The 8 Best ZTE Phones to Buy in 2018

Picking up a cellular device from this company is a smart idea

ZTE might not have the name recognition in the North American market, but what it lacks in popularity it more than makes up for with strong devices at affordable prices. Even with devices that are generally cheaper than their competition, ZTE doesn’t skimp on features, has hardware that feels solid, displays that showcase beautiful colors and speakers that play exceptional audio. If you’re looking for a smartphone or device that’s ideal for your wallet and your needs, then tune into our list of the best ZTE choices below.

Best Overall: ZTE Axon 7

With dual front-facing stereo speakers and a premium-looking metal body, the ZTE Axon 7 is a top-notch device that offers flagship performance. The Axon 7 is highlighted by its two built-in HiFi chipsets for professional-level music listening and omnidirectional range of up to 23-feet along with Dolby Atmos technology for a deeper immersion into audio. Running a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM, 3,250mAh battery and 64GB of onboard memory on a 5.5-inch QHD display, the Axon 7 breezes through daily tasks such as application launching and Web browsing. Capturing excellent photos is easy with the 20-megapixel rear camera and eight-megapixel front-facing camera. There's also a microSD card slot and expandable storage up to 256GB, leaving plenty of room for hundreds of photos and videos.

Best Budget: ZTE Zmax 2

Feature rich with a budget price, the ZTE Zmax 2 is an ideal choice for smartphone buyers who want nothing but the basics. Compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and MetroPCS 4G LTE networks, the Zmax 2 has a 5.5-inch HD display and Dolby Digital Plus audio that helps take movie watching and music listening to a heightened level. Your favorite moments can happen in a flash, so ZTE packed in an eight-megapixel shooter with 16GB of internal memory and up to 64GB’s of expandable memory via microSD. Keeping things moving is a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery that supports up to 17 hours of talk time and up to 384 hours (16 days) of standby time.

Best for Seniors: ZTE Maven

Compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, the ZTE Maven has a 4.5-inch Maven’s FWVGA display that includes bold colors and a large font that’s easy to read. Dolby Audio enhancement allow the Maven to provide a clearer and richer sound for individuals who might require a little extra volume day-to-day. Powered by a Snapdragon 410 processor, the Maven adds a strong level of performance to keep applications launching without any noticeable slowdowns over time. A five-megapixel rear-facing camera and VGA front cameras don’t match the results of flagship devices but produce good enough results for capturing photos of grandchildren for years to come.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best cell phones for seniors can help you find what you're looking for.

Best Value: ZTE Axon

Whether you’re a photography buff or a music lover, the original 5.5-inch display ZTE Axon smartphone offers the best of both worlds in a package that’s sure to impress. The rear dual-lens 13-megapixel and two-megapixel cameras have lightning-quick autofocus to ensure you don’t miss a fast-moving subject. The front-facing eight-megapixel camera introduces smile-activated technology that does exactly what it sounds like, resulting in series of clever selfies. The Axon’s high-fidelity audio provides music playback that’s louder and clearer than competitive devices, thanks to a DAC chip. Music fans will also appreciate the Axon’s inclusion of a pair of JBL in-ear phones that block out the outside world, leaving you free to just enjoy the music. Enabled for both AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, the Axon adds a 3,000mAh battery for 25 hours of talk time and Quick Charge 1.0 for fast charging.

Best for Kids: ZTE Axon 7 Mini

The premium-feeling ZTE Axon 7 Mini comes in either gold or gray, and calling it compact might be a matter of opinion but it still packs in a 5.2-inch AMOLED display. A non-removable 2,705 mAh battery provides up to 15 hours of talk time and 11 days of standby between charges and incorporates Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 for fast charging. Inside the Mini is a pair of dual stereo speakers bolstered by Dolby Atmos technology, which makes for some of the best HiFi audio available on a smartphone today. The centerpiece of the rear of the device is a 16-megapixel camera that can capture video memories in 1080p HD formatting.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best cellphones for kids

Best Battery: ZTE Blade V8 Pro

Bolstered by a 3,140 mAh battery that supports up to 24 hours of talk time and a whopping 552 hours of standby time, the ZTE Blade V8 Pro is a good choice for those who don't feel like lugging around a spare charger. And when you are low on juice, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 refills it faster than others. The device runs on a Snapdragon 625 processor and has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 durability, a fingerprint sensor for quickly logging in or protecting your sensitive information, as well as expandable storage up to 128GB. The dual 13-megapixel cameras allow you to capture great photos (and you'll have great picture-editing capabilities), while the rubberized textured back of the Blade V8 Pro hardware makes the phone comfortable to hold while snapping images or texting.

Best Flip: ZTE Z222

The compact ZTE Z222 is a throwback device to days when flip phones held sway in the cell phone world. Today, candy bar style devices rule the roost but there’s still cause for owning a minimal device like the flip phone. Available on the AT&T 3G prepaid network, the Z222 introduces premium features with access to mobile e-mail, a Web browser and a VGA camera and camcorder. For hands-free communication, the Z222 has Bluetooth wireless technology for syncing to a car or Bluetooth headset for added safety. The internal two-inch display combines with a sizeable number pad for accurate dialing and texting while a 900 mAh battery supports up to four hours of talk time with each charge while lasting up to 195 hours on standby.

Best for Texting: ZTE Z432

Featuring a tactile QWERTY keyboard for quickly writing messages or e-mails, the ZTE Z432 is a throwback to a time when full keyboards were the talk of the cell phone town. A four-way navigation keypad directly above a tactile QWERTY keyboard helps provide quick access to shortcuts. A two-megapixel camera on the rear of the device pairs with a QVGA camcorder for capturing memories on the phone that can be shared with friends and family. The 900 mAh battery affords up to 4.5 hours of talk time on each charge and adds 240 hours of standby time or up to 10 full days between charges. The Z432 is available on AT&T’s prepaid network and can be unlocked after six months to transition to another carrier of choice.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best cellphones for texting​ article.

Disclosure

At Lifewire, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.
Was this page helpful?