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
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
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 886
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 386
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 582
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
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
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 10.7
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 10.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 4.3
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 4.1
Basemark OS II Higher is better
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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