There’s nothing quite as uninspiring as the mid-range smartphone choice. Traditionally, it’s a decision bourne from sheer practicality, offering neither the thrill of a significant bargain nor the silly power of a high end smartphone. Recently though, things have been looking up for the segment. The rise of low-cost, high quality low-end smartphones has made those peddling mid-range affairs step up their game. We’ve already seen the likes of the Lenovo’s K5 Note impress this year, and now it’s time for ZTE to bring their A-game. Say hello to the Blade V7 and V7 Lite. Let’s start with the more expensive of the pair, the Blade V7. ZTE have seen fit to craft their latest entirely out of aluminium, with polished edges to give it that iPhone-esque high end sheen. The company are quick to point out that at its thinnest point the phone measures just 3.5mm thick, though we’d also add that at its thickest it measures 7.5mm, hinting at the curvature of its back. Inside that frame is a 5.2″ 1080p IPS LCD display with 2.5D glass, a Mediatek MT6753 chipset with Mali-T720MP3 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (with Micro-SD support up to 128GB) and a non-removable 2,500mAh battery, helping to power ZTE’s custom build of Android 6.0. There’s also dual sim slots (if you aren’t using a Micro-SD card) and support for global 4G LTE. On the camera front, there’s a 13MP rear unit with phase detection autofocus, dual LED flash and support for 1080p recording. Meanwhile, on the front of the device there’s a generous 5MP shooter. Moving on to the Blade V7 Lite, ZTE have opted for a cheaper and boxier polycarbonate construction. Also in the spirit of cost-saving is a smaller 5″ 720p screen, a Mediatek MT6735P chipset and 2GB of RAM, though the phone does keep the same storage, connectivity, battery and software as its elder sibling. As for cameras, we’ve got an 8MP rear shooter that’ll pair nicely with a secondary 8MP front facing camera. Clearly, ZTE are shooting for the selfie crowd with this one. Interestingly, the V7 Lite includes a fingerprint scanner, something that its pricier sibling omits. ZTE haven’t made any pricing available for these two phones just yet, but have indicated that they’ll both be very reasonable on release.