ZTE Zmax Pro Hits MetroPCS With 6-inch 1080p Display, Snapdragon 617, Fingerprint Sensor For $99

if you're wondering what a Benjamin can get you in the smartphone sector, it's surprisingly quite a bit, or at least that's the case with ZTE's Zmax Pro. The affordable handset is being offered up for $99 after instant rebate at MetroPCS and is the first U.S. carrier supported phone under $100 (by a buck) to boast a fingerprint sensor, one of just several features you might not expect at this price point.

The Zmax Pro also features a big 6-inch Full HD 1080p display, which is half an inch bigger than Apple's iPhone 6s Plus (1920x1080) and Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge (2560x1440). That puts it into phablet territory like the upcoming Galaxy Note 7, which is rumored to have a 5.8-inch display. The Galaxy Note 7 will undoubtedly pack a lot more pixels, but it will also cost several hundred dollars more.

ZTE Zmax Pro

Here's a look at the other specs:
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage + microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • 5-megapixel front camera, 13-megapixel rear camera
  • USB-C with quick charging
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE connectivity
  • 3,400 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
You'd be hard pressed to find another off contract phone that offers as much as the Zmax Pro for as little money, something ZTE is keenly aware of in its attempt to grow its presence in the U.S. market.

ZTE Zmax Pro Press Event

"ZTE drives innovation that impacts the daily lives of U.S. consumers by delivering innovation to the mid-tier segment, as seen in the affordable Zmax Pro that features the latest technology for less than $100," said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. "First, we delivered the Zmax, the largest phablet under $200 and made it available on T-Mobile. Now, we are delivering a premium fingerprint sensor on the Zmax Pro with MetroPCS. We continue giving consumers what they want, value, and use at a pace in which they ask for it."

The value angle is one that ZTE's been focusing on since it released its first handset in 2007 with MetroPCS (ZTE C88), followed by its first smartphone in 2011. Though ZTE doesn't have the same kind of brand recognition as Apple and Samsung in the smartphone space, it's the second largest smartphone brand in prepaid, the third largest supplier of Android, and the fourth largest phone brand in the U.S. overall. Now it's making a splash with higher end handsets at comparatively low price points, like the recently announced Axon 7.

"Today, we have 30 million users and 87 actively selling devices that can be found at every wireless carrier. Last year we sold 15 million devices. We are eating into overall market share as we build phones that cater to carrier needs and address underserved segments," ZTE says.

The Zmax Pro will be available next month. In the meantime, you can pre-register at MetroPCS, and if you do that by July 31 you'll receive a free leather case when you purchase the phone from MetroPCS (goes out to the first 5,000 customers).