The ZTE Blade S6 comes in a simple but stylish rectangular white box. What's inside is nothing out of the ordinary - the thing to note is the missing headset, but we've seen it omitted in even more expensive bundles.
The compact packaging is nicely organized and has two separate smaller compartments under the phone holder. One contains a 1000 milliamp A/C adapter, while the other has a data cable, a short user manual and an ejector pin for the SIM and microSD compartments.
The ZTE Blade S6 is stylishly simple - which is nice - but the design may look to be blatantly copied. Don't worry, from a distance, it might fool an untrained eye but upon closer inspection, the Blade S6 bears little actual similarity to the high-end iPhone 6.
The 13MP camera lens is sitting flush on the back without protruding in any way. The 7.7mm thick ZTE Blade S6 had just enough room to do what a 6.9mm iPhone 6 couldn't. Another thing that becomes quickly apparent is that ZTE has decided to go with an all plastic body. This may not be nearly as premium as an alloy unibody, but it does help the 144 x 70.7 x 7.7mm phone tip the scales at a pretty lightweight 134g. There was no need for additional plastic accents either to aid signal reception.
Besides being a little heavier, the Blade S6 is also bigger than the iPhone in every dimension, but it does also offer a slightly larger screen at 5 inches, compared to Apple's 4.7" diagonal. All and all, the Blade S6 feels very comfortable in the hand.
The overall shape and curved slides are pretty much the same as the ones on the iPhone and so is the matte finish. The front of the ZTE is pure white and very subtly curved around the edges of the screen.
The device currently comes in two colors - the "white" or platinum we currently have and a matte pink version which, by the looks of it, is rather glossy. A bit like a shiny version of the iPhone 5c.
The ZTE Blade S6 feels quite good in the hand and also pretty sturdy. There are no apparent build quality blunders, everything is nicely put together with no cracks or rough edges.
As far as materials go, the plastic in question feels good to the touch, but does bend slightly in when pressed. It might be that it is too thin or just quite flexible, but it does give in if you press near the ZTE logo.
In this line of thought, there seem to be a few hollow areas at the back of the Blade S6, but this is no big deal and was perhaps necessary to accommodate the camera sensor, without anything protruding.
The Blade S6 boasts a 5" 16M-color display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. It is an IPS LCD panel and colors are a little bit washed away, but it is by no means horrible and gets the job done. The bezels around it are quite thin and the Blade offers a pretty good screen-to-body ratio of 67.7%.
Above the screen, the earpiece is flanked by the proximity and ambient light sensors, and the front-facing camera. Right underneath it we find three capacitive buttons.
The center one is essentially a blue ring, which flashes a nice blue light to indicate notifications, charging or to simply respond to taps. The other couple of buttons are denoted by simple small dots of the same color. The absence of specific icons suggests the default setting (the left one serves as a menu button, while the right one is back) can easily be changed, which is a nice little touch.
Going round the device we find two very similar slots on the left side. They are both nicely rounded to fit the shape of the curved side. The top one holds the two nanoSIM cards, while the bottom is for the microSD card.
The right side is where the volume rocker and Power/Lock button are.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner.
The bottom of the phone only features a microUSB port and a microphone. No speakers or screws are to be seen like on the iPhone.
Going round the back, we find the 13MP camera lens in the top left corner with a single LED flash right next to it. It seems ZTE has opted to move as much stuff as possible away from the sides and on to the back panel. On the right side of the camera lens, keeping with the aforementioned vertical alignment there is a very tiny hole, which houses the second noise-cancelling mic.
Near the bottom, right beneath the inscription, we find a small speaker grille. A rear-mounted speaker can get easily muffled and the one on the ZTE Blade S6 has a microscopic leg, which should be enough to give the speaker some breathing air when the phone is laying on its back on a flat surface.