Most budget phones are pretty forgettable, but one that stood out to me in 2016 was the ZTE ZMax Pro. It packed a lot for its $99 price point, and proved very successful. Now, ZTE is hoping to follow up on that with the $129 ZTE Max XL.
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Like the ZMax Pro, the Max XL aims itself squarely at a specific set of customers. First, there’s the size. At 6-inches, the Max XL certainly lives up to its name. That display is a 1080p IPS panel with Gorilla Glass 3, and it is powered by a pretty huge 3,990 mAh battery. The design is also very similar to the ZMax Pro.
Under the hood, the Max XL offers up the Snapdragon 435 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 128GB. It also offers a rear fingerprint sensor and support for 4G LTE and HPUE on Sprint’s network, a first for Boost Mobile device, where the phone will be sold.
What’s most impressive to me personally, though, is the software on the ZTE Max XL. While the skin ZTE had on devices in 2016 wasn’t all that bad, the company made sure to mention to me that it has further trimmed back its software layer on the Max XL, claiming that it is “near-stock Android.” However, I’ll have to wait to get my hands on a device to really see how close to stock it is. It is nice to see, though, that this phone is running Android 7.1.1 out of the box.
The ZTE Max XL will go on sale through Boost Mobile today for $129 and will also go on sale for Sprint and Virgin Mobile, but details on those releases have yet to come out.