Specs summary


The ZTE Source's screen is 4.5 inches with 480 x 854 pixels resolution.


There is a Qualcomm SnapDragon MSM8930 Dual core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system (OS).

5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.


Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2070 mAh battery. ZTE's performance ratings are 10.4 days standby time, 900 minutes (2G).

Reviews summary

Based on 2 reviews

What's good  

  • Good touch screen sensitivity and responsiveness
  • Budget-friendly

What's bad  

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Occasional lag when opening tasks
  • Middling camera performance

The ZTE Source is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers 4G LTE coverage. Although the chassis is made entirely of plastic, reviewers found it to be quite bulky, weighing 142 grams and measuring 5.31 x 2.64 x 0.4 inches. Experts also discovered that the case attracts a lot of fingerprints and oils due to the matte soft-touch coating, especially around the removable battery cover.

The 4.5-inch TFT display has a resolution of 480x854 and a pixel density of 218ppi. Some graininess was noted when viewing HD videos and images; however most found that it was not that big of a distraction. Critics go on to say that the display offers decent color reproduction and screen sensitivity.

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On the back of the display is a 5MP camera. Experts warn that the camera is only good for informal shots as it suffers from poor color fidelity, poor focus and digital noise. There are numerous pre-installed camera apps to help capture better images as well as a flash. On the front is a 1MP camera for video conferencing.

The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Daily tasks launched in a satisfactory amount of time for experts though they did notice some lag occasionally. When playing graphics intensive games, critics were surprised that they did not experience any stuttering or force quits, though they also mention that the frame rate was relatively low as well.

Nestled behind the removable battery cover is a 2,070mAh battery. ZTE reports that the battery has a talk time of 15 hours and standby time of 10.5 days. After synthetic benchmark tests, actual standby time looks to be around 1.5 days and 8 hours talk time.

Aside from the relatively mediocre hardware and display, the ZTE Source also has a fairly high radiation level. According to FCC radiation measurements, the phone has a SAR rating of 1.41W/kg. As the scale ranges from 0 to 1.60, 1.41 is a relatively high number, though still within the safe limit. Still, there are other ZTE phones with less radiation like the Warp 4G.

Overall, reviewers find the ZTE Source to be a decent phone for the price, though they would still recommend other handsets. CNET states, "The ZTE Source is a satisfying, low-cost option. But if you can spare another $60, opt for the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2…if you're not tied to the carrier, other phones are worth considering."

Reviews (4/10 Avg. rating)


Inexpensive, but stumbles on performance

from Cnet
The ZTE Source offers Cricket customers inexpensive LTE, but if you can spare a bit more money, pass it over for better devices... Full review

ZTE source is junk

PROS -Offers LTE at an inexpensive price -Does a good job loading and playing apps -Battery life CONS -My girlfriend is on her 3rd ZTE Source due to the power charger input. It is faulty and screws with the video screen from the pixels misconfiguring, to a snow screen, to a total blackout! -Cricke... More
PROS -Offers LTE at an inexpensive price -Does a good job loading and playing apps -Battery life CONS -My girlfriend is on her 3rd ZTE Source due to the power charger input. It is faulty and screws with the video screen from the pixels misconfiguring, to a snow screen, to a total blackout! -Cricket refused to let us replace the phone and opt for a more dependable brand such as apple or samsung -so if you due encounter this problem as well please let ZTE know and your carriers. Less

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Full Specs

Release date October 17, 2013
Regions available USA
800/1700/1900 MHz
1700/1900/1800 MHz
1xRTT, EV-DO Rev. A, LTE
SIM Card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SnapDragon MSM8930 Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Flash Memory
Digital compass Yes
FlightMode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.41 W/kg
Body: 1.28 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & Battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2070 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Wi-Fi Surfing Time Unknown
3G Surfing Time Unknown
4G Surfing Time Unknown
Talk Time Up to:
900 minutes (2G)
Standby Time Up to: 10.4 days
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.5 x 6.7 x 1.0 cm
(5.3 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 142 grams
(5 ounces)
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged Design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 480 x 854 pixels
Pixel Density 218 pixels
Size 4.5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Swype
Physical Keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad / Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browsing Type HTML, HTML 5
Browser Google Android
Javascript Yes
Flash No
Email Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging Services SMS, MMS, IM (Google Talk)
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, HSP
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Expansion Slots Yes
Expansion Slots Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV-out No
DLNA Support No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Main Camera  
Aperture Unknown
Resolution 5+ megapixels
Dual Lens No
Zoom Yes
Flash Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, Scene mode, Blink detection
Video Recording Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera  
Resolution 1+ megapixels
Zoom No
Additional Front Camera Info No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV, M4A, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stopwatch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
Notepad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps No
Additional Comments Other Names (AKA): ZTE N9511

Related Links ZTE Source Manual (PDF)
ZTE Source Reviews
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