CES 2015 is well underway, and we’ve seen a ton of device announcements so far. One company who has released a ton of hardware already is ZTE. They’re not done yet, as they’ve just announced their next phablet, the ZTE Grand X Max+. The company’s first iteration, the X Max, was a solid device found on the prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless. In fact, that device made our list as one of the best Cricket Wireless phones you can buy. So, has the company improved with this new iteration? We find that out in our initial hands-on and first impressions of ZTE’s Grand X Max+!
With a name like the Grand X Max+, you can assume the device is going to be big… very big. That’s what ZTE has accomplished with this device, and they’ve done a pretty good job at making it feel like a manageable phone. This device is meant to be a budget-friendly phone, so we’re not going to find top-of-the-line build quality here. However, we can tell ZTE really tried making this the best device they could for the price point. The X Max+ has a 6-inch 720p display, which is great for consuming all types of media. Sure, 720p isn’t the best resolution for a 6-inch display out there, but it will give most users a decent experience.
The device is made up of a polycarbonate front and back, and features a smooth, sleek design. The back of the device features an understated design, only to be broken up by the camera module, as well as the ZTE and Cricket logos. The device has very slim bezels that really cut down on the device’s overall footprint, allowing for a much better in-hand feel. The top and bottom feature rounded edges, while the left and right sides are completely flat (aside from the buttons).
This device doesn’t feature the most high-end specs out there, but we can’t really tell from using it thus far. The X Max+ features a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM. Playing games, surfing the web and navigating throughout the interface was extremely smooth in our time with the device, so we’d imagine most users should be pretty happy with the performance.
With a device that’s as big as the X Max+, you can expect to see a pretty big battery inside. This device comes with a 3200mAh battery, which should have no problems getting you through the day. Especially with the screen at 720p, you may even be able to get through more than a day on a single charge. The device also comes with 16GB of internal storage.
The X Max+ has a 13MP rear-facing camera, which is something we don’t normally see on budget-friendly devices. ZTE’s camera software makes it easy to take high-quality pictures, and the company has also included a suite of camera features that are easy to pick up. “Pro Mode”gives users much more manual control than other camera modes. ZTE also included “Fun Mode” and “Auto Mode” for people who want to snap a picture quickly. The front of the device houses a 5MP wide-angle camera, which not only allows for better selfies, but allows for bigger group selfies.
Taking a look at the software, we see ZTE’s colorful skin running atop Android 4.4.4 KitKat, with a Lollipop update likely coming down the pipeline. While ZTE’s skin isn’t the most beautiful software overlay, it is very easy to use and should be easy for a new Android user to get used to quickly.
Well, there you have it – our first look at the ZTE Grand X Max+! The device will be available unlocked exclusively from Cricket Wireless for $200. That’s a pretty good deal, considering the first generation X Max is still at that price point. We’re looking forward to reviewing this device and many others from our coverage of CES 2015!