ZTE ZMax Pro review

How is this phone so cheap?

ZTE ZMax Pro

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  • Battery life is a highlight of the phone, lasting two days of light to moderate use.
  • The ZMax Pro's camera struggles with dynamic range, making photos too dark.

One feature that makes or breaks a phone is battery life. The ZTE ZMax Pro rocks a massive non-removable 3,400 mAh battery. For the price, this is an amazing amount of juice for a phone. During our testing, we found the ZMax Pro would last two full days of light use, and a full day of heavy use without problems.

Android Doze, a feature introduced in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, helps the phone sip power when not in use. Android Nougat will improve this feature even more, but it's unknown how quickly ZTE will update the ZMax Pro with the latest software, or if it will ever come at all.

ZTE ZMax Pro

More impressive is the fact that ZTE managed to give the ZMax Pro Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. Fast charging is usually absent from budget smartphones like this (see Moto G4 Play), so it's very nice to see it available. However, the phone only ships with a standard 5 volt, 2.1 amp charger, so you'll have to buy your own Quick Charge Charger to take advantage of the feature.


The rear facing 13-megapixel camera features a f/2.2 aperture, LED flash, phase detection autofocus. While it can't focus nearly as quickly as the laser autofocus of the Galaxy S7, we found it speedy enough. Videos max out at 1080p and 30 frames per second (FPS), which is fine for casual shooting.

Photos taken with the ZTE ZMax Pro look good, but a bit soft in dim to low light. In bright sunlight, we were impressed by the detail and resolution of its pictures. The camera doesn't have the best dynamic range and low-light performance is mediocre but it's hard to complain for the price. We expected ZTE to compromise most on the camera but the photos taken with the phone are actually quite nice.

ZTE's own camera app for the ZMax Pro allows manual controls, which is nice for more seasoned photographers. For casual shooting, auto mode does a find job of analyzing a scene and produced some good photos. HDR helps, but the camera still struggles to retrieve detail from dark areas.

We've included several camera samples on the next page and point out its high and low points compared to what other phones are capable of.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.