September 26, 2015

Tracfone ZTE Quartz Review - Android Smartphone

ZTE Quartz 797C Review with Features, Specs and Where to Buy

Below you will find our review of the ZTE Quartz from Tracfone with lots of details facts about this new phone. TracfoneReviewer works hard to provide useful and accurate information, and we will update this post as needed.

zte quartz
ZTE Quartz Review - 5.5" Android Smartphone
Tracfone continues to upgrade their phones offered to consumers with the latest smartphone, the ZTE Quartz that features a 5.5" touchscreen, the largest available at this time. Tracfone is a prepaid wireless cell phone company that offers both phones, and cell service by contracting with various other companies.

Over the past few years Tracfone has steadily offered more and more smartphones to use with their service. Most of their Android smartphones are for CDMA networks through Verizon, but some phones use GSM networks through AT&T. Tracfone also still offers many non-smartphones.

Until the Quartz, the Alcatel Onetouch Icon Pop had the largest screen size at 5". All of Tracfone's other smartphone options were between 3.5" and 4.5". For some, a larger screen is very desirable, and the current trend for many smartphone manufacturers.

The Quartz (Z797C) will use CDMA networks through Verizon cell towers and only comes with 3G capability. But it does have many great features, which we will get into, but first we want to share our quick points about this phone:

ZTE Quartz Z797C Quick Points:

The Good:
-Large Screen at 5.5"
-8 MP Camera
-8 GB Internal Memory

The Not So Good:
-Poor Screen DPI and Resolution (960x540 about 200 DPI)
-Battery Unremovable
-Reviews for ZTE phones are generally mixed, with some reports of quality issues

This smartphone brings some key features many users have been looking forward to, but it also has a handful of drawbacks that one may need to consider. For example, the battery is unremovable, which means if it stops working, you will have to get a new phone entirely, not just a new battery. The Moto E is similar in this respect.

Now let's take a look at the full list of features and specifications for the ZTE Quartz which will give us a better idea of all it has to offer.

ZTE Quartz Features and Specs List

Below are the features for the ZTE Quartz, followed by the technical specifications
  • Android 4.3
  • 3G Connectivity through Verizon CDMA Service
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 8 MP Rear Camera, 1 MP Front Camera
  • HAC Compatible/Handsfree Speaker
  • Triple Minutes for Life
  • Access to over a Million Apps on Google Play
  • MicroUSB connection 
ZTE Quartz Technical Specs List
  • Size: 6.10" x 3.09" x 0.35"
  • 5.5" Touchscreen (960x540 resolution with 200 DPI)
  • 1.2 Ghz Quad Core Processor (some sources list only dual core)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB Internal Memory (up to 64 GB external memory from MicroSD card)
  • Battery: Talk Time 18 hours, standby 16 days. 3400 mAh non-removable
A lot of great features in this list, with several that are surprising to us, especially the battery life of up to 18 hours talk time. We would have expected the large screen to drain the battery quickly, but instead the phone comes with plenty of power.

The Quartz has all the other typical features for an Android Tracfone, like Bluetooth capability, WiFi access, Hands free speaker, voicemail, caller ID, and more.

There are plenty of exciting features, but there are also a couple of things we think consumers should be aware of before buying the ZTE Quartz, so let's jump into our review.

ZTE Tracfone Review - Likes and Dislikes

What we Like about the Quartz
The main feature on this phone, and the reason why many will be interested in buying the Quartz, is the 5.5" touchscreen. This is the largest smartphone available through Tracfone yet, and we are glad to see that Tracfone continues to improve what they have to offer.

At 5.5" screen, that's starting to get close to a tablet size, and may not fit in your picket very well. However, it will be much more convenient to use the phone to read, watch videos, and view other media.

Along with a large screen, the Quartz also has has 8 GB of internal memory, 1 GB RAM, a Quad-Core processor and a MicroSD slot for external memory. The LG Power and LG Sunset also come with similar specs which allows you to load the phone with a variety of apps and be able to run them without issues. The more RAM a phone has, the better it does at multitasking and running multiple apps at once.

The 8 MP rear camera on the Quartz is quite adequate and comes with autofocus, touch to focus, flash, and face detection. You can record videos at up to 720p quality which is HD. The front facing camera is a modest 1 MP which you can use for video calls and selfies. While it would be nice to have a better front camera, it is hard to expect that at this price point.

Lastly, we find that the Quartz is priced very reasonably for a phone with the features it has. The Alcatel Onetouch Icon Pop, which had only a 5" screen, was initially priced for over $150. But you can find the ZTE Quartz on Amazon for $109, or about the same as the LG Power, Sunset or Ultimate 2

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we want to share a couple of dislikes for the Quartz.

What We Don't Like About the Quartz
The Quartz comes with a huge screen, but it also comes with some sacrifices, and one of those is resolution for the screen.

The screen resolution for the Quartz is 960x540 with a density of 200 DPI. For most of us, this doesn't really mean anything, so let's compare it to another phone with a 5.5" screen, the Asus Zenfone 2 (16GB). The Zenfone has a screen resolution of 1080x1920 with 400 DPI, or about double the Quartz. What this means is that media and content will look clearer and sharper on the Zenfone. But the Quartz' screen is adequate, and will get the job done. The Zenfone is also about twice the cost of the Quartz. (You can use the Zenfone with the Tracfone BYOP program)

Most of the phones from Tracfone have a DPI of somewhere between 200 and 300, so the Quartz fits in this range, and doesn't have any noticeable issues.

Another dislike we have about the ZTE Quartz is that it is a little outdated in two areas: 3G Connectivity and Android 4.3. Tracfone now allows 4G LTE devices through their BYOP program, and we want to see more 4G LTE devices offered directly through Tracfone, like the LG Sunset. But the Quartz only has 3G service. Along with that, the Quartz doesn't have the latest version of Android, it has 4.3. This isn't a big deal, but it is always better to have more updated versions, and we would have expected at least Android 4.4.

Lastly, we have some concerns with the Quality of ZTE phones. The older, ZTE Valet which came to Tracfone a few years ago, had a number of reported issues including poor WiFi strength. We've also seen mixed reviews on the ZTE website for the Quartz, where some users complain about various problems with the phone.

What this boils down to is that if you get the ZTE Quartz, you may get a great phone and have no problems, or you may experience issues that require you to return the device or get it repaired. So be aware of this, and we will share updates as more user information becomes available.

No brand of phone is without problems, but LG devices seem to have less issues, and ZTE seems to have a few more.

ZTE Quartz Overview and Where to Buy

If you're looking for a phone with a big screen, and you don't want to venture into Tracfone BYOP, the ZTE Quartz is your best options. It is similar to the Alcatel Onetouch Icon Pop, but the Quartz comes with a larger screen, more internal memory, and better battery life.

If you're looking for a more well rounded smartphone, the ZTE Quartz is up near the top of our list, along with the LG Power, LG Sunset and LG Ultimate 2. All of these phones have different pro's and con's that may make one better than another for you. Visit our Android Tracfone page which has all the smartphones with their key stats so you can quickly compare them.

Overall the ZTE Quartz brings a lot of great features, but it has a couple of drawbacks that may or may not be an issue for you.

You can find the ZTE Quartz on Amazon for $109

You can also find the ZTE Quartz on eBay for $109

We have only found the Quartz on Amazon and eBay through a Tracfone third party retailer, but this has also been the case for several other phones released by Tracfone.

We hope this review was helping and provided you with enough information and details to make your own conclusions. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts or questions.

If you're looking into a new Tracfone device, you should visit our Tracfone Reviews List, which contains all the phones we have reviewed and are available from Tracfone.

Also take a look at our post on How Data Works with Android Tracfones, and How Minutes Work with Android Tracfones. Both posts share enlightening details on some of the new things you should know about when upgrading to a smartphone.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. I have the Alcatel Onetouch pop icon phone currently, and it suffers from video and games lagging a bit every few seconds. This drives me crazy, as well as the inability to root and a bug that shuts the phone off when the batter approaches 12%. I am worried about the quality of this phone and if there will be any problems, but I just ordered one. Double the internal storage, similar processor, bigger and higher res screen, and CDMA towers, for a pretty good price. Hopefully there's no big problems, but the problems with the alcatel were pretty big.

  2. i've been waiting for a bigger size screen! But i am going to pass on the ZTE Quartz because the un-removable battery is a big turn off. plus Android 4.3 not cool.
    i have the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Icon and i love it! i just wish it was a bigger screen (call me a size queen lol)
    i have not experienced any lagging (and 'ive had the phone since December 2014) i don't play games but i do watch a lot of youtube videos and even netflix on it. plus i never let the battery go under 20% so no shut down issues.

  3. Thank you Peter. The review is really helpful, especially the resolution comment. I know the screen does not have great resolution, but have no idea what 200 DPI means. As long as it is comparable with other tracfones, that's not an issue with me. BTW, QVC offers this phone and one year of service at ~$140 (and HSN at $150).

    1. Groupon has it for $99 w 1yr 1200 min inc.

  4. I've had this phone for 2 days now. The screen really pops compared to the Alcatel tracfone. The bezel is bigger than I'd like. It's similar to the iPhone 6/6S Plus. Video and games play very smoothly on this screen, which overall looks great. The packaging says it has a dual core processor, which is true, but overall feels the same as the Alcatel's quad-core, not faster or slower. Also the battery is removable, but it's not easily done. Wi-fi works fine, I haven't had any problems with it turning on on its own like reviewers on ZTEs website had (good because ZTE had problems with this before). 3G was finicky the first time I used it but a restart fixed any problems. 4.3 is old now but ZTE has kept it extremely close to stock, which is a big plus IMO, esp. compared to the 'big icons' and gimmicks the alcatel came with. There's only 2 apps I found that aren't standard Gapps. 8GB of storage has 5.1GB free for actual use, which is much better than any other phone with 4GB of internal storage. I was hoping I could root this phone since it has 4.3, but there's no permanent root solution out there. Overall I'm quite pleased with my purchase.

  5. Do you see anything else slightly better and with a removable battery anytime soon from TF? Especially a 5 inch screen maybe? Thanks.

  6. Does wifi need to be connected to make and receive calls?

    1. No this is a cellular phone and uses cellular towers to make and receive calls, not WiFi which requires a wireless router or access point. It can use WiFi to access the internet but it has nothing to do with calls or texts.

  7. Does this phone pair with a car radio system? I have a LGL39C which will not work with my car.

  8. Does this phone pare with a Honda CRV? My current LGL39C will not.

  9. I have the zte quartz. The screen is adequate. I don't like the emojis that come standard. 3g is too slow. Can't stand buffering even under full bars. This drives you to stay near WiFi. Without sd card, it can only hold about 10 moderately sized downloaded apps. I paid $200 and now find its selling near half online. It doesn't mirror to TV. Battery not being removable doesn't bother me. Cameras auto focus jumps in and out too much. It's a bit far sighted, as it doesn't see objects well up close. Otherwise, as a text/talk phone, it does a fine job. The ring tone volumes are too low, and you may have to get sound boost app for hearing impaired. It may take hours, days, or sometimes not at all to receive pics thru mms, no matter how you make adjustments. And you may have to download an entirely different messaging app, one with decent emojis too.
    I often think how I should have spent the money for a Samsung Galaxy s4,5,or6. Dang!!!

  10. I just bought this on evine today.They are selling this as having 4G service.Does anyone have more information on this?

  11. I have had mine for about a month now. I bought it from HSN with 1yr/1200 min... It was $130 minus 15% for first time buyer. The battery on mine is removable, I pulled it when I put my 32GB micro USB card in. The stock ringtones are weak, you may need to add some. I was using the Moto E and gave it to my wife. The ZTE Quartz falls a tad short in some areas, but in others is much better. The audio and camera of the Quartz are much better, and the WiFi works well. And even though it is a dual core, videos stream smoothly. The screen resolution could be better and the battery could last longer.. A spare battery is $30 on eBay. For the money I have in it the phone was a bargain, and more than adequate for most things, even some games. I can't find any fatal flaws. Comparing it to my brothers Samsung Galaxy S6 it held it's own. At a normal viewing distance the difference in screen resolution isn't that noticeable. If you need a larger Tracfone, and don't expect the screen and speed of a $600 phone I think you will like it!

    1. Mark, thanks.
      It will be January or February 2016 before I want a new phone, maybe the newer ones will be a slight better.

    2. Are the 1200 minutes/1Year added when you activate with the red activate card given when bought from HSN I did not get a separate pin or card just the Red activate card with 18 digit serial number?

  12. I have the ZTE quartz and the power button does not work half the time. I have to push it several times just to turn off phone. I have sent 3 back for same reason. They all continue to not work. Speaker not very loud. Love the size but would not recommend

    1. I also have the power button problem. It's done it for about 10 months since I bought it.

    2. I also have the power button problem. It started about 9 months after I purchased it. My problem is having to push it multiple times just to turn it on...very annoying.

    3. are you pushing the button or pushing and just holding it in? I press and hold until it turns off with no problems so far... fingers crossed.

    4. I have had one for 4 months I downloaded an app for a weather station and that's when the trouble began. Now the phone shuts off, completely off, when the screen goes into lock screen. Now I have to hold the power button down for at least 30 sec. for it to boot up. Did I hit a wrong button when I played with it?

  13. My husband was given the ZTE Quartz by his cousin when she upgraded. I now have his old phone, the LG Optimus Exceed 2, which is by far the better phone. Yeah, Yeah, the Quartz has a bigger screen but the in-call volume, set at max, is so low that all he can do is text. The buffering will drive you insane. Load times are equal to a 2.3. We were told at Walmart it is 4G, but it has never gone above 3G. The rooting process to upgrade or make any changes is impossible. DO NOT WORRY WITH THE QUARTZ! It is a waste of time, not to mention money. This is the second ZTE we have had and neither one was worth a nickel. I say go with LG or HTC if you can..

  14. After a few months of having the zte quartz I also had the power button issue but now if I can get the screen up the it's fine but once the phone goes into sleep mode it starts recycling (turning off and back on over and over again) either until I can power it off (which seems almost impossible) or the phone itself dies... I stopped using it for any reason and Now use the Samsung Prime Galaxy.... A much better phone if you ask me.

  15. I've had the zte quartz for about 2 months and the touch screen seems to be going. I don't know why this is happening I've always taken good care of it.

  16. I've had ZTE Quartz for about 2 months and I love it but it will not connect to wifi. At first it would turn off randomly but now then button will not even stay on for the wifi!!! Can't find a way to resolve this very disappointed!

  17. I've had this phone for a few months now to replace my HTC One I had for two years! I miss my HTC. This phone is slow, has no space, and does not give me important options like a choice of notifications. It will either notify for all our nothing. It so frustrating getting a notification sound for every email!

  18. I've had this phone for only 1 day and I can tell it's not that good. I charged that battery to 100% before going to bed. When I woke up about 8 hours later, it had already dropped to 91% with only wifi on and idle. After coming home at the end of the day it dropped to 47%, and I wasn't even using it much, mostly just carried it in my pocket. It also charges a lot slower than the other Tracfones I used to have. The phone also feels warm at times.

    The wifi also keeps turning itself on. Even if I turn it off, it will be back on not even 10 minutes later.

    As soon as my 1 year service is about to expire, I will quickly upgrade to another phone, if this phone can even last that long. My LG Ultimate 2 was way better than this.

  19. I had this phone for 2 months and it has been flaky at best. Tracfone has it now as it would not stay connected and would stutter on the notification alerts. They have had it almost 2 weeks and when I called with the ticket number they told me that it was closed. I asked when i would be getting a replacement and they have non in stock. I am waiting for a call back as I am typing this was told 30 minutes and it has been 2 hours poor customer service also.

    1. Yep that's how they are. I've been waiting 2 months for a comparable replacement. They keep sending $30-$50 phones.

    2. Just an update on my saga with Tracfone. I finally received a replacement phone when I set it up it would only stay on for 15 minutes then it would try to restart. sometimes it would and sometimes it wouldn't also the GPS would not work. I called both ZTE and Tracfone and had to do a hard reset now it won't even turn on. I called tracfone and they were to send out a new replacement phone and I received a tracking number. I called Tracfone and the lady finally agreed to send me a different model that had a 5.5 inch screen. I received a ticket number and when I checked it it said your address has been updated and you should receive your phone in 3 to 5 days Today I received a new replacement phone. It was one of their cheapest refurbished that is on their site. It only has a 3.5 inch screen and real bad reviews. I called and asked why I got that phone and they had no record of it. When I asked about the phone that I agreed to accept but there is no record of that. I was on the phone for over 2 hours trying to get this solved yesterday today I was informed that they wil now send out a air bill to return my ZTE for another ZTE. but the ticket number I had was no good o I had to start the process all over again. I just want a 3.3 inch screen phone that works but Tracphone can't provide me with one.

  20. I purchased 4 ZTE Quartz phones from Jan $135 each in November for Christmas with TracFone with 1yr warranty. In July my daughter's phone was turning on & off by itself. Called TracFone when they told us to remove the battery, explained that we couldn't. They should have known that being that it was their phone that was sold. Sent us a bag stating that they would replace it, however they sent us ZTE zephyr which retails for $50 on their website. I called the them & stated wrong phone said would send us another replacement phone. We received another ZTE zephyr. I called them again, this time hq said they would send us a comparable phone. They sent us lg l16c which I could purchase at Walmart for $30. 2 months later I am still fighting with TracFone for a phone for her. Opened complaint with Fcc. TracFone wanted us to take the lower phone & they would give us the difference of price in minutes.

  21. Well ain't this just the ZTE Quartz too..have the same power issue I've read about above...dang thing randomly cuts off and on...or cuts on and doesn't cut off, or the screen stays on and don't go to sleep, so it's draining the power quick or my alarm won't work because it cut off in the middle of the night...and they have had me do a factory reset twice, and both times declared the phone is NOW working...well working and working properly is 2 d@mn different things!

  22. Do not buy this phone; it's not worth it.

    I've had this phone since either late April or May of this year. Everything was fine, except it didn't have a voice command for taking pictures like the other, but that was fine. It wasn't until Sunday morning on July 3rd that my phone started glitching and has been glitching ever since.

    Like the others, my phone cuts off and on by itself in random intervals. The phone won't respond for at least 30 seconds while holding the power button if it cuts off and won't come on or is on but won't go off. At times when it does cut itself off, if you press the power button the phone will play the sound of it coming on while the screen is still black. I can have my phone set to display the home screen and sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity, but my phone will go black and go back to the screen on and off like its trying to not to dose off.

    I thought maybe this was a problem because the phone was refurbished, but I have since gone through the process of opening a ticket, sending my phone back, waiting a week, and both getting and activating the replacement that was fresh out of the box; however, I've only had the new phone for a little over a week now and it's doing the exact same thing the refurbished phone did. I'm going to contact them again on Monday, and either find out about getting a completely different phone from them or finding an outside phone that works with TracFone's services.


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