I wanted to add a comment about the camera. Reviewers have generally been quite negative about the rear camera of the Zmax 2. Out of the box, using the default camera app, the photos were mediocre outdoors and poor indoors, with or without flash. But, I noticed that some photos were quite good, which made me suspect that the problem is not with the camera itself, but with the ZTE camera app.
I installed the free Google camera app. Outdoor photos were good in auto mode and often terrific using the HDR mode. Color balance and saturation were accurate and pleasing. Fine details were missing or smeared if you zoom in to 100% detail but most people would not notice.
Then I installed the premium paid version of the FV-5 camera app. That app permits manually locking the ISO level at 100, and fine tuning the white balance for lighting conditions (sunny, shade, etc.). FV-5 also permits tapping your finger on the key part of the subject for manual focusing. The results were even better than with the Google app. Outdoor photos look great, and indoor photos are okay, if you pick an ISO level that matches the lighting. You can adjust exposure to make a photo brighter or darker.
Fine details are still missing and blurred, but that is not noticeable when looking at the full image, only by zooming in.
Bottom line: the Zmax 2 is capable of taking photos that are as good or better than you will get from the typical phone in the $60 to $100 price range. Outdoors, photos can come close to the quality of those from a $600 or $700, except for the loss of fine details.
So, as a basic phone (phone call quality, texting, emails), the Zmax 2 is solid, with a plus for the high quality rear speaker with Dolby Audio, and a minus for the quiet volume of the front speaker. As an audio playback device for Spotify, it matches the best phones I have heard. As a camera, it is as good as any phone in its price range after you install a better camera app.
I saw the ZTE Zmax 2 at Best Buy for $60 as a AT&T GoPhone. I removed the AT&T GoPhone Sim card and went to the AT&T Device Unlocking Portal web page and requested the unlocking code. (Check the box for "NON-AT&T Mobility Customer"). Six days later, I received the unlocking code and activated it on MetroPcs, which uses the T-Mobile network.
So far, it has been a solid phone. Voice quality through the front speaker is very natural, but a bit quiet through my elderly ears. I turned on the Dolby Audio app and selected the "Movie" option. Then I selected the tabs for boosting volume and voice clarity. I use manual EQ to boost both bass and treble. The sound quality through the rear speaker is very good. When I connect to good headphones or to my JBL bluetooth speaker, music and movies sound great.
My MetroPcs phones generally show only one or two bars of 4G LTE in my neighborhood. Same with the Zmax 2. Even with that weak signal, Netflix movies start quickly and look good. Spotify music sounds better than with my other phones.
I set screen brightness with the manual slider as the "auto" mode is too dim. Battery life is good, and most folks should be able to get from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. and still have 20% or 30% left. However, playing games, streaming Netfix movies, or using GPS drain the battery much faster. Using GPS navigation with the screen at 100% brightness drained 30% of the battery in an hour.
Two minor problems. When I was using GPS navigation, the ZMax 2 would lose the GPS signal for a minute or so, and then reconnect. My prior Lumia 640 and LG Stylo did the same thing in my area.
The second problem may or may not be the fault of the phone. When I use my banking app to connect to my bank, the log in process goes smoothly using 4G LTE. When I am connected to Wi-Fi, an error message says "your password is not recognized". Odd.
The Zmax 2 is similar in height, width and weight to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and to the Apple iPhone 6s Plus. Those phones sell for over $600. I paid $60 for the ZTE. Is it as good as those phone? Nope. But I would guestimate the ZTE is providing 80% or 90% of the performance of those phones for everyday functions....phone calls, texting, email, music, video, gps...for just 10% of their price. If I drop it, and it breaks, or I lose it, hey...it cost $60.
The Zmax 2 is unpopular bigger brother of the original Zmax.
On paper, the 3000 mAh battery and 2gb of ram look good on paper and perform well in real life. However, the phone clearly struggles with it's lack of more pixels, and a more optimized camera. The camera is atrocious at taking video, but pictures are surprisingly decent (In highly lit environments).
The durability of this phone still amazes me to this day. I have a phone holder on my bike, and it fell while I was going over 10 miles an hour. The way it skidded across the pavement lead me to believe there were many scratches beyond repair. As I slowly lifted the phone to reveal the screen, it was untouched. The border of the phone got most of the impact.
From a budget standpoint, this isn't the best bang for your buck. But the incredible value you are given with the plans that come with GoPhones, it sure is worth a try.
Anonymous, 27 Nov 2015i cant wait to get it. when i get paid im switching to Att and get this phonePlease think about changing to ATT. That is all i will say. Check out the fine print first please.
Not a big fan. It's ATT go but use with other company. Camera not good. Sound not great. All the ATT apps run often. Personally,I wil not buy a phone from another company like Att, just generally speaking not bashing ATT. Altho, I do think they shoukd stand by the quality and some kind of warranty. Sorry thumbs down on ZTE Z958. You get what you pay for in this situation.
Anonymous, 22 Mar 2016Yes t the sound does suck.Just turn on the dolby app, and you will enjoy a big sound.
The Pepper., 12 Apr 2016How does the output from the headphone port sound? The headset jack has great sound quality I have found everything on this phone to be great.
AnonD-532594, 01 May 2016I am about to buy a ZTE Zmax 2 (model G111 apparently). I want to know if this particular mode... more2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G: HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, 4G: LTE 1900(B2) / 1700(B4) / 2100(B4) / 2600(B7) / 700(B12)
I am about to buy a ZTE Zmax 2 (model G111 apparently). I want to know if this particular model comes with 850 frequency for 4G/LTE networks.
I see in the specs that there's one model that comes with 850 and another one with 2600...
Kdia, 23 Apr 2016Do you have problems with the mic too. When I make calls now people can't hear me.I do, have you found a fix? Mine doesn't work half the time, maybe more
prashanth, 06 Mar 2016will this mobile get update its android version to mashmallow? please suggest me how it is possible?Check the XDA forums. Probably a marshmallow ROM already or soon
The Pepper., 12 Apr 2016How does the output from the headphone port sound? It actually sounds great with that Dolby Digital settings option
cammers1995, 23 Mar 2016As with all ZTE phones, the hardware isn't bad. But the speakers aren't good, and they always ... moreSpeakers are amazing if you have the dolby on. Second all ports are in a normal location like pretty much all phones
ph711, 22 Mar 2016Technically, yes. It comes with an AT&T SIM card. But if you do not activate it after pu... moreThank you this info. Want to purchase one as a gift for relative who already has active Tracfone acct.
As with all ZTE phones, the hardware isn't bad. But the speakers aren't good, and they always choose to place ports in awkward locations.
JP, 23 Jan 2016Does the zte zmax 2 come locked with a at&t sim card?Technically, yes. It comes with an AT&T SIM card. But if you do not activate it after purchase, buy a SIM card from a cell phone provider that works with the AT&T network and activate with them under their BYOP plan you are good to go. You will still be operating on the AT&T network but with the potential for lower costs. I did exactly that and am now a happy Tracfone customer, on the AT&T network, and paying $20 every 3 months for service (admittedly low volume - but meets my needs). Good phone, good network, good price!