ZTE Zmax2 smartphone
a cheap, nice, rugged, and BIG smartphone
ZTE Zmax2 smartphone
I recently purchased an AT&T ZTE Zmax2 GoPhone smartphone to have another
cheap GSM smartphone to test one of my
FreedomPop GSM sims. I got it
because it was cheap, and I read that I could unlock it right away (which I
was able to do). The ZTE Zmax2 is my new favorite smartphone. I love the big
5.5" screen, and now realize that size really does matter! Seriously though, the
bigger screen makes the phone much easier to use, and it's the phone my family
grabs if they want to check something on the internet. I don't have
any problem carrying it in my back pocket, and because it is cheap, I've
decided not to bother with a case for it (which would make it bigger). The
screen resolution and colors are great. The sound is awesome. As for sound
volume and quality, our other smartphones seem adequate but weak in comparison. The ZTE Zmax2
speakers are much louder, and the phone has Dolby Digital Audio (which
improves the sound even more). The Zmax2 isn't going to replace our home
stereo system, but for a smartphone, the sound rocks! The one drawback with larger
(5.5") phone size is that if I am going to use it as a phone for an extended
period of time (such as a one hour walk spent talking with my father), I prefer
to use one of our smaller (4.5" screen) Moto G smartphones. Otherwise, the
ZTE Zmax2 for the price (about $100) just can not be beat. I should also
mention it has a monster 3000mAh battery that lasts "forever", and is
removable and replaceable, should it ever be necessary.
You can buy the ZTE Zmax2 on Amazon (see below). You can save a bit and get the AT&T GoPhone version
like I did, and then unlock it before you first use it (so you can use
it with other carriers like FreedomPop). I explain how to unlock the AT&T
GoPhone version below. Or you can pay a little more and get the generic
unlocked version. In either case, this is a great smartphone to pair with a
FreedomPop GSM free cellar data sim and a Google Voice (via Hangouts) phone
number, which enables you to have FREE cellular phone service.
ZTE Zmax2 Specifications:
* PHONE SIZE/WEIGHT: 6.06" x 2.99" x 0.37", 6oz
* SCREEN SIZE: 5.5 inch HD Display Screen (1280 x 720 pixels)
* Gorilla Glass 3
* 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
* 2 GB RAM
* 16 GB ROM (internal memory) plus up to 32GB MicroSD
* Google Android 5.1 Lollipop
* supports wifi (802.11 b/g/n), 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE
* GSM - works with AT&T and TMobile, is not CDMA and does not work with
Sprint or Verizon
* also works with any AT&T or TMobile MVNOs (resellers), for example, with
a FreedomPop Global GSM free cellular data sim
* 8MP main camera with LED flash
* 2MP selfie camera
* Micro-USB charging/data port, standard headphone jack
* Dolby Digital Plus sound
* 3000 mAh REMOVABLE Battery (this is a monster battery with a
theoretical standby time of up to 16 days!)
PRICE: When you can get this phone for $100 bucks or less, I really not sure
why you would want to spend a whole lot more on a smartphone. If you lose or
break this phone, you're out $100, unlike a $500 - $800 smartphone. I'd be
nervous carrying around an expensive iPhone. I'm not nervous carrying around
BATTERY: The ZTE Zmax2 has a monster 3000 mAh battery. It seems to the
last the longest of any of our smartphones. I like a phone that I don't have
to worry about charging very often. Also, the battery is removable and
replaceable, which is a nice but uncommon feature on smartphones today. If
or when the battery starts to wear out, you can easily buy a new battery and
pop it in. I like that.
SCREEN/DISPLAY: I have a 4.5" screen Moto G, and 5.0" screen BLU R1 HD,
and now this 5.5" screen ZTE Zmax2. I love the big screen. It makes
everything much easier (my eyes aren't what they used to be). The only
downside is that the phone is a bit large if your holding it by your head
for a long phone call. It might also be an issue for people with small
pockets. But other that that, the large screen is awesome (and the colors
and resolution are gorgeous).
SPEAKERS/SOUND: The speakers are some of the loudest I've heard on a
smartphone, and the Dolby Digital Plus audio improves the sound even more. I
like the speakers and sound!
TALKING: All of my phone calls so far have been just fine. This phone
works as a phone, as one would expect and hope for.
TEXTING: works just fine as expected, and is usually my main form of
communicating (text not talk).
CAMERA: I don't take a lot of pictures. I've used both the main camera and selfie
camera, and both look fine. Some other reviews state
the camera is so-so. It seems fine for what most people take pictures for,
and I wouldn't expect the state of the art camera one would get with the
latest iPhone. My kids like all the added features on the camera app.
FIT AND FINISH: The phone looks good and feels solid.
RELIABILITY: We've had multiple Motorola phones (including old school
RAZR flip phones and more modern Moto G smartphones), and I've always found
Motorola phones to be reliable long-term. I've never had a ZTE phone before.
So far I haven't had any reliability problems. If I
do, I'm only risking very much. At this point, I have good expectations for this
I really can't say anything bad about this phone. It does everything I need.
I love the size and the large battery. It's a great phone. The only fault I
could find with it (which really isn't a fault) is that the power button is
below the volume buttons, unlike the Motorola phones which have the power
button above the volume buttons. I'm now used to the new power button
location on the Zmax2, but when I go to use one of our Moto G smartphones, I often hit
the volume button instead of the power button, because the placement is the
TO ORDER THE ZTE ZMAX 2 SMARTPHONE:
* You can buy an unlocked ZTE
Zmax2 smartphone on Amazon for $99.
* Or, you can buy the AT&T GoPhone
ZTE Zmax2 smartphone on Amazon for $79.
If you get the AT&T version, I recommend you unlock it before you use it
so you can use it on other carriers besides AT&T (like FreedomPop). I had no
problem unlocking my AT&T Zmax2 after I bought it by using the following instructions. The key is
that you need to request the unlock code BEFORE you turn on or otherwise activate
the phone. You will also need a non-AT&T sim to put in the phone to get the
unlock prompt. If you don't have a non-AT&T sim, you can get a
FreedomPop GSM sim (which is
sometimes on sale for as little as $1).
HOW TO UNLOCK AN AT&T ZTE Zmax2 GOPHONE:
1) When you get the phone, DO NOT OPEN THE PACKAGE! Leave the phone in the
unopened package and DO NOT TURN IT ON.
2) On the back of the package, there will be a label with the phone's
3) Go to https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/?#/
4) Click "Unlock your device"
5) Select "NO" for the question: "Are you an AT&T wireless
(You must answer NO (meaning that you are NOT an AT&T customer) if you want to get an unlock code!
Otherwise, if you don't, you will need to use the phone with AT&T for 6
months before you can request an unlock code.)
6) Enter your IMEI from the back of the package, and check the "I've read
the legal stuff" box
7) Fill out the rest of the form and submit
8) You will be sent an email. You will need to click a link in that email to
confirm your request for the unlock code.
9) After you confirm your request, you will receive a second email within 2
business days with an unlock code. I got mine the next day.
10) After you get the code, open up your package and take out the phone. DO
NOT TURN IT ON YET. Open the back of the phone and and remove the AT&T sim. Put in a
different carrier's sim card (like a $1
FreedomPop GSM free data sim). After
you put in your own sim, then turn on the phone, and it will prompt you for
the unlock code.
11) Enter the code, and your phone will be unlocked!
Comments / Questions / Feedback:
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