ZTE reveals ultra-cheap Max XL smartphone for Boost Mobile

The smartphone maker has partnered with Boost Mobile for another low-cost smartphone with a big screen.

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Image: ZTE

Starting Tuesday, Boost Mobile customers can pick up ZTE's latest smartphone for just $129.

The ZTE Max XL is the first smartphone on Boost Mobile to implement Sprint's HPUE technology, which means users can expect better LTE coverage and performance.

According to Jeff Yee, vice president of technology, planning and partnerships at ZTE USA, the company had three priorities it took into consideration when working with Boost Mobile on the Max XL: High-speed connectivity, a big screen, and a big battery.

Between HPUE compatibility, a 6-inch FHD display, and a 3,990mAh battery, ZTE is confident the Max XL is a device customers will enjoy using.

Other notable specs include 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, microSD support up to 128 GB, Android 7.1.1, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera, all powered by a 1.4 GHz processor.

With high-end smartphones attracting much of the attention from tech press and users alike, ZTE has quietly and steadily held the fourth spot in the top smartphone vendors in the US. Currently behind LG, Samsung, and Apple, respectively, Yee is optimistic ZTE can catch LG in 2017, claiming the third spot.

ZTE's recipe for success includes listening to carriers and building smartphones specific to their needs.

For example, the ZTE ZMax Pro, built specifically for T-Mobile and MetroPCS, sold 1 million units in two and a half months.

The Max XL is just one of the nearly 80 active SKUs in ZTE's lineup. A number, Yee admits, that is a lot to manage and can lead to confusion for consumers.

ZTE plans to continue building phones for carriers' needs on the low-end, but in 2017 Yee says to expect ZTE to begin spending a lot of time promoting and growing its mid-range Blade smartphone brand.

Boost Mobile customers interested in the Max XL can order the phone directly from Boost Mobile starting today.

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