- Great price
- Plenty of storage space
- microSD card support
- All-day battery life
- Mostly stock Android experience
- Inconsistent camera performance
- No NFC support
- Hard to use one-handed
- Poor color accuracy on display
- Limited availability and carrier support
ZTE has consistently challenged market expectations with their handsets, pairing affordable prices with surprisingly capable phones. With the ZMAX Pro, ZTE goes big--both on size and discounts. But can a $100 phablet really be worth owning?
We’ve dug through the reviews from the leading sites on the Internet so you don’t have to! Let’s see what people are saying!
With a 6-inch display, there’s only so much you can do to keep the phone small. Fortunately, reviewers were universally happy with the phone’s design. While the shell is plastic, no reviews mentioned issues with flexing, noise or durability concerns. Many also praised the matte rear cover for its grippy texture and classy appearance. PC Magazine noted, “One-handed use is pretty much impossible, but that's to be expected with a screen this big. There's a curved, soft-touch back panel that helps make the phone easier to hold.”
Heading around to the front of the phone, you’ll find a 6-inch 1080p display. The TFT LCD received good marks for brightness and clarity, though many reviews noted an obvious blue tint to most images. Most reviews praised the viewing angles and had no issue with seeing the large screen in direct sunlight. Digital Trends said, “I could see the pixels if I squinted a bit; but no app, photo, or video ever had that “blurry mess” quality that rears its ugly head on low-resolution displays.”
Performance reviews were decent from the phone’s octa-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon 617 processor. Android Authority put the phone through a week of use and found, “it suffices for the basic stuff, but it’s not suited to do more intensive operations – gaming in particular, where it exhibits too much choppiness for it to be a candidate.” Reviews also noted that the 2GB of RAM does pose problems for heavy multitasking.
The phone runs a mostly-stock version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. There’s 32GB of internal storage to hold your games, apps and media. If you need more space, the microSD card slot supports cards up to 256GB. Unlike many carrier-branded phones, reviewers found minimal bloatware on the device. Phonescoop said, “The phone has 22.5 GB of storage available to users and it supports memory cards, so you're in good shape.”
The phone’s 3400mAh battery is sealed--so you can’t swap batteries if you run low on power. Quick Charge 2.0 support does help to speed up top-offs when needed. However, reviews on battery life were outstanding. Android Authority noted, “We’re able to get through a solid 2 days of battery life – and even into the start of a third day. Using the included USB Type-C charger, it takes approximately 125 minutes to fully recharge its battery.”
Unfortunately, while ZTE appears to have struck a nice balance with most features, the camera reviews were lackluster at best. Reviews indicate that while the rear-facing 13MP camera focuses quickly, shots show inconsistent exposure and lack detail. The front-facing 5MP lens had similar issues. Digital Trends tested the cameras and declared, “Beyond Facebook, Instagram, and perhaps the occasional text message, I’d be hesitant to depend on The ZMax Pro’s camera day-to-day.”
However, the phone does include two features that aren’t typically found at this price point--a fingerprint scanner and USB-C support. PC Magazine tested the scanner and said, “It's [at] a natural resting point for your index finger, though the scanner itself isn't the fastest. It takes about two seconds to register your finger, wake the screen, and unlock the phone.”
Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t include NFC, so don’t expect to tap into the fingerprint scanner for mobile payments or other handy services.
Overall, if you’re not looking for a phone with an exceptional camera, reviews on the ZMAX Pro are good. Phonescoop summed up opinions well, saying, “The ZTE ZMax Pro is a budget phablet like no other. It boasts a compelling design, a strong spec sheet, and an impressively low price point. MetroPCS customers would be hard-pressed to find a better bargain than the ZMax Pro.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Jason Cipriani, GreenBot
While the ZMax Pro performance meets the minimum expectations of a $179 smartphone, it doesn't do anything to go beyond that. In other words, this is a budget phone where I felt like you are getting what you pay for. Unlike the similarly-priced Moto G4 line, where at the end of the day you kind of f...
- Adam Doud, Pocketnow
We came away very impressed with the ZMAX Pro. Don’t mistake, this is not the most powerful phone on the market. Standing toe-to-toe with A Note 7 or HTC 10, this phone will lose in almost every category. But it won’t lose by much. And have I mentioned it’s $99 dollars? There are p...
- Kyle Wiggers, Digital Trends
ZTE’s ZMax Pro is the most uncompromising budget phone in its price range. It’s disruptive. That’s not to put the Pro on a pedestal. The little niggles add up: the cameras aren’t nearly as good as the competition. The omission of NFC is inexcusable. Performance isn’t to...
- John Velasco, Android Authority
Owning a cheap phone no longer means you’re getting a cheap phone, that’s just not the case anymore after checking out the ZTE ZMAX Pro.
- Ajay Kumar, PC Magazine
With high-end phones often commanding sky-high prices, you'd probably expect a $100 phone to be an ugly hunk of plastic with a washed-out screen, underwhelming performance, and few features. But the ZTE Zmax Pro proves otherwise, with a high-quality build, a 6-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdrag...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE ZMAX Pro user manual here.
ZTE backs up the ZMAX Pro with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your ZMAX Pro has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact ZTE support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find ZTE's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
Ask the Community
Manuals / User Guides
- ZTE ZMAX Pro Manual (PDF)
Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.