You are here

ZTE 990g Merit Straight Talk

Straight Talk added the ZTE Merit to the list of upcoming Android phones. The ZTE Merit also known as the ZTE 990g is a great Android device with a simple to use interface. This seems like a phone that will be a step up from the Samsung Galaxy Precedent. The ZTE Merit has three main buttons and features chrome volume and power buttons. The body is rounded and it has a rubbery finish.

Detailed Specifications:

Model: ZTE-Z990G
Processor: 600 MHz
Cores: single
Total Memory: 431584 kB
Display: 320 x 480
DPI: 159x160
Sensors: LIS33DEADXL346 3-axis Accelerometer AK8973 3-axis Magnetic field sensor, AK8973 Orientation sensor, TSL2771 Proximity sensor
Camera: 5 MP
Battery details: Talk time: 5.8 hours Standby 10 days

Benchmark results:

We ran the Benchmark standard on the ZTE Merit (four times back to back) with no programs running and all available memory and the average of four runs was:
552.5 MHz (575,514,569,552)
(This result is not exactly what we expected but it is not horrible). Based on our usage, we felt the ZTE Merit performance was adequate and we did not see any lagging after much usage.

First impressions:

The ZTE 990g (Merit) is one of the easiest phones to use offered by Straight Talk because you don't have to mess with any activation process since it's GSM and works with AT&T. One you activate on line, the phone is good and ready to be used. The power on screens include a ZTE logo and the typical TracFone logo with the circles. Aside from that, you have no indication that the phone works with either TracFone or Straight Talk. The power and lock key is easy to use even though we prefer the button to be on the top right side, this button is on the top top right but because the phone is so small, you can palm the entire phone and lock and unlock it in a single move.


The ZTE Merit features a 5MP camera with 2.5x zoom. Here is a picture taken with the ZTE Merit in full daylight and at the highest brightness setting (you can adjust the brightness to get more contrast). Notice the image still captures fine details and it does what was intended (full brightness). You may not want to take pictures like this so you can adjust the brightness. The second picture has had the brightness adjusted to a more normal look.
Here are two images that have been scaled down: Click here to see a full size image 1.

Here is the second image (also scaled down) for this review. This image has a more normal brightness and by the way, it's a picture of a children's book.

Click here to see a full size image 2

The camera has the zoom, shutter sound (on,off), White balance (auto/ incandescent/ daylight / florescent / cloudy) as well as Auto focus, Expousure, picture size (from 5MP to 1MP), Picture quality, color effect, Select ISO, Saturation Level, Contrast, and Sharpness. So it is safe to say this is a versatile still camera.

You can also switch to video camera mode and take video (sample coming soon).
Check if the ZTE Merit is available in your zip code

Buy any Straight Talk phone and get FREE Shipping!


I heard this phone also sells at Walmart but for more than what is on the web. What is the difference?

There is no difference between the phones. If you get it from Walmart, you might pay more for it but you have it right away. You can save some money if you are willing to wait a few days for it to be delivered. Personally, I waited and ordered it on-line. If you need it and must have the phone right away, go to Walmart.

The camera is actually quite good. The pictures in this review are just two samples but you can adjust your pictures to your liking. I have take about 100 pictures and uploaded them to Facebook and this so far has been the best part of the phone. Thanks for pointing out what a great camera this phone has. By the way, Straight Talk sends the phone overnight so you only have to wait about two days, three worse case.

would you honestly recomend this phone?

Yes, without a doubt. The price is right and it's a smartphone. What doubts do you have?

I wish I would have read this post first. I bought my ZTE Merit at Walmart and let's just say I did not pay the on-line price shown here. I plan on returning it just to get the $99.99 price on-line. I really don't mind waiting even if it takes a week.
I'm on a tight budget but I have used the phone and it works great. I activated it on-line and it was on in a few minutes. The signal is great and I finally feel connected, my old phone was also Straight Talk but not an Android. I had the Nokia E71 and it was good but not as good as this one.

Does anyone know if I can have the 30 days transferred to the new phone?

What is the difference between the Merit and the Avail? They look the same.

The ZTE Merit and the ZTE Avail are the same phones. The ZTE Avail works directly with AT&T and of course the ZTE Merit works with Straight Talk and NET10. I'm not sure the monthly cost of the ZTE Avail but you can buy it for about $120 or so with AT&T (probably with contract) so since they are the same phones and the same carrier service, Straight Talk is a better value. The ZTE Merit sells for $99 and the monthly cost is about $45 a month.

I have not heard of ZTE before and as far as Android phones, I think Samsung is superior but for the price this is selling for I think it's worth a shot. It is using Android Gingerbread which is not the latest but certainly good enough. From what I've seen, the phone is small but pretty decent and the picture shown here does not do it any justice. The picture looks like it was taken with very high white balance and the second picture looks too dartk. Since the phone does not have flash, I can see how these two pictures did not come out so hot but the truth is, the phone probably takes better pictures since it is a 5MP camera.
I want to know if anyone knows how the data is on this phone though. I hear unlimited but is it really unlimited or does Straight Talk cap at a certin amount of usage or will they just shut you off?

Either way, if they shut you off, you can still use the month and get a new SIM and a new account (worse case).
Anyway, before I get it, can someone let me know what experience they have had with data?????


I have been with Straighttalk for 18months. You can use all the data you want with NO slow down or cut off. It is really unlimited and at $45.00 per month, for internet talk and text, it can't be beat!

Straight Talk now caps at 4GB. Even the refill cards say certain limitations apply.

I have been using the ZTE Merit for a few days and I love the apps especially Facebook. I think I'm addicted to it. I check the feed almost every two minutes and taking and uploading pictures is a breeze. I don't know if the phone is a blessing or a curse. At any rate, the price was $99.99 when it first came out and I think that was a mistake but I should have jumped on it. $129 is still not bad since shipping was free. So far, I am glad to report that I have not had ANY issues with this ZTE phone.

can this phone be tethered to laptop/tablet for when we go where there is no wireless/internet?

No. Straight Talk programs their phones to disable tethering

My wife bought the first ZTE MERIT Straight Talk phone sold at our local Supercenter. After about a day, it did a force Android Apps shutdown that wiped out all of her downloaded apps. It did it more than once. Then, it wouldn't charge properly and went dead after using it just as short while. She took it back and got another one for Net10 (even though we have had StraightTalk for years) because there were no Straight Talk ZTEs left. They sold out right after my wife bought the first one, and they were gone at both Supercenters in town. There were plenty of the NET10 ones. Immediately, we both noticed that the sound was poor on the second one. There was a lot of static. Yet, the first one sounded great. We took it back. The AT&T tower-coverage was great for our area, since all of the other ST phones are Sprint except for one other, the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim. We got the Samsung GP, which is a good bit more expensive, and right away we could tell it was a better quality phone. We love it and have had no problems with it. The batter last a long time, and the 2.5MP pictures on it look just as good if not better than the so-called 5mp pics on the Merit. Everything is better. Don't waste your money on Merit. Get a Galaxy Proclaim which bounces off of Verizon towers, which is better anyway than AT&T just about anywhere. It's worth the extra money, believe us.

What is the best part of the ZTE Merit smart phone? and what is the worst? And also, what is the most common problem??

Honestly, I think the screen quality would be the worst and the best is the price. As far as the most common problem, I would say you start to see slow response time when you have filled the memory. Other than that, I have not had many problems. The battery is about average and the data speed is decent in my area. I use WiFi most of the time but even on the road, the data speed is good.

Can you port your current number to the new phone?

does this phone allow the owner to watch youtube videos?

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.