Informr score
The ZTE Source currently has an Informr score of 4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 2 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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.

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."

Operating system
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
5+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


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

- Lynn La, Cnet

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

ZTE released the Source on October 17, 2013.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Source user manual here.

ZTE backs up the Source with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Source has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact ZTE support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find ZTE's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

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

1.2 GHz

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


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

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.

ZTE Source 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

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SnapDragon MSM8930 Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage No
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)
Battery Capacity 2070 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
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
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 x 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 No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
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 Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, 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
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot 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
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
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, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
1+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
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
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): ZTE N9511

Related Links Manual (PDF)
ZTE Source Reviews
Where to buy ZTE Source
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Critic Reviews


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.

Read full review

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

Read full review


User Reviews

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! -Cricket r...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