ZTE ZMAX (T-Mobile/MetroPCS USA)

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Planterz

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2014
2,277
817
Tucson, AZ
ATTENTION: Discussion about this device has moved.

Please direct further discussion to this thread:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/general/general/zte-zmax-z970-guide-faq-discussion-t3053066


ORIGINAL POST:


I just came across this phone on T-Mobile's website, released earlier this week.

5.7" 720x1280 (258ppi) TFT screen
Quad core Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz, Adreno 305
2GB RAM
16GB built-in storage, microSD card up to 32GB
8MP camera, 1080p video
Android 4.4.2
LTE on band 4 and T-Mo's upcoming band 12 (and a couple other bands used by other companies in North America)

All for $252 off-contract (or $10.50/mo over 2 years).

I gotta say, I'm intrigued by this new phone. There's some obvious drawbacks/shortcuts; it's big for the screen size, the camera isn't fantastic, the screen is a bit dim/bland (according to a cnet review), no NFC, etc. But it's got a frugal, adequate processor with a big battery, runs a lightly skinned, nearly stock Android, has LTE (and T-Mo's LTE speeds here are amazing) and best of all, 2GB RAM, so it shouldn't lag or stutter.

I'm somewhat interested in this phone for myself, but I'll probably just wait to get a Nexus Shamu. But a friend (who's broke) of mine wants a bigass phone to watch Netflix on and play some games and emulators. Obviously the lowish pixel density is a drawback, but for what he'd use it for, it's perfectly fine.

For $252, this seems like an amazing bargain. Where else are you going to find a phablet with LTE at this price? But I'm not very familiar with ZTE. Build quality, longevity, software stability, updates, etc, are all in question for me.

Has anyone picked one up yet, or checked one out at a T-Mobile store? What have been your impressions on other ZTE devices?
 
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nikkdotcom

Member
Dec 14, 2013
48
16
North Kingstown
I just came across this phone on T-Mobile's website, released earlier this week.

5.7" 720x1280 (258ppi) TFT screen
Quad core Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz, Adreno 305
2GB RAM
16GB built-in storage, microSD card up to 32GB
8MP camera, 1080p video
Android 4.4.2
LTE on band 4 and T-Mo's upcoming band 12 (and a couple other bands used by other companies in North America)

All for $252 off-contract (or $10.50/mo over 2 years).

I gotta say, I'm intrigued by this new phone. There's some obvious drawbacks/shortcuts; it's big for the screen size, the camera isn't fantastic, the screen is a bit dim/bland (according to a cnet review), no NFC, etc. But it's got a frugal, adequate processor with a big battery, runs a lightly skinned, nearly stock Android, has LTE (and T-Mo's LTE speeds here are amazing) and best of all, 2GB RAM, so it shouldn't lag or stutter.

I'm somewhat interested in this phone for myself, but I'll probably just wait to get a Nexus Shamu. But a friend (who's broke) of mine wants a bigass phone to watch Netflix on and play some games and emulators. Obviously the lowish pixel density is a drawback, but for what he'd use it for, it's perfectly fine.

For $252, this seems like an amazing bargain. Where else are you going to find a phablet with LTE at this price? But I'm not very familiar with ZTE. Build quality, longevity, software stability, updates, etc, are all in question for me.

Has anyone picked one up yet, or checked one out at a T-Mobile store? What have been your impressions on other ZTE devices?

I am receiving mine in the mail tomorrow. My main concern is how to root the darn thing. Ive heard that all ZTE phones ship with an unlocked bootloader, and i've hear they ship locked. Theres almost nothing development wise for this phone and i obviously understand it just came out, but it seems ZTE is not a developer friendly company. Can't even find anything developer related on ANY of their sites. I wonder if any of those 1 click root apks or scripts can root the damn thing. Only problem is, if it bricks, how do you fix?
 

Planterz

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2014
2,277
817
Tucson, AZ
for $250, you can't beat it.
It's about as fast as my nexus 5. Battery is *easy* 2 days. Build plastics are better than samsungs.
Zero bloat. 2 or 3 useful added apps, pretty much stock AOSP.

Screen is only 720p, but that's fine for most stuff.

Sorry to pester you with questions, but how about an Antutu test? The only review I've found is on CNET and they only did a Quadrant test.
 

Planterz

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2014
2,277
817
Tucson, AZ
I can do it by end of day tomorrow if nobody gets back to you sooner with results. Can you post a link to that review?

http://www.cnet.com/products/zte-zmax/

They give it 3/5 stars. CNET doesn't really weigh their review scores though, at least with the actual rating - you have to read the article to see if they say anything about good value for the money. On another site, for example, phonearena, they'd probably give it a higher score because they take into account the cost and the intended market (they give the Moto E and G 2013 a 9/10, higher than the Moto X's, because despite being lesser phones, they present better value).

So far, this is the only actual review (apart from "hands-on") from a proper website that I've found. There's a bunch of customer reviews already on T-Mobile's website, and it seems to be liked by all that have purchased it.
 

stinkbud

Senior Member
Jul 7, 2008
242
46
Has anyone managed to root this beast> I have had mine for a few days and I have tried several methods unsuccessfully. I am not anywhere near as good as some of the people on developing for android on XDA but I can follow directions when they are presented clearly. The one click route doesn't seem to work with this phone and the universal guide doesn't work either. ANyone have advice?
 

nikkdotcom

Member
Dec 14, 2013
48
16
North Kingstown
http://www.cnet.com/products/zte-zmax/

They give it 3/5 stars. CNET doesn't really weigh their review scores though, at least with the actual rating - you have to read the article to see if they say anything about good value for the money. On another site, for example, phonearena, they'd probably give it a higher score because they take into account the cost and the intended market (they give the Moto E and G 2013 a 9/10, higher than the Moto X's, because despite being lesser phones, they present better value).

So far, this is the only actual review (apart from "hands-on") from a proper website that I've found. There's a bunch of customer reviews already on T-Mobile's website, and it seems to be liked by all that have purchased it.

AnTuTu Benchmark V5.1 Results are in the pictures attached to this post. It did not score as well as i hoped, but for the price I paid i am still impressed.
 
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nikkdotcom

Member
Dec 14, 2013
48
16
North Kingstown
Has anyone managed to root this beast> I have had mine for a few days and I have tried several methods unsuccessfully. I am not anywhere near as good as some of the people on developing for android on XDA but I can follow directions when they are presented clearly. The one click route doesn't seem to work with this phone and the universal guide doesn't work either. ANyone have advice?

I have also tried several different root methods such as FramaRoot and TowelRoot. Neither has worked. I doubt anything is going to work but ill try a few more things and see where I get.
 

abelcustoms

New member
Sep 21, 2012
2
0
OK phone

Its an OK phone by far fat, fast and heavy. Charge cord that comes out of the box is way to short easy fix. Picky with cords if male cable is to long the tip won't sit in and come off.
When in bed due to connection location is hard to use, bottom left corner iterating spot.
Phone gets heavy after a while. Crashes here and there unexplained reasons.

However, its insanely fast. Never lagged apps just crash but phone keeps running.
Has 16 gb internal and 32 GB SD = actual memory shown. 40 GB total 11 internal and 29 SD (memory is not always actual). No battery change slot but this thing lasts all day through torture of games, watching movies and surf the web. Due to big size it does need more care. Since its so new its hard to find online cases or screen protectors for it. Had to go to the mall to get a customs made screen protector. Sound is good but not the best quality speaker around. Good phone just don't drop it or sit on it looks durable but since plastic feels like I can break it with my own hands in half. Definitely don't try the iPhone 6 bend test on this.

We need to find a adb root exploit since no apks out there yet that are compatible with this phone, unless geohot updates his good luck.
 

nikkdotcom

Member
Dec 14, 2013
48
16
North Kingstown

kevyreil

Member
Jan 10, 2014
6
8
Rooted!

Yeah I tried geohot's towelroot. If he doesn't update it, the only luck we will have with that root tool is to edit the modstrings ourselves. Not going to lie, thats a little over my head/pay grade.

https://towelroot.com/modstrings.html

Hi all, I like burritos

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1410223

---------- Post added at 04:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 AM ----------


OK, it *appears* that I have root but I'm not sure I actually do. It installed ChainsDD superuser and ask if I wanted to flash recovery (don't do that for sure...) But titanium and chainfire super su both say no root. Sorry! :eek:
 

MasterBrick

Member
Sep 6, 2014
12
2
San Pedro
Try looking up philz unified recovery. It has loki tool kit included if boot loader not unlocked. I believe he had for almost all devices already. With that you should be able to do more customization. I believe safestrap recovery another Option. If his bootloader is unlocked then he should be able to user any custom recovery he wants. Root exploit by hiikezoe,open1your1eyes0 ,DooMlorD,PWM978.. is a great Orion to gain root access for most devices.

SCH-I545 Galaxy S4 VRUAME7, XdA mobile app...
 

nikkdotcom

Member
Dec 14, 2013
48
16
North Kingstown

Im having a problem actually obtaining root. It tells me im rooted and superuser has been installed but i have no real root access and all my root checker app is telling me im not rooted. Can you verify your root status and also just give a brief run down of how you obtained it.

---------- Post added at 01:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 AM ----------

Some root exploit utilities are calling this the ZTE (Draconis). Google search yields nothing for that.

I have tried so many rooting methods and exhausted Google. I don't know where to go from here.
 

hoodred

Senior Member
May 21, 2011
172
85
Hi all, I like burritos

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1410223

---------- Post added at 04:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 AM ----------



OK, it *appears* that I have root but I'm not sure I actually do. It installed ChainsDD superuser and ask if I wanted to flash recovery (don't do that for sure...) But titanium and chainfire super su both say no root. Sorry! :eek:

Its false Positive
ZTE Zmax runs Kitkat 4.4.2 you need su runs as daemon
burritos is for kindle fire ginger
 

kevyreil

Member
Jan 10, 2014
6
8
Not rooted

Im having a problem actually obtaining root. It tells me im rooted and superuser has been installed but i have no real root access and all my root checker app is telling me im not rooted. Can you verify your root status and also just give a brief run down of how you obtained it.

---------- Post added at 01:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 AM ----------

Some root exploit utilities are calling this the ZTE (Draconis). Google search yields nothing for that.

I have tried so many rooting methods and exhausted Google. I don't know where to go from here.

Sorry all. As hoodred mentions it was a false positive. It did appear that things were working (and I got excited). You will definitely *not* get root with burrito3.

---------- Post added at 04:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

Hi all, I like burritos

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1410223

---------- Post added at 04:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 AM ----------



OK, it *appears* that I have root but I'm not sure I actually do. It installed ChainsDD superuser and ask if I wanted to flash recovery (don't do that for sure...) But titanium and chainfire super su both say no root. Sorry! :eek:

For future thread readers do *not* bother trying this it does *not* work.
 
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  • 28
    I tried getting as much confirmation from the ZTE guy as I could.

    He wasn't lying, if his information was accurate.

    As far as the tmo rep at the CEO of tmo's office, we may consider her cc mail to me, was a official response to my complaint of unlocking bl and she was responding to the FCC on the complaint. Note it is dated back on Feb. 4, 2015 . I believe it was the same time as the other Executive Response email came from other user here. Also note I left her tmo ceo number showing in attached jpg of her email cc to me.
    Here is her c.c. email to FCC attached.


    I got this same email in PDF form before the FCC complaint when I receive the true followup from T-Mobile via snail mail which takes 1-2weeks so roughly 1 week left, I will scan it and upload. I can promise you it will be happening and am actually waiting for the file from ZTE engineering department as we speak. I had a conference with ZTE's tech support and that department earlier today. As I said once and will say again, I have no reason to troll. I will say however if I get one more threat or accusation that says otherwise I will disregard this thread only reply to a few people in this thread that have been here with me from day one.

    Also like to point out root has been obtained on this phone for over 3 weeks. The reason its still to be posted is it being worked into a app and its not perm yet. If you guys can't be patient and support the people fighting and helping you out do not comment or go buy a mainstream phone with more support.
    16
    I'm not going to read all those posts above.

    So here is what i ahve to say,

    I was told over and over that an unlock was coming out.
    I've been battling multiple lung infections since late december.
    I have work, family etc.
    I was just in an car accident (my poor truck!, hopefully i get it back monday!)
    I have other things I have to complete at this time (SunShine3)
    14
    Everyone needs to understand that we aren't dealing with mom and pop companies here. These are multi billion dollar corporations. People, myself included, said that we were emailing about kernel source for months, did you all break out the pitch forks when it didn't happen when you wanted it to? No. Give him a break. I doubt any of you got as far as he did in terms of getting a response, and he did this with his own time, so don't give him all this flack because it makes people not want to work on behalf of you, which is the opposite of what XDA stands for.

    He gave us a screenshot of his email to them. Could he have faked it? Maybe. But for what? I have faith in him, and if they put in the letter that they can't do it, then so be it. It just lights more fuel for us to use to fight for what we want like the petition did. We got kernel source, which is the absolute hardest thing to get from an OEM. BL is just going to require some patience. I don't know how much root is riding on the bootloader unlock, but if it's anything like HTC, meaning you had to unlock your phone through htcdev.com in order for root programs to work, then Root will follow. [emoji2]

    Last thing, it is likely that ZTE (or T-Mo) is having to concoct a method to unlock the bootloader in the first place. NO button combination gets us to it, which means its registered as a low level mode that only they probably have access to. They'd have to set up a user friendly way of doing it, kind of like HTC does (using them as a reference again), and even the way devs manipulate Samsung Kies to flash rooted firmware. Its better than nothing. This is not over night. I've only written a script once and it was a headache inducing process. Can you imagine having to reposition employees and dedicate them to creating a GUI for a bootloader unlocking program (or even a website), something I'm sure they didn't factor in at the board meetings, whether its T-Mo or ZTE producing it, just to satisfy customers. They might not be perfect, but they have your money and they have waved the white flag with the kernel source, which shows us they can cooperate. Give them, the FCC, T-Mobile AND ESPECIALLY the guy that even brought these two conglomerates to the table a break will ya? He doesn't deserve all this doubt, nay say and threatening, because he doesn't get a dime from this unless you find it in your heart to buy him a beer.
    12
    Too late just bought one.
    11
    Some of you guys' behavior has gotten ridiculous. To think its funny to trash talk a guy who dedicated his time for free to get a breakthrough with ZTE and T-Mobile, not just for himself but for ALL of us, is plain pathetic. Trash talking someone who tried to help because you didn't get results quick enough is akin to an impatient 6 year old throwing tantrums. And the mods need to swarm all over this thread because I've seen threats of harm to person and property, as well as unnecessary racial slurs.... Over receiving charity. Its become beyond annoying that some of you can't calm yourselves down and chill out over a $99 phone. All of the above is WAY uncalled for.