ZTE has now launched two new smartphones in the US – the ZTE Blade Max View and the Blade Max 2s. Despite both devices costing less than $200, ZTE notes that these entry-level priced handsets offer some of the features commonly found in more expensive handsets. For example, both the Blade Max View and the Blade Max 2s sport a 6-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2160 by 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. Those in the market for a new smartphone can now purchase either of these models directly from the company's website, as well as from select third-party retailers including B&H and Newegg. In addition, the Blade Max 2s is expected to be available from several wireless retailers, although the company did not specify which during the announcement. In terms of pricing, the Blade Max View costs $199.99 while the Blade Max 2s ships with a price tag of $179.99.
Background: The release of the new smartphone offerings from ZTE in the US continues the brand's recovery in the region following what was in effect a ban in the US. Since then, ZTE did strike a deal which has eased the pressure a little and paved the way for the company to begin operations again. As for the smartphones, both feature the Snapdragon 435 chipset, which is comprised of an octa-core 64-bit CPU with a maximum clock speed of 1.4 GHz and the Adreno 505 GPU. The two handsets additionally include 32GB of internal flash storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card up to 2TB. However, the Blade Max View contains 3GB of RAM, while the Blade Max 2s includes 2GB of RAM. For biometric authentication, the Blade Max View and the Blade Max 2s sport a fingerprint sensor located at the rear panel. A 4,000 mAh capacity battery powers both smartphones, although only the Blade Max View supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge. The two devices also feature a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and a USB Type-C port, as well as dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 support.
The Blade Max View comes with a dual rear-camera setup that's equipped with one 16-megapixel and one 2-megapixel sensor, along with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Meanwhile, the Blade Max 2s only has a single 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. Despite the differences in camera hardware, both devices feature multiple camera modes, including panorama, time-lapse and multi-exposure modes. The Blade Max View comes with dual Dolby speakers, while the Blade Max 2s comes with an enhanced Dolby S1 speaker. The Blade Max View ships with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) and it is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, while the Blade Max 2s comes with Android 8.1 (Oreo) and is suitable for use with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks.
Impact: While it still remains unclear how well ZTE will recover from the political situation it found itself in, these two new phones expand the options to consumers who are actively looking for a smartphone that features a taller display but without having to pay the price more commonly associated with higher tier smartphones. As the taller display is an element which has not widely made its way down the hierarchy yet to the budget sector with only a limited number of options available. For now at least, that number has grown a little more.