ZTE ZMAX (T-Mobile/MetroPCS USA)

Not open for further replies.
Search This thread


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

Please direct further discussion to this thread:



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
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?
Last edited:


Senior Member
Jan 11, 2015
Has anybody tried this to seebif it can possibly root the phone? http ://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/intel-android-devices-root-temp-cwm-t2975096


Senior Member
Jan 11, 2015
I was just wondering because it says it temp boots it through your pc instead of rightboff the phone. They mentioned that it is used to get past locked bootloaders. So I figured someone might give it a shot.


Senior Member
Jan 11, 2015
Yay! 9 posts. I can post links now. http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/intel-android-devices-root-temp-cwm-t2975096

---------- Post added at 03:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:10 AM ----------

Doesn't work tried all 3 option... Just kept rebooting... Im surprised I didn't brick it... Hands shaking bad before every selection


Well. Maybe there is a way to change parameters or settings in the app to somewhat work with the zmax. You may have to tell it to send the files to a different location on the phone. I was just trying to toss that out there with the hopes of someone possibly getting it to work since it says it bypasses the locked bootloader.


Senior Member
Jul 12, 2010
Fort Worth
OnePlus 6T
OnePlus 8T
So 1 of my customers in crack there zmax screen.... guess what I get to do:confused:... Break it down and see them guts..:D.going to order the whole lcd+frame $50


nice! I I have been looking for teardown pics, to see what is hiding in there. I wonder if there is a connection port (more likely empty pads on the circuit board, of sorts that might be able to be exploited. Perhaps, there's something like on the HTC EVO 3D where you could use a paperclip or other stiff wire to short across two contacts and get past the locked bootloader.

There's always a chance. Keep us posted!


Senior Member
May 28, 2013
I'm gonna try this. I read thru the post and it said adb root shell is working. Maybe it'll get me somewhere.

Sent from my Z970 using Tapatalk

Did you get root shell on zmax, or just read they have root shell on the topic you read, because if you have root shell then you would have either su in system, or adb root permissions on your computer either way you would have root, and be able to use SuperSU, if you have root shell can you tell us what you did.

Sent from my Z970 using XDA Free mobile app


Senior Member
Apr 24, 2012
Orlando, FL
Wall of text incoming!!!

I think I understand better why this thread keeps getting derailed & why very few are willing to help us achieve root. so if you will bear with me, here are a few facts and thoughts on the matter and how I think we can fix it.

1st, the majority of those purchasing this phone are not the usual educated, seasoned XDA members who seek out the best deals with the best hardware and the most options. The ZMax is primarily being purchased by people who saw a sign for a low price at a discount dealer. It's almost always a spur of the moment purchase after they went to the store looking for a new phone. Admittedly, I was one of them. I went from a Galaxy device to this when I saw the price.
I personally verified my findings with 3 separate phone stores(TMO and Metro), asking no less than 10 sales reps. It's a very common thread.

2nd, those coming here, as you can see in their post numbers, are new to XDA. In fact, they are new to rooting in general. Most have little to no experience in it, very little understanding of it, and are the least technical grouping of any phone owners on this site.
Look at everyone's post numbers. They are very low. Also, look at what they are posting. It's usually elementary-level understanding and steps most older XDA members took when rooting began with the G2. Nothing is new. It's all a rehash of the past.

3rd, the average age of users is either really young or really old. No one in between. Therefore, it points to the 2nd (above) answer in education. I am 45, but have been rooting and modding phones since the early 2000's. However, most people my age are luddites or not very tech-savvy. The younger users have an excited exuberance, but they lack the discipline and long-term involvement in the rooting community. The missing majority of seasoned members in their 20s means a lack of seriousness and knowledge in the thread.
Some in this thread have shown off how old they are, either by putting their obvious birth year in their username or by admitting to working with BBS's and old computer hardware, while the younger ones have been the most vocal, edgy and volatile.

So, how can we fix it? How can we stop from the emotional outbursts? How can we keep on track and get back on target?

The best way is to acknowledge the above is true. Accept that most everyone here was just looking for a cheap phone and feels oddly entitled to root. Then, we move past that and educate ourselves.
Next, we apologize to those in the community who were willing to help us in the beginning but our actions and ignorance ran them off. We accept that we were harsh, disrespectful & pushy.
Finally, we re-read the rules of the forum. Better acquaint ourselves with the proper way to post, the proper way to respond, and not repeat ourselves or post for attention.

When I put up a post to defend the abuse and outright nonsense that was pointed at jcase, many of you clicked 'thanks'. When I posted to defend the powerless, I was summarily pummeled and then had the first post in my 3 year history deleted. That moment showed me how emotionally everyone is taking this thread. We're obviously allowing it to overcome rational thought - me included. Let's all check those emotions. It's just a phone, not a primary bodily organ. Let's be reasonable, too. Being prone to outbursts, selfishness & poppycock is only going to push the better members and rooters away. We have a long road ahead of us if we want to earn their trust again. That journey begins with the first step.

So, we should all educate ourselves a bit more on the community and the phone. Maybe not hit "Submit Reply" before we think through our posts.

Thanks to the 5 of you who will actually read this. Sorry to those of you who think it is crass. I was extremely specific in my wording to avoid generalizations.

On that note - AND BACK ON TOPIC... I know @Planterz said he was probably done with this thread, but - Can we append the top post with all the common fallacies, fakery, nonsense, jibberish and questions we're all tired of answering for the 20th time? As a first step, mentioning all the links to fake roots like "unlockr" will stop the many "Has anyone tried this yet?" posts that seem to permeate this thread.
We can also add all the other common items that keep getting repeated by those who do not (or are unable to) read the entire thread...which, to be fair, is 46 pages at 50 replies per page. We can not just assume everyone has the hours needed to go through that many posts. A summary of items would help everyone.
tl;dr - New person comes in asking a question we have had 20 times, we reply with a link to the first post -- and done.



Senior Member
Feb 28, 2014
Tucson, AZ
On that note - AND BACK ON TOPIC... I know @Planterz said he was probably done with this thread, but - Can we append the top post with all the common fallacies, fakery, nonsense, jibberish and questions we're all tired of answering for the 20th time? As a first step, mentioning all the links to fake roots like "unlockr" will stop the many "Has anyone tried this yet?" posts that seem to permeate this thread.

If someone wants to write up a FAQ or device guide or whatever, I'd be happy to add it to the original post. Obviously writing it all myself isn't something I'm interested in doing.

A better idea might be to start a new "Development and Discussion" thread, with said FAQ/guide in the OP, which I'll link to in the first post in this thread, then ask that this thread be locked down. The person who starts that thread should be someone willing to be the custodian of FAQ/Guide in the first post (like, perhaps, someone who actually owns the phone). This thread hasn't been "mine" for a long time now.

This has certainly been one crazy thread. It started with me - only because noone else had - asking for anybody's opinions of this phone, on behalf of a friend. 2300 posts later (probably 2400 if you count the ones that got "cleaned") and I think it has kinda run full circle. No closer to root, everybody just scratching their heads wondering what to do - what they can do. Believe it or not, 2300+ posts, and I've read every one, although I unsubscribed a few weeks ago (the constant notifications were keeping me awake).

As for me, I ordered a OnePlus One on Tuesday. Already have some ROMs and kernels downloaded and ready to flash. Good luck with the ZMAX.
  • Like
Reactions: therealduckie


Senior Member
Mar 5, 2015
I've been closesly watching this thread... Hoping for a root or some progress..
I have a ZTE but not a zMax, but similar set up, locked boot loader, towel root fails, the like.

I would like a new thread focused on development, and definitely not so off topic.

I was hopeful when i found how active this thread is, and then it degraded...
Not open for further replies.

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 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.
    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)
    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.
    Too late just bought one.
    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.