ZTE's Grand X Max Plus is a solid business phablet at an affordable price. The mammoth, 6-inch (15 centimeters) smartphone offers a bright, colorful display, long battery life and good performance for just $199 off-contract, via lesser-known carrier Cricket Wireless. If that sounds like a lot to pay for a budget phone, consider that buying a smartphone outright — instead of opting for a subsidized phone with a pricey two-year contract attached — can save you a lot of money in the long run. That's because Cricket Wireless offers cheaper monthly data plans than carriers like Verizon or AT&T.
So what do you get for your money? Here are three features that help make the ZTE Grand X Max Plus good for work.
Is a 6-inch smartphone too big? Not if you want a lot of screen space for work. The appropriately named Grand X Max Plus provides plenty of real estate for screen-intensive productivity tasks like viewing documents and editing spreadsheets on the go. Its 720p screen (720 x 1,280 pixels) isn't as sharp as the displays on flagship phablets like the Nexus 6 or Galaxy Note 4, though. And while many other phablets include multi-window software programs that let you run two apps side by side, the Grand X Max Plus lacks that feature. Still, ZTE's phone provides a huge display for a lot less money than most competitors.
Long battery life
The Grand X Max Plus will have no trouble lasting through the end of the workday and beyond. The phone ran for an impressive 9 hours and 14 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous Web browsing via 4G LTE. That's a lot longer than the smartphone average of 7 hours and 47 minutes. The Grand X Max Plus also outlasted the Nexus 6 (7:05), but the iPhone 6 Plus lasted longer (10 hours).
ZTE's Grand X Max Plus has some shortcomings, like a mediocre camera — something to consider if you want to use the phone for video chatting with colleagues or clients. Plus, it's not as fast as flagship phablets, and its screen isn't as sharp. But its low price point ($199) makes this phone worth a look anyway. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 4 costs up to $700 off-contract, and the Nexus 6 costs $650. Those prices make the Grand X Max Plus an enticing option for business users on a budget.