What Makes the ZTE ZMax Pro a High-End Handset for Budget Buyers

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-07-27
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What Makes the ZTE ZMax Pro a High-End Handset for Budget Buyers
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    What Makes the ZTE ZMax Pro a High-End Handset for Budget Buyers

    ZTE's ZMax Pro offers an impressive design, an octa-core processor and even a fingerprint sensor, among other high-end features—all for $99.
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    ZTE Didn't Compromise on Design
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    ZTE Didn't Compromise on Design

    When evaluating its design, it's hard to find too many quality issues with the ZMax Pro. In fact, the device looks like nearly every other nice smartphone on the market, featuring smooth lines, a thin profile and a narrow bezel wrapping around the large screen. Some budget smartphones are downright ugly. That's not the case with the ZMax Pro.
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    A Processor That Can Get the Job Done
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    A Processor That Can Get the Job Done

    The ZMax Pro is surprisingly powerful for such a cheap smartphone. In fact, ZTE says that the device has a 1.5GHz octa-core 64-bit processor, putting it in line with midrange smartphones that cost much more. It's unknown what kind of GPU the device is running, but ZTE has said it's fully capable of handling graphics-intensive apps.
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    There's Enough Storage for Most Needs
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    There's Enough Storage for Most Needs

    ZTE ships the ZMax Pro with 32GB of internal memory before the operating system and other bundled apps are loaded onto the device. While that might not seem like much, ZTE made the smart decision to add in a microSD port, allowing users to insert cards of up to 128GB of capacity. Although it would've been nice to see more onboard storage, the ZMax Pro should have enough data storage for most users' needs.
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    The Display Is Impressive
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    The Display Is Impressive

    Despite its $99 price tag, the ZMax Pro has a big, 6-inch display that features a 1080p, full-HD resolution. While users won't be able to watch 4K-resolution content from the smartphone, the full-HD resolution will suffice for the vast majority of content one would find on Netflix, Hulu and other popular streaming-video services.
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    The Rear-Facing Camera Suits Most Needs
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    The Rear-Facing Camera Suits Most Needs

    There are certainly better cameras on the market, but the ZMax Pro is no slouch when it comes to taking photos. In fact, its 13-megapixel rear-facing camera comes with fast auto-focus to quickly take a photo. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel camera designed to capture selfies. There's also a photo-editing feature baked into the device.
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    A Fingerprint Scanner Secures the Handset
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    A Fingerprint Scanner Secures the Handset

    Customers concerned about security should know that the ZMax Pro comes with a biometric fingerprint scanner on the back. Sitting just below the rear camera's flash, the sensor will allow users to unlock their device. In addition, the sensor can be used to unlock apps, answer a call and even take pictures, ZTE says.
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    Quick Charging Is Essential
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    Quick Charging Is Essential

    Quick charging has become standard in high-end smartphones, so it's perhaps no surprise it's also available in the ZMax Pro. According to ZTE, the smartphone has a 3,400mAh battery that the company says will be capable of lasting all day on standard usage. The ZMax Pro also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0, which can charge the smartphone up to 40 percent faster than older devices not offering the technology can be charged.
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    A Little Protection From the Occasional Drop
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    A Little Protection From the Occasional Drop

    The 6-inch display baked into the ZTE ZMax Pro comes with Corning's Gorilla Glass to protect it against the occasional drop. While that does not necessarily mean the display is shatterproof, carrier MetroPCS was quick to note that customers who preorder the device before July 31 will also receive a free leather case by mail to offer additional protection.
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    There's No Beating the Price-to-Value Ratio
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    There's No Beating the Price-to-Value Ratio

    Given all those features, it's hard to beat the price-to-value ratio of the ZMax Pro. There are undoubtedly higher-end smartphones on the market that come with a better processor, better graphics performance and nicer display. However, those smartphones also come at a price that's hundreds of dollars more than the ZMax Pro. Smartphone buyers looking for a top-notch experience at a cut-rate price will find it in ZTE's creation.
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    OK, but What Is ZTE?
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    OK, but What Is ZTE?

    ZTE is a Chinese telecommunications company. The firm has made a name for itself by building the wireless communications infrastructure. But it also makes high-end smartphones, led by its Axon line of devices, which are particularly popular in the Asia-Pacific market. ZTE is a relative newcomer and a small player in the U.S., but it's making a strong bid for market share in the West. With a device like the ZMax Pro, it might be on to something.
 

In the smartphone market, the best devices with high-end features are usually expensive. The base model iPhone 6s, for instance, costs customers $649 to start. Similar pricing can be found on high-end Android smartphones. But starting in August, Chinese mobile device maker ZTE will try to challenge conventional wisdom that a high-end device should be expensive by launching the ZTE ZMax Pro, a $99 smartphone that will be available on MetroPCS. Despite its price, the ZMax Pro is impressive, featuring a 6-inch display, an octa-core processor and even a fingerprint sensor for additional security. The smartphone will challenge what it means to be a top-notch device and could put some price pressure on competitors who have long clung to the idea that they can charge high prices for top-notch features. This slide show covers the ZMax Pro's top features and explains why this $99 smartphone is a great buy for those who are on a tight budget but who don't want to give up too much on features. Read on to learn more about ZTE's latest smartphone.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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