ZTE's new Blade Z Max: Big battery, big screen, dual cameras, $129

ZTE's Blade Z Max focuses on the camera to bring premium features to its budget phone.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The Blade Z Max sports a number of premium features, including a six-inch full HD IPS LCD display.

Image: ZTE

ZTE is launching another big-screen, budget-friendly smartphone in the US.

Following on from the launch of the $129 ZTE Max XL for Boost Mobile customers, ZTE is teaming up with MetroPCS to launch the Blade Z Max for the same price.

Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE mobile devices, said the device targets high-end specs at a low price point "to bring affordable premium devices to the masses".

The Blade Z Max does sport a number of premium features, including a six-inch full HD IPS LCD display with a scratch-resistant 2.5D Dragontrail Glass screen, and a sizable 4,080mAh battery, which should help support the large screen.

Like the far more expensive iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5, it also has dual rear cameras at 16 megapixels (MP) and 2MP to give snaps the so-called bokeh effect. On the front is an 8MP selfie-shooter.

The device runs on a 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of in-built storage, with expandable microSD support up to 128GB. It also features Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 and has a fingerprint sensor located on the rear. It will come with Android 7.1.1.

MetroPCS is taking pre-orders for the Blade Z Max online and it will be available in some MetroPCS stores on August 28.

Besides the dual-camera setup, the Blade Z Max shares many of the same features as the Max XL.

ZTE's focus on competitively priced smartphones has helped it become the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the US, behind LG, Samsung, and Apple. It's also the second-largest vendor in the no-contract market.

The company's ZTE ZMax Pro, which was built for T-Mobile and MetroPCS, sold one million units in two and half months. But like the ZMaz Pro, there are some key missing features.

Aside from the low-end processor, it doesn't have near-field communications, so it can't be used with Google Pay.

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