The Good ZTE ZMax Pro has a sturdy construction, an extended screen and an extremely low price.
The Bad Currently it is only available on MetroPCS, it does not have NFC, and the battery is charging slowly.
The Bottom Line If you’re ready to use the MetroPCS network, the ZTE ZMax Pro is a great big-screen phone at low prices.
When it comes to large screen phones with displays measuring 5.7 inches or longer (otherwise known as “phablets”), not many cheap options, such as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, for example, start from 700 to 800 dollars, and even more affordable devices like the Google Nexus 6P, come in the $ 500 range.
Enter ZTE ZMax Pro ($ 350 on Amazon) . It costs just $ 100 and has a 6-inch screen, a fingerprint scanner, a 13-megapixel camera and running Android Marshmallow (not the latest Android version, but fairly recent).
So what’s the catch? Well, it’s only available on a subscribed MetroPCS carrier that uses the T-Mobile network. It’s not a real speed demon, it doesn’t have a communication chip nearby (meaning you can’t use things like Google’s Android Pay digital wallet), and its non-removable battery can last longer and charge faster.
Even with all these compromises, ZMax Pro is definitely worth considering. And if you’re selling a cheap, big screen device and don’t mind being on MetroPCS, this should be your best bet.
ZTE’s big, blue and budget ZMax Pro
Design: Large, sturdy construction
Thanks to its 6-inch display, the handset is large – very large, and this reminds me a lot of Google Nexus 6. 2014. Due to its size, it will not fit easily into the pants pocket and if you have a small grip like I do, it is not convenient to hold it with one hand, so be prepared to use both hands for navigation. In addition, the back cover of the phone is matte-blue and collects many spots that I have had to constantly erase.
But besides, the ZMax Pro’s design is good. It’s solidly built-in, and I particularly like the subtle pink color accents around the buttons, camera, and fingerprint scanner. Although it only has a 1080-pixel display (in high-end devices, a display of this size will have a resolution of 1440 pixels), the text, images and movies are still sharp and easy to view.
Software: Just the basics
The phone runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, which has features such as the more reliable Now on Tap search assistant and added user security with the permission of the app. Marshmallow also supports a digital payment system Android Pay but since there is no NFC on the phone, it cannot be used. Otherwise, ZTE left the software and the ZMax Pro interface quite light. Although there are several pre-loaded MetroPCS applications, and since you cannot uninstall them, they must remain inside your device.
Camera: for your casual photography needs
The 13-megapixel ZMax Pro is quite a shooter. Some images end up being too nude, and the shot camera feature (also known as the ability to take many pictures quickly) is perceived as a blow. But overall, the camera works well, especially for the informal shots you would take every day. The photos are crisp and bright and contain many details at maximum resolution. To find out more about the quality of your photos, check out the images below and click on them to view them in full resolution.
The camera also has some useful tools, such as manual mode, which allows you to adjust brightness, ISO level, shutter speed, and more. You can take panoramic photos, slow motion videos, and multi-position overlay images.
Performance and battery
The Snapdragon 617 processor of the phone is not the fastest or most advanced chipset around, but it is enough to power the phone comfortably. The programs started up and came out with relatively smoothness, and the fingerprint scanner prompted me while scanning my print and unlocking the screen. And although daily tasks such as calling the keyboard, unlocking the display, or switching orientations could make my hair run faster, it wasn’t slow enough to bother me.
On paper, this device was a great fit for our test benchmarks when we compared it to other phones for $ 100 to $ 200. It’s easy to beat theSamsung Galaxy J3, the Blu R1 HD (which starts at $ 50 if you get it with Amazon-sponsored advertising) and the Motorola Moto G4 Play on the Ice Storm Unlimited 3D Mark 3D test. It also scores higher than the last two on the single-core and multi-core Geekbench 4 tests (Galaxy J3 ($ 100 on Amazon) was not available for this test).
In standby mode, the ZMax Pro battery has enough capacity to survive a weekend without charge. During our battery tests, he continuously played video in a loop for 10 hours and 18 minutes in Airplane mode. Since there is no fast charging technology on the phone, cooking it with a charger really takes a lot of time. After 30 minutes, the battery was 32 percent, and the full charge took about 2 hours.
Compared to its alternatives, which have a battery capacity of 2,500 to 2,800 mAh, the ZMax Pro 3400 mAh battery failed to block them in this regard. Indeed, all three devices lasted more than 11 hours, and the Galaxy J3 worked with a battery of 15+.
ZTE ZMax Pro Comparison Chart
|ZTE ZMax Pro||Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)||Blu R1 HD||Motorola Moto G4 Play|
|Display size, resolution||6-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels|
|Pixel density||367 ppi||294 ppi||294 ppi||294 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.50×3.30×0.35 inches||5.6×2.8×0.3 inches||5.65×2.83×0.34 inches||5.7×2.8×0.39 inches|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||165.10×83.82×8.89 mm||142x71x7.9 mm||143.5x72x8.7 mm||144.4x72x9.9 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||6.7 oz; 190g||4.87 oz; 138g||5.01 oz; 142g||4.83 oz; 137g|
|Mobile software||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Processor||1.5GHz eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor||1.2GHz four-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor||1.3GHz four-core processor||1.2GHz four-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor|
|Expandable storage||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 64GB||Up to 128GB|
|Battery||3,400mAh (nonremovable)||2,600mAh (removable)||2,500mAh (nonremovable)||2,800mAh (removable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back cover||None||None||None|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$100||$110-$180 (varies by carrier)||$100 (8GB), $110 (16GB); $50 (8GB, with ads), $60 (16GB, with ads)||$150|
Great phone, great bargaining
ZTE ZMax Pro has a fair share of drawbacks. It’s not the fastest phone on paper, you can only get it on MetroPCS, as long as there is no NFC and its battery charges relatively slowly. But for $ 100, I’m ready to overlook some of the flaws.
Especially when you consider the price of phablets, the device is a big deal. Usually a decent big-screen phone costs about $ 500 or more, with a ceiling total of $ 800. Even with phones of the same price as the Galaxy J3, R1 HD (although, as mentioned earlier, this phone starts at $ 50 if you get it from advertising) and the Moto G4 Play, the ZMax Pro remains the largest and cheapest.
So if you’re looking for a big-screen handset but don’t want to accumulate tons of cash, ZMax Pro is a great candidate.