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Thread: ZTE BLADE Z MAX vs ZMAX PRO

  1. #1
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    ZTE BLADE Z MAX vs ZMAX PRO

    OK, so I just got home with my ZTE BLADE Z MAX, upgrading from my ZMAX PRO.

    This isn't going to be an in-depth review or comparison, just quick observations. I will add to this review as I do more comparisons and learn about more features.

    CAMERA

    The BLADE ZMAX camera SUCKS in low light. In average room lighting the camera on the PRO delivers MUCH better images. The camera on the BLADE delivers a grainy, blurry mess.

    The obvious problem is the sensor on the BLADE is very tiny and on the PRO it has more space around the lens to trap light.

    I have not yet tried the camera in bright daylight because I got home at night. But, I'm VERY disappointed with the horrible performance of the camera on the BLADE ZMAX in low lighting. One of the main reasons to upgrade was the camera... and so far I am less than thrilled.

    Doesn't look like the BLADE has a "slow motion" option for video, like the PRO.

    SCREEN

    The touch screen seems much more responsive on the BLADE. Better than the PRO.

    The PRO has a much truer WHITE than the BLADE. Comparing them side by side (displaying a WHITE page with text) the PRO displays the page as bright, clean, and crisp. The BLADE display isn't bad, it's just not as "WHITE". The PRO wins in that department. I'm disappointed in the BLADE.

    SPEAKER

    The speaker seems to be a bit louder on the BLADE but it lacks bass. I'm going to do a bit more of a comparison on the speaker tomorrow and update the review. So far.... I'm unimpressed.

    BATTERY PERFORMANCE

    Not sure yet, just got the phone home. I'm at 72%. Haven't tested QuickCharge 2.0 yet.

    First impressions; If you're thinking of upgrading because of the camera on the BLADE and you often shoot in low light conditions, you will NOT be happy. Seriously, the camera on the BLADE is AWFUL in low light. The same picture taken on the PRO in the same lighting conditions is strikingly clearer, sharper and less grainy. I'll upload examples as soon as I can.

    More info to come later. Everyone else who is upgrading, please add your comments.

    P.S.

    Another thing I noticed is that the BLADE feels a bit top heavy in the hand. The backing on BLADE feels better than the slick backing on the PRO, but you're probably still going to want to add a case for a better grip.

    NOTE:

    Holding down the settings "gear" for a few seconds and then releasing, enables UI TUNER, which was missing on the PRO. It lets you tweak the status bar. But, I'm not sure yet if we can remove the bothersome "MetroPCS" text.

    Issue with downloaded images from chrome not showing up in GALLERY. When selecting the image within the "downloads" folder and viewed with GALLERY the image can be seen. I switched away from the gallery view to another app. When selecting GALLERY the next time the gallery app crashed.

    Looks like the idiots at ZTE created the same gallery/image download issue they created with the PRO (and later fixed with an update).

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app
    Last edited by cellphone-guy; 08-29-2017 at 01:28 AM.

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    Update;

    If the idea of a dual camera sounds cool and that's the reason you're considering an upgrade from the ZMAX PRO...... don't bother.

    The camera on the PRO was never spectacular, but the camera on the BLADE Z MAX is very average bordering on poor. Dual lenses don't mean anything if the phone has crappy sensors.

    Testing in low light, the ZMAX PRO camera delivered adequate to very good photos. The BLADE Z MAX delivered awful, grainy, generally poor quality.

    Even in bright daylight I prefer the quality delivered by the ZMAX PRO. The supposedly fancy effects offered by the dual camera;

    Bokeh (the main subject is in focus and items in the background are blurred). There's a slight delay when taking such a picture and the process is far from perfect. In fact, you can achieve similar if not better results using features found in various image editing apps.

    Monocolor (black and white photo with only Red, Green, or Blue items highlighted). Kind of an artsy effect. Interesting for about 5 minutes. Practically useless.

    The ZMAX PRO offered a "slow motion" option for video. Although it isn't a feature that many will use, it's more likely that someone would want to use that feature than Monocolor or even a poor performing Bokeh effect.

    Overall I give the camera on the BLADE ZMAX a very poor rating. How inept is ZTE to market a dual camera as an attraction on a device when the camera SUCKS.

    BATTERY

    So far the improved battery capacity on the BLADE is noticeable. I fully charged the phone overnight and have been using it for about 40 minutes today. I'm still at 98%. Will see how the day ends up.

    SCREEN

    My opinion is that the PRO has the superior screen when it comes to displaying crisp white pages with text. A side by side comparison reveals a noticeable difference between the two screens. The BLADE Z MAX is quite good, but in my opinion the PRO screen is slightly better.

    For me, the camera is an important feature on a phone that I use quite often. I am considering returning to the ZMAX PRO because of the poor quality of the BLADE Z MAX camera. Definitely NOT worth the $160 total cost to upgrade if it's the camera you're interested in.

    VIDEO QUALITY

    I haven't tested the video recording performance to a great extent, but so far.... the audio quality recorded with video on the BLADE Z MAX is absolutely HORRIBLE. Video quality is average to poor, suffering low light issues just like the photos.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app
    Last edited by cellphone-guy; 08-29-2017 at 02:16 PM.

  3. #3
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    If somebody's looking for a high grade camera on a cell phone it's probably best to avoid low grade budget phones.

    Best Buy sells Sony unlocked phones that are a bit more expensive and have good reviews. Especially with the cameras.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    That is too bad the camera is not better; however, it is likely at least as good or better than my LG tribute HD.

    However, I still think it is a still a good phone at $130 because this phone has a 6 inch screen, gyroscope, and full HD.

    I wanted a 6 inch screen and right now there are not many low price phones with that size screen.

    The gyroscope is needed for VR and as far as I know this is the lowest price phone with a gyroscope.

    For VR the full HD is better than just 720p HD like many low price phones have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billm261 View Post
    If somebody's looking for a high grade camera on a cell phone it's probably best to avoid low grade budget phones.

    Best Buy sells Sony unlocked phones that are a bit more expensive and have good reviews. Especially with the cameras.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Great point, and I feel like that is where the market is headed. Consumers are now buying unlocked phones online or last best buy. I would put it at 30 percent.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billm261 View Post
    If somebody's looking for a high grade camera on a cell phone it's probably best to avoid low grade budget phones.

    Best Buy sells Sony unlocked phones that are a bit more expensive and have good reviews. Especially with the cameras.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I agree.

    There are some decent Huawei phablets (I believe the Mate 8 is one) with a dual leica lens setup.

    Regarding my complaints about the camera....

    I simply wanted to let others know that the BLADE Z MAX may seem to be an upgrade from the PRO in regards to the camera (because of the dual lens setup and more megapixels) but it's actually a DOWNGRADE.

    If the BLADE Z MAX improved on the camera quality even slightly over the PRO I would have been happy. I wasn't expecting Sony quality or Leica quality. But, I sure wasn't expecting a DOWNGRADE disguised as a dual lens 16mp.

    Even the employees at the MetroPCS store were claiming "it has a better camera than the PRO". I've also seen a few video reviews on YouTube by people who obviously don't know what they're talking about or haven't truly sat down and directly compared the results between the two phones. Just because it has a dual lens and increased megapixels doesn't mean it's better.

    For those who upgraded and are trying to improve camera performance...

    I've tested a few other camera apps with the phone (Google camera, Open Camera, CameraMX) and they do make it easier to adjust settings that help slightly with the cameras poor low light performance. But, a poor camera sensor is a poor sensor, so don't expect too much.

    If you "upgrade" to the BLADE from the PRO and find yourself missing the Slow Motion camera feature, you could try the app Footej Camera. The results are average to poor. A pale comparison to the quality delivered by the PRO.

    If anyone is wondering if the dual lens on the BLADE enhances photos in any way beyond helping with the bokeh effect, I'd say NO. If you cover the entire lens closest to the middle of the phone (the 2mp lens) it doesn't effect picture taking in any way. That lens seems to only be used when creating the blurred bokeh effect. Otherwise it seems absolutely useless/unused when taking pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    That is too bad the camera is not better; however, it is likely at least as good or better than my LG tribute HD.

    However, I still think it is a still a good phone at $130 because this phone has a 6 inch screen, gyroscope, and full HD.

    I wanted a 6 inch screen and right now there are not many low price phones with that size screen.

    The gyroscope is needed for VR and as far as I know this is the lowest price phone with a gyroscope.

    For VR the full HD is better than just 720p HD like many low price phones have.
    The ZMAX PRO and the BLADE Z MAX do offer a decent cost effective experience in the area of screen, battery, etc. The battery on the BLADE Z MAX performs quite well, so that's an upgrade over the PRO (even though the battery on the PRO is quite good).

    After taxes and upgrade fees, the BLADE Z MAX comes to about $160.

    In my opinion, it's not worth the upgrade for owners of the PRO. Unless the OS upgrade, battery upgrade and camera DOWNGRADE are worth $160 to an owner of the PRO.

    Choosing between those two phones as a first purchase (not an upgrade) it would depend on how important the battery, os, and camera are to a person.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app
    Last edited by cellphone-guy; 08-31-2017 at 05:23 PM.

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    OP, thanks for this well written review. Again it's a reminder than a new model does not necessarily mean a improved model.

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    Also need to add....

    The ZMAX PRO has working FM RADIO app and functionality.

    The ZTE BLADE ZMAX has the FM RADIO app, but it will not start. Apparently they added the app without adding the FM functionality to the phone. So, you can't remove the app, disable the app, or use the app. It just sits there and apparently slightly drains the battery and uses memory.... for no reason at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimxx200 View Post
    OP, thanks for this well written review. Again it's a reminder than a new model does not necessarily mean a improved model.
    Thank you for the compliment. Even though I'm expressing an opinion, I always try to be fair. I would have preferred nothing more than for the BLADE to be a worthwhile upgrade to the PRO.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app

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    Hello all metro PCS subscribers, T-Mobile subscriber here.

    what a great topic, I was looking into the ZMax pro for screen share, It seems like the ZMax pro has the miracast technology, has anyone tested miracast or screenshare. Not the google chrome cast.

    In the T-Mobile store, I tested the ZNax pro and it was able to recognize "ScreenBeam mini2" device but I was unable to test if it actually works, because T-Mobile doesn't have any in stock? If anyone can let me know if screenbeam or miracast works with either ZMax pro or blade I would appreciate it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by highnndry View Post
    Hello all metro PCS subscribers, T-Mobile subscriber here.

    what a great topic, I was looking into the ZMax pro for screen share, It seems like the ZMax pro has the miracast technology, has anyone tested miracast or screenshare. Not the google chrome cast.

    In the T-Mobile store, I tested the ZNax pro and it was able to recognize "ScreenBeam mini2" device but I was unable to test if it actually works, because T-Mobile doesn't have any in stock? If anyone can let me know if screenbeam or miracast works with either ZMax pro or blade I would appreciate it.
    Got in a short time ago after buying the Blade Z.

    I was also very interested in a screen casting feature.

    Fortunately, the Blade Z has it! Been casting directly to my Samsung smart TV for the last hour or so.



    Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

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