- 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.”