Whenever people think about getting their hands on a phablet, the thing that stops them is the price tag. Smartphones with huge screens are really expensive, just look at the Note 4. But it seems ZTE has a solution for you. The Chinese giant has decided to release the ZTE ZMAX along with T-Mobile, with a 5.7-inch screen, the smartphone will cost only $252 without any contract.
The huge display features a 1280×720 resolution, other than that, it is running on Android 4.4 KitKat, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, Adreno 305 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera with a 1MP front-facing shooter, 16GB of internal memory and a MicroSD card slot, NFC, and a gigantic 3400 mAh battery. The phone has a slim plastic body, and the best thing is that the user interface it is on is really close to the stock Android.
If you want to get the phone through T-Mobile’s installment plan, then it will cost you $10.50 on a 24 month plan. It’s definitely not a bad phone, and it will be a good choice for people looking for a cheap alternative of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It will be available at T-Mobile starting from Wednesday, September 24th.
Are you looking forward to grab it?
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Looking for a big screen on a small budget? T-Mobile has you covered with the announcement of the latest device headed to the unpredictable carrier. The ZTE ZMAX will be headed to magenta next week with some interesting specs and price tag.
The ZMAX manages to pull down a 5.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720. That isn’t a quad HD screen, but on a 5.7-inch device is it doable for an average consumer who wants size. Under the hood it packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor at 1.2Ghz and is backed with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage locks in at 16GB, with less user storage of course. It does offer an SD card slot along with NFC. For photos the ZMAX packs a modest 8MP rear camera and a paltry 1MP front shooter. The whole device will launch with Android 4.4. Looking at the images of the device, it appears to be a pretty stock looking experience too. That doesn’t always mean anything though, but we will remain hopeful. What is almost impressive about the ZMAX though is the fact that they packed a 3,400 mAh battery inside a shell that is just 0.35-inches. They have the battery rated for 14 hours of talk time and 15 days standby time.
It certainly isn’t the prettiest of devices ever made and whats up with those capacitive keys at the bottom?!?!!? T-Mobile fails to offer up an official price tag, but they do list out the EIP price of $0 down and $10.50 a month for 24 months. Math wise that pans out to $252 full price. That isn’t to shabby considering the specs. It is set to be available September 24th. with a MetroPCS version following later this year.
Learn more at T-Mobile.com
RICHARDSON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZTE USA, the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S.*, today introduced the ZTE ZMAX at its launch event in New York City and announced the phone’s exclusive availability with T-Mobile beginning September 24. This beautiful, value priced LTE smartphone with a 5.7 inch HD screen heightens performance and class in the mid-range market, giving T-Mobile customers more choice and exceptional value they’ve come to expect. The phone’s 3400 mAh battery is one of the highest-capacity batteries on the market and, under normal usage, lasts two days on average with a single charge. The ZTE ZMAX has a curved smooth back and slender build that gives the word phablet a whole new feeling.
“The ZMAX is the latest example of ZTE designing devices with the user in mind. It has more battery life, more screen and more style but it does not cost you more,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “When customers see the unique look of ZTE smartphones and the technology, they are surprised our phones are a third of the cost of mainstream brands. We think the ZMAX is going to be a great addition to T-Mobile’s Un-carrier proposition and we are excited to have the ZMAX on their network.”
ZTE ZMAX ships with a nearly-stock version of the Android KitKat 4.4 operating system. The approach to the OS continues into the exterior design of the device, with its square corners, rounded back and semi-matte black finish. Behind its HD 5.7-inch screen is a Qualcomm quad-core processor, Dolby Digital sound and 16GB of storage that is expandable to 32GB with a micro SD card.
Starting September 24, the ZTE ZMAX will be available at participating T-Mobile retail locations and online at T-Mobile.com for $0 down and $10.50 a month for 24 months on T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP). MetroPCS will carry the device later this year.
“ZTE’s ZMAX combines the latest technology with distinctive design to give our customers an incredibly affordable large screen smartphone,” said Jason Young, Senior Vice President, Marketing at T-Mobile. “And on T-Mobile’s fastest nationwide LTE network with Wi-Fi Un-leashed and Simple Global, you’ve got worldwide coverage the old carriers can’t begin to match.”
ZTE ZMAX specifications:
- Battery: 3400 mAh
- Dimensions: 6.4” x 3.3” x 0.35”, 6.7 oz.
- Display: 5.7″ TFT LCD HD 1280 x 720
- Memory: 16GB ROM, expandable to 32GB via micro SD
- Network Compatibility: LTE, GSM
- Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4
- Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 Quad Core with Adreno 305 GPU at 1.2 GHz
- Camera: 8MP rear, 1.6MP front, 1080p video
Via Android Police
The post T-Mobile announces the ZTE ZMAX; An ultra affordable 5.7-inch Android device appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
If you like the prospect of a giant smartphone but find even LG’s G Vista too rich for your blood, ZTE might have something that’s more up your alley. It just unveiled the ZMAX, a 5.7-inch device that hopefully won’t crush your bank account. The 720p screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip, 16GB of expandable storage and 8-megapixel rear camera are nothing special, but you’re getting a lot of battery for the money; the 3,400mAh power pack is estimated to last for two days, or more than enough for a busy weekend. You might also like the not-quite-stock (read: potentially very speedy) Android 4.4 interface. ZTE’s low-cost behemoth will only be available through T-Mobile when it ships on September 24th. However, you’ll only have to pay $10.50 per month over two years to own the ZMAX, or $252 total — not too shabby considering that other phones this big frequently cost two or three times as much.
When I reviewed the original ZTE Open last year, the Firefox OS experience was — to put it modestly — rough around the edges. The device was stripped down even by the standards of low-end phones, while the software was missing features other platforms have had for years. You didn’t even get new email notifications, for crying out loud. Jump ahead a year and it’s another story. The Open C is a much more powerful device, and Firefox OS has received a few vital upgrades. But does that mean Mozilla’s web-based mobile software is finally ready for prime time? I spent two weeks with the Open C to find out if it can hold its own against budget rivals — and to see if I’d be comfortable using it as my only phone.
Hardware-wise, there’s no question it’s a quantum leap over its predecessor. The Open C’s dual-core processor makes a night-and-day difference in how quickly web pages load, and thus how the entire OS feels — you’re no longer left twiddling your thumbs. That extends to 3G data, too. It’s both faster (download speeds hovered around 6 Mbps on Telus’ network) and far more stable. The 4-inch, 800 x 480 display is much easier on the eyes than its smaller, low-resolution ancestor, and even the plastic casing is decidedly nicer to hold. About the only disappointment in the Open C’s hardware is the 3-megapixel fixed-focus camera, which remains as consistently terrible as the 2MP shooter on the first Open.
The software is where it gets complicated. There’s no doubt the OS has grown up in the past year. Besides adding those hoped-for email alerts, it now has a lot of features that made a difference in my day-to-day usage: music control from the lock screen, better graphics technology (you can play Cut the Rope!) and a timer in the clock app. I also liked that Firefox can now organize searches into smart collections that keep things focused; if you want to look for sports-focused web apps, you don’t have to wade through unrelated services. As a rule, there were considerably fewer show-stopping “I can’t do that” moments than the last time around, and I was happy to rely on the Open C for basic tasks.
Of course, I still ran into plenty of challenges when trying to accomplish more than the fundamentals. Simply put, the app ecosystem and feature set aren’t where they need to be. I still couldn’t get mainstays like Instagram, Rdio or Vine, and equivalents to major apps are either tough to find or not as powerful as the real deal. I found a decent Foursquare substitute (Around), for instance, but it’s not going to rival the abilities of an official app like Swarm. Big-name social sites like Facebook and Twitter also don’t integrate with Firefox OS, so there was no way to check for updates without launching associated apps. I had little choice but to carry another smartphone to fill feature gaps, whether they involved tracking Twitter mentions, obtaining turn-by-turn directions or just playing sophisticated games.
As such, the Open C can’t serve as my only phone, at least not in its current state. It’s really a refinement of what I saw in 2013: this is a superb device for its target market of first-time smartphone users in developing regions, but I’d have a hard time recommending it to American or European friends who have plenty of viable alternatives. When the Lumia 520 (which often sells for $59 or less) and Moto E ($129) have both more sophisticated platforms and occasionally better hardware, ZTE’s $100 unlocked phone doesn’t seem like such a bargain. More powerful Firefox phones are coming; the OS either already has or will soon get support for more advanced cameras, NFC pairing and fast LTE data. However, Mozilla absolutely has to work overtime on bolstering software support if it wants to court veterans like me… and, for that matter, to stop people from flocking to ever-cheaper Android gear.
Chinese phone makers are smacking Samsung and others around right now, but it’s still hard to find high-end, non-carrier-branded devices stateside. That said, ZTE — which has quietly become the world’s number five smartphone brand — has just launched its Nubia 5S mini LTE in the US unlocked for $280. You may be more tempted by a Nexus 5 if specs are your thing, as the Nubia 5s mini is “merely” equipped with a quad-core Snapdragon 400, 2GB RAM, 16GB expandable memory and a 4.7-inch, 720p screen. But ZTE’s wooing a younger crowd by touting the ample 5-megapixel front/13-megapixel rear cameras with f/2.2 iris and manual controls, along with the photo effects, LTE (for GSM carriers) and pocketable size. It also vows to repair any damage you inflict for any reason up to 18 months after purchase for $80 — a boon to any of us who’ve broken a screen. It’s now up on pre-order at Amazon, with shipping set to start on August 27th.
The “Swiss Army knife of electronics.” That’s the best way Sprint can define the LivePro, a touchscreen projector/Android hotspot made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE. The device, which goes for $300 with a two-year contract, is the first in a brand-new hybrid category — and depending on how successful it is, it may well be the last. Although the LivePro has a wide range of capabilities that make it useful on many different fronts, its demand will be incredibly niche. What kind of person needs such a unique device, and is it good enough to even attract them?
The LivePro is an awkward-looking box, but then again, it’s clearly not trying to win any beauty contests — what do you expect from an Android-powered hotspot with a built-in projector and 4-inch display? It’s portability and utility that buyers will crave the most; this odd little thing will spend most of its time dragged around by a suit in a briefcase, purse or roller bag en route to endless meetings. Sprint customers won’t buy the LivePro to show off at parties.
For the sake of comparison, it looks in some ways like a larger (4.7 inches square) and fatter (1.1 inch) version of the Apple TV with a screen and buttons fashioned onto the top and a few ridges and curves on each side. That’s still a stretch, though: Despite a few commonalities, you’re unlikely to mistake the two devices. (Come to think of it, you probably won’t mistake it for anything else, either.) The LivePro weighs in at 14.1 ounces (0.88 pound), in large part due to the projector and fan that sit inside. Not only that, but you’ll also need to take your charger along with you if you plan to use the projector (more on that later), so you’ll need more packing room as a result.
The LivePro has several job descriptions, including a projector, mobile hotspot, media player, smart device and external battery charger for other devices. It’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but that was likely ZTE’s objective in the first place: Bundle all the things together so it’s ideal for road warriors and families who want to consume media during a long road trip.
The 4-inch WVGA display on top is disappointing. Not only because its 800 x 480 resolution produces a below-average experience and viewing angles are quite bad, but also because of how the screen is laid out. The most comfortable way to hold the device is in landscape mode, but you’re given very little space to work with; whenever I needed to send an email, the keyboard blocked out the entire text field, so I had to minimize it anytime I wanted to see what I was typing. It’s possible to switch to portrait mode, but it’s even more awkward to hold the LivePro this way, because the screen is situated on the right side of the device. Simply put, you won’t want to use the LivePro as an Android device unless you’re turning on the hotspot or finding something to watch on the projector.
Adding to the awkwardness is the spread of buttons below the display. In addition to three capacitive navigation buttons (back, home and menu), there’s also a key to fire up the projector, another to turn the display on and off and separate controls for adjusting the volume. A couple buttons line the left side of the box: One is a standard power button and the other one turns the power bank on and off. Additionally, there’s a dial to adjust the focus for your projector and a hidden tab covering the micro-SIM and microSD card slots. (The latter can support up to 32GB cards, a bit low compared to most Android devices on the market today.)
On the bottom of the device sits connector ports for 12V power input, USB, HDMI and 3.5mm headphone jacks. You can put away all of the micro-USB cables you have, though, because you won’t find any such port here. At least the LivePro comes with USB and HDMI cables in the box, so you don’t have to dig through boxes of old cords to find some that work. Miracast support is also included in the device for wireless mirroring, and you’ll get Bluetooth 4.0 throw in as well.
You won’t be able to take the LivePro on a trip around the world, because it only comes with support for Sprint’s frequencies (bands 25, 26 and 41) and CDMA.
Your purchase of the LivePro hinges on how often you plan to use the projector. Why else would you want to get a high-priced device that takes up precious space in your backpack or purse? If all you need is an Android-powered hotspot, there are plenty of smartphones, tablets and other devices out there that will take care of you (and they’ll likely be much smaller, too!). By adding a projector into the mix, Sprint is targeting specific demographics: Professionals who are always traveling and giving presentations, and parents looking for new ways to entertain their kids when they’re away from a TV (but close to a power outlet).
With a 100-lumen DLP bulb, the LivePro features a standard projector compared to most in its price range. (The best I’ve seen is a $350 Viewsonic model with a 3,000-lumen bulb, but that’s an extreme outlier; most comparable devices are around $300 and sport 85 to 100 lumens.) Of course, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, since the LivePro is subsidized under a service agreement ($300, or $450 off-contract) and ZTE tacked on a full Android device; a brighter bulb would’ve increased the cost of manufacturing. The resulting picture is still respectable, and it’s a massive improvement over older devices like the 15-lumen Samsung Galaxy Beam, which simply was a waste of a phone altogether.
In case you get any crazy ideas, don’t even think about using the LivePro for your home cinema. You’ll definitely need something larger, brighter and more expensive. It’s fine in a pinch, as you get a reasonable amount of color in a dark room, but it’s meant to help you temporarily rather than be a permanent fix. However, presentations, documents, shared-app demos — the LivePro is more than ideal for any of those. It features a native resolution of 854 x 480 and can project up to a 120-inch display on the wall or ceiling, so you won’t get a very high-quality viewing experience, and it’s pretty tough to see anything when you’re in a well-lit room. You’ll also want to place the LivePro between 10 inches and 10 feet from the surface you’re projecting onto.
The other problem you’ll run into is the audio. The device is actually pretty loud, but the built-in fan is even louder, which makes it incredibly difficult to get a good experience when you’re watching a quiet movie or on the far side of a long conference room. It’s not bad if you’re close to the LivePro, but the farther away you are, the more you’ll be straining your ears. In this case, you’ll need to add a Bluetooth speaker to your list of things to pack around with you.
While you’re rounding up extra stuff to take along with you, add a small tripod to your list. There’s a small kickstand to prop up the LivePro if needed, but the device comes with a tripod mount if you need to adjust the projection height and angle (this will happen more often than you think).
The LivePro comes with a mostly stock version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is nearly two years old. I’ve grown so accustomed to using devices with KitKat that using the LivePro felt like going back in time. Of course, there are a few differences: As you’d expect, you won’t find any phone-related features here, nor is there a camera. Sprint’s also added a File Manager and Lookout security, but otherwise the carrier kept bloatware to a minimum. In fact, you won’t even find Hangouts, Calendar or Google+ pre-installed on the device. You can still download them, but since the LivePro comes with less than 2GB available storage (4GB total internal space), it was smart of Sprint to cut down on the number of preloaded apps.
There are a few minor tweaks to the UI. The lock screen and notification bar are both ZTE creations, and a homemade hotspot widget occupies a large chunk of real estate on the front screen. (You can move it or get rid of it if you’d like, but you’re going to need it if you plan to connect other devices via HDMI or WiFi Direct). Aside from these, you won’t find many significant changes; just an old operating system with few software features or limited internal storage.
Performance and battery life
An hour and a half. That’s how much battery life I got when the projector played a 720p movie (the display was turned off during this time). It’s barely long enough to get through a Disney princess movie, and it definitely won’t get you through most standard films, either. A 5,000mAh battery may sound large, but it’s nowhere close to what’s required to run a small projector. If you’re planning to use the projector, a charger will be mandatory regardless of where you go.
The battery can be used to power other electronic devices, but look elsewhere if this is on your list of top LivePro features. There are plenty of external battery chargers on the market at a much lower cost, and they’ll still provide ample power for your devices without taking up as much room. When I used the power bank, the LivePro lasted for around four hours from full to empty.
The LivePro comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset, which is even older than the OS it’s powering up, and 1GB RAM. Specifically, this device uses the same MSM8930 processor found in the HTC One VX and SV, both of which were mid-range smartphones when they came out in early 2013. I’ll cut ZTE a little bit of slack for this since the user experience is focused more on using the device as a media player and mobile hotspot, so the processor isn’t meant to be taxed with intensive tasks. Few people will find it easy, pleasurable or necessary to use this like a tablet.
This is one of those rare instances in which I was less interested in what I could do on the device’s display (the low specs and subpar screen certainly don’t help) and more interested in other things I could potentially do with the product. For instance, I was able to project my Xbox One via HDMI. I played a few rounds of Titanfall, but as I expected, the gaming experience wasn’t anywhere close to my 1080p TV. I couldn’t see enough details; I barely could differentiate who was on which team; and darker maps were ridiculously hard to see. But at least in terms of performance, everything was just as smooth here as it is on my television. Any HDMI or WiFi Display device is compatible with the LivePro, so there are quite a few potential uses for it outside of just playing Netflix — just don’t expect the LivePro to outshine HDTVs and larger projectors.
Lastly, because Sprint is Sprint, the hotspot performance will depend primarily on where you’re at. The carrier’s Spark network is still only located in a handful of cities (oddly, San Francisco isn’t covered yet, but Oakland is), while the remainder of Sprint’s network is comprised of inconsistent EVDO and LTE service. I’m located in an area with moderate LTE and have averaged around 2 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up, but Spark will likely be much faster.
The LivePro is the best product of its kind… because it’s the only product of its kind. To ZTE’s credit, it came up with a crazily unique device that nobody’s ever seen before. Most consumers won’t find much interest in it, but Sprint likes it because it adds variety to its existing lineup and introduces a product category that none of the other carriers have explored. Unfortunately, the few who might find the LivePro useful may be turned off by its short battery life, high price and aging specs. It’s a device that could catch the attention of the corporate world — if it’s done correctly.
Cricket Wireless this morning announced the upcoming availability of the ZTE Grand X, a 5-inch Android smartphone. Expected next Friday, August 8, the phone will cost $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate. With its big, bright 5″ display, the ZTE Grand X will appeal to students looking for a well featured, large profile smartphone with… Read more »
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In the US, prepaid cellphone service tends to be a like-it-or-leave-it proposition that rarely fits perfectly, especially for families. Virgin Mobile may have a smarter approach in store; it’s launching Custom, a prepaid family plan that lets you tailor usage to your liking. You can put as many as five people on plans that start at $7 each ($35 for unlimited talk and text) and scale up depending on individual needs. If Mom is a big fan of streaming music but rarely makes calls, she can pile on the data (or use a $5 Unlimited Music plan) and reduce her voice minutes; a chat-happy kid, meanwhile, can have gobs of messages but only minimal internet access. You can change the plans at any time from mobile apps, and built-in parental controls let you declare certain apps as off-limits during specified hours.
Custom will be available in Walmart stores on August 9th, although your device selection will be limited to some bottom-rung Android devices at first, including the ZTE Emblem ($80), LG Pulse ($100) and LG Unify ($130, shown here). You won’t have to put everyone on the plan to control it, however. As of September 1st, you’ll get a management app for Android and iOS that lets you change Custom plans whether or not you’re a Virgin customer yourself. As such, it could be handy for parents who want to stick to high-end devices and plans, yet keep their kids’ cellphone service on a tight budget.
Why yes, here’s yet another fitness band from China! Just two days after Xiaomi’s $13 Mi Band, ZTE will no doubt have a hard time getting attention for its awkwardly named Grand Band. The company’s second smart wearable device reminds us of the Nike+ FuelBand with its dot-matrix LED screen plus the positioning of its sole button, but it uses an adjustable snap-on strap instead of the latter’s fixed-size type. As you’d expect, the 14mm-thick, shower-friendly band packs all the common features: pedometer (with distance and calorie calculator), sleep monitor and smart alarm. Better yet, it’s compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 host devices running on iOS or Android 4.3 and above. The Grand Band will be launched in China first next month, and as a “reasonable, affordable premium” product, ZTE hinted that it’ll be priced somewhere around the common 800 yuan ($130) to 1,000 yuan ($160) tier. Hmm, looks like we’ll stick with Xiaomi’s cheaper and slimmer device — only if we can even get hold of one. Hands-on video after the break.
Filed under: Wearables
For all its beauty, Android’s openness is the reason why manufacturers and carriers are able to make their own tweaks to the OS. Some companies go as far as completely forking the platform, and we know how terrible that can be — though there are exceptions like Amazon’s Fire ecosystem, which offers a solid experience overall. Thankfully, manufacturers are beginning to realize it’s much better to deliver Android as Google intended, or at least as close to it as possible (e.g. HTC’s Sense 6). Chinese outfit ZTE will join this movement very soon, announcing that the Google Now launcher will be set as the default home screen on its future smartphones, starting with the launch of the Blade Vec 4G next week. Naturally, doing so means giving buyers a cleaner look right out of the box; plus, it puts all of the search giant’s services front and center, including the Play store and, of course, Google Now. Most importantly, it’s definitely going to make Google happy.