ZTE brings affordable 5.7-inch phablet to T-Mobile

The ZMAX phablet will be avaliable on Sept. 24

The ZTE ZMAX, a 5.7-inch smartphone.

The ZTE ZMAX, a 5.7-inch smartphone.

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE is hoping to drum up smartphone sales in the U.S., with a new 5.7-inch phablet that'll be available exclusively on T-Mobile from Sept. 24.

The ZMAX is an LTE smartphone, built with a large 3,400 mAh battery, but comes at a low one-time payment of US$252 or $10.50 a month on a two-year subscription plan with T-Mobile.

In designing the ZMAX, ZTE wanted to create a mid-range phone, still packed with some premium features. The phablet's large battery can last two days on a single charge, the company said on Tuesday.

The phone has a 1280 by 720 screen resolution, runs a largely unchanged version of Android 4.4, and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor. Inside is 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded through its micro SD card slot to 32GB.

The ZMAX weighs in at 6.7 ounces, and has a 8-megapixel camera in the rear and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera.

The smartphone vendor is better known for its low-cost handsets, but the company has been working to introduce more higher-end products in the U.S., a market with better profit margins than ZTE's home market in China.

In this year's second quarter, ZTE was tied with Motorola for fourth place in the U.S. smartphone market, with a 6 percent share, according to research firm Canalys.

The ZMAX could help ZTE tap the U.S.'s growing phablet market, where the Samsung Galaxy Note is a top product, according to research firm IDC. The U.S. is the world's second largest phablet market behind China, IDC added.

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