The Good The competitive pricing of the ZTE Grand X Max + has clever front and rear cameras, lightweight design and 4G LTE.
The Bad The smooth texture of the phone and its large size make it sometimes difficult. A constant static call can be distracting.
The Bottom Line Despite some drawbacks, getting a ZTE Grand X Max + is a good inexpensive purchase for a large screen handset.
When ZTE unveiled its Grand X Max + for Cricket Wireless at CES 2015, to be honest, I wasn’t very impressed. Although it now has an HD display and LTE, it didn’t seem too different from the original Grand X Max. And apart from its wide-angle front camera, none of it stood out.
However, I spent more time with my phone, and I appreciated the solid Max + user experience and stable performance. I especially liked its capable cameras (yes, front and rear) and the responsive 6-inch display.
Most importantly, however, this reliable phone is extremely expensive: only $ 200 prepaid. Top-level phablets already cost over $ 500 a contract, and the lower price offers many angles. Fortunately, this is not the case with Max +. Of course, its features are modest, but if you want the handset on the big screen and you don’t want to spend a lot, this is a mobile phone.
ZTE’s big-screen Grand X Max+ goes small on price (pictures)
Like its predecessor, Max + offers a generous 6-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. This time, however, it has an HD display that is bright and easy to view in sunlight. On closer inspection, you can still see some aliases with images and texts, but for the most part the display is sharp, responsive and has a wide viewing angle.
The size of the device is 6.38 inches high, 3.27 inches wide, and 0.31 inches thick. Given my shallow grip, I found it difficult to maneuver with one hand and inconvenient to hold. Moreover, its front and back surfaces are completely flat, without bending, and its right and left edges extend straight. In addition, its back panel is smooth and glossy. Although I thought this detail provided a subtle element of luxury, it also made it subtle. There were several times when I almost hung up while using it.
Of course, if you have large paws, the size of your phone may not bother you. And compared to other devices in size, the X Max + is relatively light at 6.06 ounces. Alternative big screen phones, like Google Nexus 6 , Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , and Apple iPhone 6 Plus are heavier than other cricket phablets, The Nokia Lumia 1320 . During my stay with him, he did not feel particularly healthy when I was putting him in my back pocket or still in landscape mode while watching several videos.
To the left of the phone is a volume rocker and at the top is a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right, there is a microSD card slot expandable up to 32GB and a SIM card slot (you will need a small pin key to open both ports). Smack in the middle of the spine is a sleep / power key that is raised just above the surface to help ease yourself. The back panel has a thin striped picture that houses a 13-megapixel camera and its flash, as well as a small slit for audio dynamics in the lower right corner.
The X Max+ runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and has the standard package of Google apps you’d come to expect, like the Chrome browser, Drive, Gmail, Search, Plus, Hangouts, Maps, Photos, YouTube and portals to the Play Store for Books, Games, Newsstand, Movies & TV and Music.
Assigned task management applications include native browsers and email clients, calendar, calculator, notepad, alarm clock and stopwatch, video and music players, sound recorder and voice recorder.
Cricket also dropped some of its pre-loaded programs. There is a Wi-Fi mobile client, visual voicemail, and my cricket that allow users to manage their phones and data services. Other third-party applications include TouchPal X, which activates an optional keyboard and text input feature; Amazon Kindle; AccuWeather; the KingSoft Office mobile suite; and AskMD, a medical guide and supplement to health advice.
The device also has Bluetooth 4.0, 16GB internal storage (which, again, can be expanded up to 32GB) and 2GB of RAM.
Camera and video
Taking brilliant photos has rarely been a strong suit for ZTE phones (even him) Nubia 5 which was exhibited as a “photographer’s phone” without having fulfilled its promises) But surprisingly, I was really impressed with both the Max + rear and front cameras. Although some of the 13-megapixel photos were overexposed, and after I pressed the shutter, the camera needed a few strokes to prepare for the next shot, for the most part the images were clear, focused and had true colors. -to life. For more information on the quality of the photos, click on each image below to see them in full resolution.
The video quality was also reliable. Both the moving and the moving objects were easy to distinguish and the colors were accurate. The camera quickly adapted to different lighting situations, and the adjacent and distant sounds were well matched.
The front 5MP shooter also took decent pictures. Although there was a noticeable amount of digital noise in the photos and the color of the skin tended to look too orange, the camera could take some clear shots. Because this is an 88-degree wide-angle lens, you may see some distorted or elongated angles near the angles of the photos. However, I think it’s a small price to pay for putting more content into each frame.
In addition to digital zoom and flash, the 13MP rear-facing camera has three shooting modes. For all your daily unofficial snapshots, there is an automatic mode that features HDR shooting, noise reduction, and a timer. More advanced mode includes a horizontal horizon level, two orientation options (one that displays a grid of three and the other that shows a golden spiral), and options for adjusting white balance, ISO, and exposure. You can also toggle gradient on and off, face recognition and nighttime shooting. Finally, the fun mode lets you take photos with certain effects, such as a panoramic or multilayered picture.
There are 10 possible photo sizes from 640×480 to 460×3,120 pixels and you can shoot up to 1080p video. Video options include pausing videos, taking pictures and zooming in during recording, and blocking focus.
The front camera doesn’t have different shooting modes, but it does have smile recognition that activates a shutter, timer, and a small tool that automatically softens your face to reduce imperfections and flaws. It can also rotate images vertically and can take pictures in six different sizes, ranging from 640×480 resolution to 2,592×1,944-pixels.
Productivity: Call quality
I tested Max + in our San Francisco offices using the Cricket Wireless network. The call quality was adequate – the sound did not go on and on and my calls did not drop. However, during the silence, I heard a low but steady stream of static. This white noise was not too annoying and I could still hear my calling partner, but it was still noticeable. Interestingly, my partner did not hear the noise at her end and said that my line sounded clean and clear.
Sample call quality ZTE Grand X Max + (Cricket Wireless)
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The static wasn’t obvious when I turned on the speaker, and the sound remained clear through this channel. However, my partner’s voice diminished and sounded a little tinny. Overall, call quality was good through both speakers.
Data transfer speed, processing speed and battery life
One of the new advantages that Max + offers over its predecessor is that it now has a 4G LTE connection. Although a bit slow in our test direction, the data transfer speed in the LTE of the carrier network has been largely consistent. Although it happened several times when the webpage stopped loading, it took about 13 seconds to download the CNET mobile site and 10 seconds to download the desktop version. The New York Times mobile and desktop sites load 18 and 13 seconds, respectively. The mobile site for ESPN started working in 8 seconds, and 13 seconds passed before its full site load. The Ookla Speed Testing application showed an average speed of 6.29 Mbps and 9.17 Mbps, and it took 44.52 MB to download and install Temple Run 2 for 2 minutes and 42 seconds.
ZTE Grand X Max + Performance Times (Wireless Cricket)
|Average 4G LTE download rate||6.29Mbps|
|Average 4G LTE upload rate||9.17Mbps|
|Temple Run 2 app download (44.52MB)||2 minutes and 42 seconds|
|CNET mobile site load||13 seconds|
|CNET desktop site load||10 seconds|
|Restart time||41 seconds|
|Camera boot time||2.31 seconds|
The 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor handles simple and daily tasks smoothly, but there is a lag from time to time. For example, I noticed this when scrolling down the web pages quickly or when the blur switching effect was delayed while flipping through the pages of my home screen. For the most part, the experience didn’t feel too glacial, and actions such as a call to the keyboard or launching an app drawer felt pretty fast.
Benchmark tests also showed consistent results for the midrange. It took about 42 seconds to launch the phone, and it took 2.31 seconds to launch the camera. The highest “Max +” of the five trials was 8,389. For comparison, this puts it on par with LG G Vista and way above ZTE Boost Max (who scored 8,969 and 4,795 respectively). The best multi-threaded Linpack result on the device was 243.738 MFLOP in 0.69 seconds.
My observation of a non-permanent 3,200 mAh has looked good so far. He lasted the weekend without charging, and he survived the day with ease of use without connecting to it. It reports a talk time of up to 6.5 hours and a waiting time of about 36 days. During our continuous battery test for continuous video playback, it lasted an impressive 16 hours and 37 minutes.
ZTE Grand X Max + has its faults. The quality of his calls can be clearer, and his wide, sleek design makes it difficult to hold. In addition, compared to high-end devices such as Nexus 6 , Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus , its processor is a bit sluggish.
But for budget phablets, $ 200 Max + stands out as one of the best values we’ve seen. For example, a comparable 5.7-inch G Vista , which has the same processor and 720p display, costs $350 off-contract from AT&T. And while Windows Phone enthusiasts will dig Cricket’s other 6-inch handset, the Lumia 1320 , the phone itself costs $ 280, even though it has a 5MP rear camera and 8GB of internal storage.
Finally, Max + performs more reliably than other out-of-state ZTE phablets Boost Max . Although both cost $ 200, the latter is higher, has a slower dual-core processor and less built-in capacity. Simply put, TheMax + is the way for those looking for a budget on the big screens.