As CNET reports, ZTE and MetroPCS today announced the ZMax Pro will launch on August 1. The Chinese smartphone brand has a reputation for affordable but capable handsets. It has a lasting relationship with U.S. prepaid carrier MetroPCS after it launched its first phone in the country with the network in 2007.
Times have changed since that device. The ZMax Pro is a modern phone running Android Marshmallow with internals typical of rivals twice its price. ZTE will be hoping the ZMax Pro proves popular with purchasers on a budget, offering a high-end experience for a low price.
The ZMax Pro is a large phone firmly classified as a phablet. Its 6-inch 1080p display dominates the front of the device. Above the display, the front camera, earpiece speaker and sensor array are visible as a row of small dots. Below, capacitive home, back and multitasking keys adorn the bottom bezel for interaction with the device.
The back of the phone has a clean and minimalist design. A subtle metal edge runs around the chassis, adding a touch of style. The round camera lens sits towards the top of the device. Below it there’s a single LED flash and a circular fingerprint sensor. The dark blue finish with bright copper accents isn’t intrusive but manages to retain a unique flair, distinguishing the ZMax Pro from rivals like the Motorola Moto G.
The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. There’s a modern USB-C port for connectivity and power, a large 3,400mAh battery that will power a day’s usage and Qualcomm Quick Charge for when it’s time to top-up.
There’s even decent camera gear. The primary sensor on the back is 13MP, joined by a 5MP front-facing sensor. ZTE appears to have designed the phone to be able to do any smartphone task in a reasonable time and with acceptable quality.
The hardware is a cut above what’s typical at this price point. Fingerprint sensors aren’t common on phones costing less than $200 and USB-C is still primarily a flagship-only feature. Considering handsets of a similar price, the ZMax Pro offers the best level of functionality for $100.
When compared to phones that use similar hardware, the ZMax Pro again shines through. Budget favourites like the Motorola Moto G4 and Huawei Honor 5X start at $200. The Honor 5X has a full metal body and a better camera while the G4 has a more powerful processor. Both devices cost twice as much as the ZMax Pro though.
The ZMax Pro could prove very difficult for competitors to rival. It uses ZTE’s classic principles of premium finish but affordable product, incorporating features usually found on significantly pricier rivals to disrupt the low-end of the market.
Although the handset’s enormous 6-inch display is likely to turn away many buyers, those looking for a large phone on a budget now have something new to put near the top of their list. The phone can be pre-ordered now from MetroPCS for delivery at the beginning of August.