With years passing by, smartphone prices keep dropping yet the quality at hand keeps rising, be it build or performance.
As things spice up in the premium end with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3, ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe and HTC 10, among others, showing all their best, the entry level is not lagging behind either. There are great budget smartphones out there, with the likes of Moto G4, the ZenFone 3, Huawei Honor 5X and even the now slightly older Nexus 5X coming in with great designs, excellent cameras, and stunning performance speeds, however, it is hard to imagine a phone on level terms with these handsets but costs less than $100.
The ZTE Zmax Pro is the smartphone in question here. This handset is valued at just $99, but you will be surprised at what it packs. Launched this week, the handset has impressive hardware on board, a great build quality, and the latest software.
The Zmax Pro is huge in size, but you won’t notice this when carrying it as it doesn’t feel heavy. Of course, one handed use is out of the question here due to its huge 6-inch display screen. The panel is covered by glass covers on the front with the sides sporting a metallic frame. On the rear, you find a polycarbonate that features a soft-touch rubberized polish. On the bottom end of the phone, you’ll find a USB Type-C port for charging the phone, but this is not meant for audio as there is a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack on the opposite end. The power button and volume rockers can be found on the sides of the phone.
Despite its market value of just $99, the ZTE Zmax Pro has a fingerprint scanner on the back. You won’t find a phone in this price category with a fingerprint scanner, something that makes this feature a USP for the Zmax Pro phablet. In fact, the Honor 5X is arguably the most affordable smartphone that comes with a fingerprint scanner, and it costs about $185 on Amazon.
In general, the ZTE Zmax Pro has a 6-inch 1080p display screen which delivers great viewing angles. Under the hood, the phablet comes with an 8-core Snapdragon 617 SoC that is paired with a 2GB RAM. These should be enough to meet the day-to-day usage of a phone. Further inside is 32GB of onboard storage and room for microSD card expansion. On the back of the phone is a 13MP sensor while the front has a 5MP selfie sensor, which should deliver great photography as well as video recording capabilities.
To keep the huge screen on, the ZTE Zmax Pro went for a 3,400mAh unit, which should also be decent enough to keep the 1080p screen alive for a longer period, but it’s obvious that ZTE could have done better. In terms of software, there is Android Marshmallow on board together with a custom ZTE UI, which is usual with Android devices.
Even though the phone will not be here until August, pre-orders are already underway at just $99.
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