We all salivate when looking at the latest and greatest flagship smartphones to hit the market, but that $600 to $700 price means many people won’t go past window shopping — especially those seeking a large screen along with some decent hardware. Good thing ZTE is back to claim this niche with its ZTE Grand X Max 2, a 6-inch phablet with plenty of powerful hardware for an impressive $200.
ZTE returns with Cricket Wireless this spring and yet another budget phablet full of features (and syllables in its gargantuan name). The ZTE Grand X Max 2 stays close to home with its $200 price range, but ups the ante in just about every aspect compared to its predecessors, the ZTE Grand X Max and Max Plus.
Inside is not a dual-core, not a quad-core, but a Qualcomm 1.5GHz 8-core processor, plus 2GB of RAM that’s certain to make this thing snappy, especially since it features a rather clean, unadulterated version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. All of this is viewed on a 6-inch Full-HD screen, which isn’t as great as the 2K Super AMOLED displays offered by Samsung, but is nothing to sneeze at either for those looking for a rich media experience.
On the back ZTE stuck with a 13-megapixel camera, but added an additional 2-megapixel camera, of all things. The added camera lets you take expanded photos, the company says, including panoramas and manual-focus images, though it has offered no details yet on how the additional camera helps make photos any better than something you’d see on a similarly-priced smartphone.
Another surprise is the switch to USB Type-C connectivity, something even Samsung’s Note 5 can’t claim yet. The ZTE Grand X Max 2 also features an even larger, 3,400 mAh battery, plus Qualcomm Quickcharge technology for long battery life alongside blazingly fast battery charging. There’s still a teeny 16GB of storage, but the option for an external memory card should make storing videos and games a bit easier.
All in all, the ZTE Grand X Max 2 is shaping up to be quite the bargain at $200, but it is a Cricket Wireless exclusive, which means switching to the budget carrier — and in turn getting throttled when AT&T’s network is clogged — if you want to grab this smartphone. If all this piques your curiosity, you can grab it now from the Cricket store.