ZTE Grand X Max+ Review

ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
Introduction


Fighting in the high-end category of the US smartphone market isn’t necessarily in the pipelines for ZTE, but they’re setting their sights on the entry-level segment. In several years past, ZTE’s line of devices have been relegated to nothing more than these poorly-made, cheap-feeling devices that normally have been rebranded using carrier names – like the AT&T Avail. More recently, however, ZTE has taken appropriate measures in showing consumers that they’re able to deliver quality, entry-level devices that compete nicely against companies with more brand recognition. We’ve seen that ourselves with the ZTE ZMAX over the busy holiday season, but it’s continuing to pick up even more steam with its latest device in the ZTE Grand X Max+.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Terms of service

Design

For an inexpensively priced phone, the ZTE Grand X Max+ feels solid.

Gone is that reputation of making cheap-cheap phones, as the ZTE Grand X Max+ impressively delivers a design that’s not only attractive for an inexpensively priced phone, but it’s also solid in construction to give it the qualities of a high-end device. Indeed, it’s certainly a beefy sized phone, one that requires a wider grip to handle, but for something so grand in size, it somehow manages to sport a relatively svelte profile (0.31-inches) and lightweight feel (172 gr). Mostly constructed from plastic, the uniform nature of its construction is accentuated by the glass covering both the front and back sides of the _phone_ – plus, the carbon fiber-like pattern of the rear adds some style points to the phone.

Its overall size is enough to classify it as a phablet, but it’s certainly not that type of smartphone because of the basic package it offers. Looking around the sides of the phone, it features a 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, microUSB port, SIM slot, microSD slot, volume controls, and a power button. Rounding things out, the rest of its package includes a 13-megapixel auto-focus rear camera with LED flash and a front-facing 5-megapixel one.

 

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Front view | Side view
ZTE Grand X Max+
ZTE Grand X Max+
6.38 x 3.27 x 0.31 inches
162 x 83 x 7.9 mm
6.06 oz (172 g)

ZTE Grand X Max+

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2
Samsung Galaxy Mega 2
6.44 x 3.34 x 0.34 inches
163.6 x 84.9 x 8.6 mm
6.86 oz (194 g)

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2

Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2
6.32 x 3.21 x 0.31 inches
160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2

Nokia XL
Nokia XL
5.57 x 3.06 x 0.43 inches
141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm
6.70 oz (190 g)

Nokia XL


ZTE Grand X Max+ Review


Display

Not really a specs beast, the qualities of its display are still commendable.

Although it’s far from reaching the pixel crushing resolutions of today’s flagships, the ZTE Grand X Max+’s 6-inch 720 x 1280 (720p) LCD screen still packs enough reasonable elements that make it usable. Its pixel density count of 245 ppi is insignificant in comparison to other things, but from a normal viewing distance, we can’t complain about how we’re still able to visualize web sites on its screen.

Based on our benchmark tests, the screen has some great qualities, like its color temperature of 6747K and maximum brightness output of 526 nits. Its color reproduction, however, strays a bit off the path with colors such as green and magenta. Regardless of that, the entire package still comes off spiffy looking – especially for a budget-oriented smartphone.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 526
(Excellent)
14
(Poor)
1:981
(Average)
6747
(Excellent)
2.18
5.17
(Average)
1.3
(Excellent)
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 481
(Good)
17
(Poor)
1:1579
(Excellent)
7135
(Good)
2.06
2.08
(Good)
5.31
(Average)
Nokia XL 358
(Average)
11
(Average)
1:1366
(Excellent)
7679
(Average)
2.23
4.31
(Average)
4.51
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 82.5%
85.7%
83%
7.7%
16.5%
15.7%
300.8%
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 84.2%
88.2%
78.6%
2.2%
7.3%
20.7%
34.3%
Nokia XL 92.7%
90.9%
83.4%
8.8%
8.1%
14.6%
11.5%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


ZTE Grand X Max+ Review

ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
Introduction


Fighting in the high-end category of the US smartphone market isn’t necessarily in the pipelines for ZTE, but they’re setting their sights on the entry-level segment. In several years past, ZTE’s line of devices have been relegated to nothing more than these poorly-made, cheap-feeling devices that normally have been rebranded using carrier names – like the AT&T Avail. More recently, however, ZTE has taken appropriate measures in showing consumers that they’re able to deliver quality, entry-level devices that compete nicely against companies with more brand recognition. We’ve seen that ourselves with the ZTE ZMAX over the busy holiday season, but it’s continuing to pick up even more steam with its latest device in the ZTE Grand X Max+.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Terms of service

Design

For an inexpensively priced phone, the ZTE Grand X Max+ feels solid.

Gone is that reputation of making cheap-cheap phones, as the ZTE Grand X Max+ impressively delivers a design that’s not only attractive for an inexpensively priced phone, but it’s also solid in construction to give it the qualities of a high-end device. Indeed, it’s certainly a beefy sized phone, one that requires a wider grip to handle, but for something so grand in size, it somehow manages to sport a relatively svelte profile (0.31-inches) and lightweight feel (172 gr). Mostly constructed from plastic, the uniform nature of its construction is accentuated by the glass covering both the front and back sides of the _phone_ – plus, the carbon fiber-like pattern of the rear adds some style points to the phone.

Its overall size is enough to classify it as a phablet, but it’s certainly not that type of smartphone because of the basic package it offers. Looking around the sides of the phone, it features a 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, microUSB port, SIM slot, microSD slot, volume controls, and a power button. Rounding things out, the rest of its package includes a 13-megapixel auto-focus rear camera with LED flash and a front-facing 5-megapixel one.


Front view | Side view
ZTE Grand X Max+
ZTE Grand X Max+
6.38 x 3.27 x 0.31 inches
162 x 83 x 7.9 mm
6.06 oz (172 g)

ZTE Grand X Max+

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2
Samsung Galaxy Mega 2
6.44 x 3.34 x 0.34 inches
163.6 x 84.9 x 8.6 mm
6.86 oz (194 g)

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2

Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2
6.32 x 3.21 x 0.31 inches
160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2

Nokia XL
Nokia XL
5.57 x 3.06 x 0.43 inches
141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm
6.70 oz (190 g)

Nokia XL


ZTE Grand X Max+ Review


Display

Not really a specs beast, the qualities of its display are still commendable.

Although it’s far from reaching the pixel crushing resolutions of today’s flagships, the ZTE Grand X Max+’s 6-inch 720 x 1280 (720p) LCD screen still packs enough reasonable elements that make it usable. Its pixel density count of 245 ppi is insignificant in comparison to other things, but from a normal viewing distance, we can’t complain about how we’re still able to visualize web sites on its screen.

Based on our benchmark tests, the screen has some great qualities, like its color temperature of 6747K and maximum brightness output of 526 nits. Its color reproduction, however, strays a bit off the path with colors such as green and magenta. Regardless of that, the entire package still comes off spiffy looking – especially for a budget-oriented smartphone.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 526
(Excellent)
14
(Poor)
1:981
(Average)
6747
(Excellent)
2.18
5.17
(Average)
1.3
(Excellent)
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 481
(Good)
17
(Poor)
1:1579
(Excellent)
7135
(Good)
2.06
2.08
(Good)
5.31
(Average)
Nokia XL 358
(Average)
11
(Average)
1:1366
(Excellent)
7679
(Average)
2.23
4.31
(Average)
4.51
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 82.5%
85.7%
83%
7.7%
16.5%
15.7%
300.8%
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 84.2%
88.2%
78.6%
2.2%
7.3%
20.7%
34.3%
Nokia XL 92.7%
90.9%
83.4%
8.8%
8.1%
14.6%
11.5%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

Basic and straight to the point, the interface lacks diversity and style, but it still gets the job done.

There’s no denying that companies do as little as possible to the experience for entry-level devices, so it doesn’t shock us to see how it applies here to the ZTE Grand X Max+ as well. Running a customized Android 4.4.4 KitKat experience, it has all the hallmark features of Android in tow, but it doesn’t necessarily break the mold – so you can say that the look, feel, and operation is as generic as they come.

For such a grandiose sized smartphone, some would suspect some enhanced functionality with its phablet-like attachment. However, that’s simply not the case here, since it functions and operates like any basic smartphone. Icons are slightly larger and whatnot, with a few custom widgets from ZTE, but we wouldn’t say it’s as modern, diversified, or clean looking like some of today’s premier Android experiences.

All told, the ZTE Grand X Max+ doesn’t try to teach us any new tricks with the experience. Rather, it’s the same traditional experience that’s at the core of all Android devices.

Processor and Memory

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 SoC is good for the basic things.

Superficially, basic platform operations, such as opening up apps or navigating across the homescreen, are all done in a responsive manner. However, its quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU just struggles with anything more intensive. Gamers will be distraught by its sluggish response, so this isn’t the kind of thing for power users.

Armed with 16GB of internal storage, it’s a generous tally for any entry-level thing, but it can be further supplemented by its microSD card slot.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 31943.6
ZTE Grand X Max+ 17981
Nokia XL 7695
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 970
ZTE Grand X Max+ 717
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 2516
ZTE Grand X Max+ 1514
Sunspider
Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 1004.9
ZTE Grand X Max+ 1839.5
Nokia XL 2453.4
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 12.1
ZTE Grand X Max+ 11
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 572
ZTE Grand X Max+ 428
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 506.6
ZTE Grand X Max+ 330
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 2064.6
ZTE Grand X Max+ 968
View all

Internet and Connectivity

Big screen, fast data speeds, and mostly responsive controls make this an agreeable thing for surfing the web.

Everything good is behind the ZTE Grand X Max+ in the web browsing department. From the spacious amount of real estate with its screen, to the fast 4G LTE speeds it offers, the phone is more than equipped for the experience.

If you’re looking to snag this one, it’s a GSM-enabled phone available through Cricket Wireless. Naturally, it comes equipped with all the usual connectivity goodies – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t get the NFC love.



Camera

If this is what budget phones can deliver, we’re curious to see what ZTE does with its premium offerings.

ZTE manages to cater to both novice and enthusiasts with its camera app, as one mode is a basic one that’s straight to the point with snapping photos – and a Pro one that has controls more akin to a serious DSLR. It’s a generous understanding to tell you the truth, since other phones normally cater to just one category and not the other. Don’t think for a moment it’s treated to a wimpy camera because there’s a sizable 13-megapixel camera in the rear.

To our surprise, the camera manages to produce some slick looking shots filled with good detail, neutral colors, and it handles dynamic range as well. Honestly, we can’t complain about the results, especially for a device that’s categorized as a budget-oriented phone. At the same time, there isn’t too much of a diminished quality under low light. Yes, there’s less detail and more noise in the shots, but it’s not a total wash like some other phones.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 3.5
8
498
454
Nokia XL 4
No data
No data
No data
ZTE Grand X Max+ 4.7
5.1
350
314
View all

Its 1080p video recording quality is also somewhat of a surprise, too, seeing that there are several favorable qualities in tow. Yet again, there’s a strong presence with detail and color, but in complementing things, we also have a gradual exposure adjustment and quick auto-focus adjustment.


Multimedia

The internal speaker is just weak and thin, lacking any serious substance with its quality.

Aside from the usual Google Play Music app, ZTE throws in its own player as well, which is both functional and visually pleasing. With the former, there are various Dolby Audio equalizer settings to enhance its quality, but sadly, there’s nothing ever enough to give it any meaningful pop. Instead, its speaker outputs an underperforming level of 68.4 dB, which sounds extremely mute and distant.

The music listening experience isn’t a strong point for this one, but things get better over with watching videos. Not only does is have support for various codecs out of the box, the large screen and smooth playback makes it pleasant – more so when there’s a multi-tasking available as well. Frankly, it’s a nice addition, but there’s a noticeable diminished level with its performance.



Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 0.44
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 0.3
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 68.4
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 75
Nokia XL 75
View all


ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
ZTE Grand X Max+ Review
Call Quality

Forget about the speakerphone, just stick with the earpiece.

Through the speaker, voices are audible enough to decipher, but there’s a hint of static in the background. It’s not too terrible and doesn’t get in the way of things, but it’s just there. On the other end of the line, voices have a clean and uninterrupted tone. Unfortunately, though, the speakerphone’s discrete output makes it impossible to use properly.

Battery

Seriously, it’s one long-lasting battery!

Power users beware! They’ll be astounded by the battery life put out by the ZTE Grand X Max+. Its impressive battery life lives up to its name in every facet, as the 3200 mAh battery inside powers through 10 hours and 20 minutes in our battery benchmark test – a high mark that eclipses many other, more notable phones.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
ZTE Grand X Max+ 10h 20 min (Excellent)
Nokia XL 6h 26 min (Average)
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 4h 28 min (Poor)
View all

Conclusion


After impressing us not too long ago with the ZTE ZMAX, a prepaid phone attached with a killer price point, the ZTE Grand X Max+ continues the momentum for the company that’s really making its presence felt in the US prepaid market. With a sticker price of $199.99 through prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless, the Grand X Max+ offers quite a deal of value for its price, performance, and specs. It’s certainly not like some of the premium offerings we see overseas from the company, but in the budget smartphone space, the Grand X Max+ is a big phone with big dreams – and it’s seriously one to think about too!

Android Version: 4.4.4
Build Number: Z987V1.3.9
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-g30db9cf-00545-g740fad4




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