Chinese phone maker ZTE is launching the Blade Max 2S and the Blade Max View, two smartphones with lower-end specs for $180 and $200, respectively. Both phones have 6-inch 2160 x 1080 LCD screens with 18:9 aspect ratios, 1.4GHz processors, 4,000mAh batteries, and 32GB of storage.
The Blade Max 2S has 2GB of RAM, and the Blade Max View has 3GB. For $20 more, the Max View offers dual 16-megapixel and 2-megapixel rear cameras and Android Nougat, while the Max 2s has a single 13-megapixel rear camera and runs Android Oreo out of the box. On the ZTE website, the Blade Max View is listed as having a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, but no brand is listed for the Max 2S processor with the same cores and clock speeds.
For years, ZTE and Huawei have been scrutinized by foreign authorities in the US and Europe, and Donald Trump ultimately signed a bill to ban government use of the two companies in August. That means that ZTE phones likely won’t be directly sold in physical stores in the US.
You can still buy unlocked versions through ZTE’s website or from B&H and Newegg’s sites. According to ZTE’s website, both phones support GSM carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, while the Blade Max View has CDMA bands, meaning it can work on Verizon and Sprint as well. It’s not the first time ZTE has offered CDMA bands for a phone, but it’s generally more common for Chinese smartphones to have GSM or other bands.