US Cellular customers can now purchase the ZTE Blade Max 3
The ZTE budget phone train just keeps on rolling.
Next stop: US Cellular. The Shenzhen-based company has launched a second budget-friendly handset today, and again it is exclusive to one carrier. The Blade Max 3 can only be purchased from US Cellular; it costs $200.
With a higher-priced device comes a somewhat more robust set of features. The Blade Max 3 sports a 6-inch, 1080p, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 screen, making the display more damage-resistant and giving it a slight curve at its edges. It's powered by a Snapdragon 625 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. Like the just-announced ZTE Max XL, this phone includes only 16 GB of storage, but it can expanded up to 128 GB if you use a microSD card.
The Blade Max 3 stands out from its cheaper sibling in two areas. The first area is the camera. The handset uses a dual-lens setup in the back. Two 13-megapixel lenses shoot pictures, with one lens specifically responsible for capturing RGB color data. Both lenses feature high-speed object tracking that help to produce clearer images. On the front of the device is a more pedestrian 5-megapixel camera.
Audio is the second area where the Blade Max 3 enjoys an advantage over the Max XL. ZTE mentions that the phone includes a dedicated premium digital-to-analog converter (commonly known as a DAC), so that any music played through headphones sounds "phenomenal." The built-in audio chip goes hand in hand with the phone's 3.5mm headphone jack.
Other features include a fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C port, and a large 4000 mAh battery. Curiously, the Blade Max 3 comes with Android Marshmallow instead of Nougat (unlike the Max XL).
If you find the ZTE Blade Max 3 appealing, but aren't too keen on paying the device's full price upfront, US Cellular offers three financing options which break up the payment into monthly installments but raise the final price to $300.