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ZMAX Pro: Our Hands-On Impressions

Nearly eight weeks ago now, we presented to you the ZTE ZMAX Pro, a $99 MetroPCS smartphone that has USB Type-C charging and phase detection autofocus (or PDAF, for short) for cheap. $99 doesn’t get you much these days, but it can get you a Gear VR headset (that demands a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, by the way) or a cheap phone like the ZMAX Pro.

Well, I’m pleased to say that the ZTE ZMAX Pro has made such an impression upon me that I decided to give it a try. The phone landed at my doorstep about 3 days ago, and I’ve had some time to get familiar with this handset. There are a number of things to like about it. First, my early impressions of the display are that the display is a crisp, 1080p IPS LCD panel which gives very clear and vibrant colors six inches across. That’s right: alongside of the stunning Full HD display, the phone is a 6-inch monster. I thought back to the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, a device that has a monster screen as well.

The ZTE ZMAX Pro, in addition to the gorgeous display and monster-size screen, is great for gaming. Playing NBA Jam (one of my favorite games) on the device has been a breeze. Of course, there are some things you’ll miss if you’ve owned a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge, such as the absence of a Game Launcher that disables the home and capacitive buttons so that you don’t accidentally hit one and pause your game by mistake, but the experience is ideal for hardcore gamers. The ZMAX Pro is actually the first smartphone I’ve used that has a 6-inch screen, but it’s also the first smartphone I’ve used that doesn’t make me feel as though my thumbs are eating up 90% of the display.

zte zmax pro back cover

The back-mounted fingerprint sensor is a design for most fingerprint registers nowadays that I’ve never been too fond of, but the ZMAX Pro makes the case for a back-mounted sensor because of its enormous size. I still believe that there are problems with using the device on a flat surface (how can you use the fingerprint sensor if it’s on a flat surface and the sensor is on the back, not the front, of the device?), but I’m starting to see some usefulness for it on ZTE’s latest handset.

We’re preparing our very own ZTE ZMAX Pro review that should be out in the coming weeks, but for now, we’d like you to feel free to Ask Us Anything (AUA) about the $99 Nexus 6 alternative. What do you want to know about it? Feel free to ask away in the comments.

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