By November 5, 2011

ZTE Skate vs Orange Monte Carlo comparison

ZTE Skate A month or so ago I did the review of the Orange Monte Carlo and I really liked the handset as for the price tag of £149 plus £10 top up on the Orange network, it is an awesome deal!

So this is just a simple comparison between that phone and it’s SIM Free counterpart, the ZTE Skate which is due to be released at the end of this month (September.) The Skate was due to have a few different bits of hardware/software etc from the Monte Carlo so I have been asked to do a comparison to see if this is true.

Read on to find out more.



Having used both of the phones for a significant amount of time I have to say that they are both very nice and I would recommend either to anyone wanting a nice large phone that performs well on a majority of tasks thrown at it.


The interface of both handsets is so close to being exactly the same that without the logo difference and orange overlay on the Monte Carlo you really wouldn’t know the difference. They both run Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 which is the latest version, the only real difference here is the home screen, on the ZTE Skate there are 3 shortcuts yet on the Monte Carlo there are 4 due to the little Orange Overlay. On the Skate the shortcuts are App tray, phone dialler and internet browser and to look at and to use I prefer the simplicity of a proper Vanilla Android phone like the Skate, but I do definitely think that it comes down to personal preference.

The only problem that I found when using the skate was lag when I did anything, I’m not too sure if this was due to the handset being an early review model but it got quite annoying considering it has exactly the same hardware as the Monte Carlo. Speaking of that, ZTE essentially promised that the SIM free Skate would have an upgraded processor a 1Ghz to be exact, but it doesn’t at all and if anything the processor in the skate I used was slower than that in the Monte Carlo.

If I was asked simply ‘Which phone is better to use in terms of the interface?’ I would have to answer the Monte Carlo, for one thing it is considerably cheaper than the Sim Free version plus it outperforms the Skate in almost every area which is as I said a bit weird considering they are the same phone.

Internet and e-mail

This is an area where the differences were less obvious, browsing on both devices was much the same really, they both loaded websites swiftly and everything was smooth on Wi-Fi only though because on a 3G signal if you wanted to find something quickly then you might as well not bother as loading pages is so slow. Overall though browsing on both handsets was more than bearable due to the huge screen and swift browsing on a Wi-Fi connection.

As for e-mail it is as you would expect on the Skate, exactly the same as the Monte Carlo and any other android handset with no overlay really. Simple, fast and reliable are the 3 things that you want from an e-mail client on your Smartphone these days.



When talking about media I mean things like Music playback, video playback etc and if like me you are used to how good an iPhone 4 is at these tasks you tend to expect a little much from other smartphones. Both the Skate and Monte Carlo perform well with video playback as the video is smooth and definitely watchable, also YouTube playback is again brilliant as always with android phones but where both phones let themselves down is music playback. Both are as incompetent as one another as even with brilliant headphones the playback is truly awful! The loudspeakers on both though are quite impressive but really that’s not what people want is it? People want iPod/Phone quality for less money right? Well you will not get that with either of these handsets.

As for the camera on the handsets they are exactly the same in every way, so if you wish to know more about this then take a look at my review of the Monte Carlo on the site.


Call quality and Performance

The Monte Carlo and ZTE Skate performed equally well on call quality as both were very clear and external noise was cancelled out brilliantly, I tested both phones in a variety of different scenarios including a packed train station and both performed admirably. A big thumbs up to ZTE considering this is also a mobile phone!

As with every Smartphone that we get in for review at I performed a benchmark test on the Skate to see how it matched up to the Monte Carlo, and I have to say I was absolutely stunned to find out that the score was over 200 points less on the skate! the question WHY? Has to be asked! It’s the same phone so why are they different??

The Monte Carlo consistently scored around the 950 mark yet the Skate was consistently around the 750 mark! Shocking right??


Posted by: Chris

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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