The ZTE Zmax Pro's design is obviously reminiscent of its predecessor, the ZTE Zmax 2. The refreshed design gives the phone's corners a much rounder appearance whereas the Zmax 2 had pointier looking corners. The device's backside is made of a matte finished plastic and the frame is made of hard plastic which was finished to look like it was made of metal.
The back of the phone isn't really forgiving of fingerprints as the porous surface absorbs the oil from your hands. Still, there aren't many phones that are able to successfully hide fingerprints so this is something we've all learned to live with by now.
There are 3 hardware keys on the right (Sleep/wake, volume up, and down) and three capacitive keys. The left side of the phone has only the SIM tray which also accepts a microSD card for up to 128GB of additional storage. Then up top is a noise cancelling mic, and 3.5mm headphone jack. New to the ZTE Zmax lineup is the USB-C port. Heck, it's new to the mid-range market as well!
Unfortunately, the charger included with the phone is not Quick Charge 2.0 and the phone isn't compatible with fast charging either. The phone will charge the 3,400mAh battery with a current of 5V @ 2.1A for a total of 10.5Watts. Not too bad, but with a battery of this size, the phablet is sure to take fairly long to charge from zero.
The device features a large 6-inch 1080p LCD touchscreen on the front. Above it is an earpiece speaker with 3 abnormally large holes, and next to it a 5MP selfie camera followed by a proximity and light sensor.
Under the screen are those three capacitive buttons mentioned earlier. The two buttons on either side of the home button (which are usually reserved for "recents" and "back" are ambiguous and the user can change them to their liking. Perhaps this isn't the best decision for the average consumer as they could never know which button is which by just looking at them.
And finally, on the back of the device we are greeted by a 13MP camera with a single LED flash and the fingerprint scanner. The scanner is recessed, which makes it easier to find just by feeling around.
Toward the bottom of the backside we find the loudspeaker which has a couple of nubs that help keep the speaker from muffling when placed on a flat surface.
The hardware blends in well with other smartphones. You might have a hard time finding someone off the street who believes that this phone only cost $99 from first impressions.
Of course, with that hardware, it's important to have a decent user-interface. The good news is the Zmax Pro keeps many aspects of Android stock. Read on to find out more about the Zmax Pro's user interface!