Interface and Functionality

The experience is mostly stock, thankfully.

Always the one to please purists, the ZTE ZMAX is running a mostly stock Android 4.4.2 KitKat experience out of the box. In fact, the only thing not stock is the camera app, which we’ll detail a bit later on. Clean looking and packing all of the core functions of Android, the experience here is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated. Out of everything, our only reservation is finding out how quickly ZTE is willing to push out future software updates to it.
In comparison to other notable phablets, the ZTE ZMAX lacks the depth of productivity tools and software features to keep the on-the-go user satisfied. Sure, the spacious sized screen offers some advantages, like being able to see more of an email or document, but it doesn’t go beyond from the diversified features set that we get from other phablets.

Typing up messages is a breeze using the default, stock Android keyboard, since the layout is spacious and its responsiveness is good in keeping up with our rate of input.

Processor and Memory

Don’t expect the snappiest performance with this, but it suffices for basic things.

Due to its low cost, it should be no surprise to anyone that the ZTE ZMAX opts to pack an entry-level processor – a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8926 SoC paired with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU. Basic tasks are handled with no frills at all, but its performance begins to crumble against more processor intensive stuff. It’s most noticeable with games, as missed frames are evident in its performance.

Accompanied with 16GB of internal storage, which translates to 11.64GB of usable space out of the box, that’s a tally we’re satisfied with – more so when that tally can be supplemented thanks to its microSD slot.

Quadrant Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 8513
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 11210
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 3856
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 9785.6
AnTuTu Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 17306
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 22341
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 7999
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 19422.3
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 699
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 886
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 386
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 582
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 1632
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 1879
Sunspider Lower is better
ZTE ZMAX 1496.7
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 1382.6
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 1408.4
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 10.6
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 10.7
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 10.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 3.9
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 4.3
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 4.1
Basemark OS II Higher is better
ZTE ZMAX 494
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 471
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 447

Internet and Connectivity


Although its performance isn’t the best, the ZTE ZMAX at least suffices enough when it comes to surfing the web. It’s partly due to its speedy 4G LTE connection, large screen, and effective navigational controls.

Thankfully, this GSM-enabled smartphone bears all of the essential connectivity features we expect to find in a modern phone – like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC. Heck, it even offers support for Wi-Fi calling through T-Mobile!



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8 Comments

1. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2264; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

better than xperia T2 ultra

2. Telemike

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

I can't believe it's taller than the Huawei. I have held the ascend Mate 2 and it's big and has a bigger screen at 6.1" for $50 more although you can't finance it thru T-Mobile and it doesn't have wi-fi calling

3. Adrian38

Posts: 142; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Such a shame that this device is only for T-Mobile. If they would have sold it unlocked, I would have definitely picked one up.

4. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

You can still buy one outright and have it unlocked, can't you? It just so happens to support AT&T's other LTE bands...

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Thanks for the review John V. I'm only mildly interested in this phone (gonna save instead for a Nexus 6), but a friend of mine is extremely interested. He's not wealthy, and wants something BIG, but can't afford something like a Note 3. He just wants it for Netflix, some games (mainly emulators), etc. I think this is the perfect phone for him, and LTE is just icing on the cake. Are there plans to review the Samsung Galaxy Avant from T-Mobile? It's a well-priced low-mid end device, and the fact that you can download an app to carrier unlock it and use it on AT&T (or other North American GSM carriers) makes it an intriguing and slightly puzzling phone.

6. griffin8r73

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 19, 2014

Yeah, here's your review of the Avant. It's a piece of crap. It crashes at the slightest app taxation. Its battery capacity is worse than most flip phones. Garbage, garbage, garbage. Really a disappointment from a company like Samsung, as though they wanted to put out something that would make sure broke people wanted to over-extend themselves to get the good stuff, rather than make a decent phone for a mid-range price.

7. MoonlitTear

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 09, 2008

I feel kinda bad for as I got this phone for a steal. My Walmart sells Univision Mobile. A T-Mobile MVNO that just happened to carry the ZTE Max @199 dollars. But last week, we had a clearance fire sale of them. I picked this up for 58.43 after tax and 2 Yr Replacement plan. I LOVE it!! It is doing everything I need it too, and it's SOOOOO big. My only qualm is I think I am gonna have to root if I want Android 5.x on this. But overall I am thrilled with the phone, although getting it for only 58 bucks helps too. Check out your local walmart people! :D

8. youngkim3000

Posts: 1; Member since: May 10, 2016

I have had this phone for over a year and I really like it. For the price, it is unbeatable. I paid only about $129. I like that it has a large screen, is very thin, and is quite reliable and sturdy. The battery lasts all day. Sure, maybe the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy 6 is better, but they cost over 4 TIMES as much. Customer support is good too. I highly recommend it. Have a blessed day everyone! :)
ZMAX
  • Display 5.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.6 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3400 mAh(14h talk time)

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