, is the camera. The ZTE Rapido comes with an 8 mega pixel digital camera while the Pop Star has a 5 mega pixel unit. Both of the phones have 1 mp front facing cameras and LED flash. Yet another difference on the cameras is the fact that the Rapido has various preset image filters which you can use to take some cool pictures. For example, it has an Emboss, Neon and Sketch filters which you set prior to taking a picture and result in some really cool images. The Pop Star does not have these filters. Last, is the screen size as the Rapido has the slightly larger 4.5″ screen versus the 4″ screen on the Pop Star.

Other than the above mentioned differences, the main specs are pretty much the same. Both phones have 1.2 quadcore GHz processors so both perform quite good.

Design & Build Quality

I think it’s pretty obvious that the ZTE unit has a much better build quality than the Alcatel as it comes with the Gorilla Glass screen. The Alcatel on the other hand is all plastic including the screen. Not only that but when you look at these two phones, the ZTE Rapido stands out because it has cool black chrome looking trim that goes around the perimeter of the phone. The Pop Star does not have any such trim. Instead, the battery cover not only covers the battery but extends to the sides of the phone so the Volume and Power buttons are part of the battery cover. The entire phone is all black and the battery cover is of the rubberized finished type.

Additionally, the Rapido has an excellent speaker that yields a much better sound quality. The Alcatel was a bit tin can sounding for me. While on the multimedia topic, the ZTE also had a brighter and sharper screen which makes for an excellent multimedia experience.

I found the ZTE Rapido to be a much more attractive phone with excellent overall build quality.

Conclusion

I would say that the ZTE Rapido is probably the best Straight Talk LTE device. I really liked the design and build quality. The Gorilla Glass really sets the Rapido head and shoulders above the Pop Star.