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ZTE Expands Unlocked Smartphone Selection With ZMax2

ZTE is expanding its selection of unlocked smartphones with an unlocked version of the ZMax2, which is also available from AT&T for its Go Phone prepaid service.

The LTE-equipped Android 5.1 phone, priced for a limited time at $129 instead of a regular $179, joins three higher tier Axon series unlocked phones, launched this year, at $279, $329, and $349.

The new device is positioned as offering premium features and design at an affordable price. It’s available direct to consumers from ZTE and through retail stores, as are ZTE’s Axon phones, a spokesperson said.

Unlocked phones work on a consumer’s choice of national GSM carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T as well as across MVNOs that use the carriers’ GSM networks. ZTE has said that unlocked-phone sales in the U.S. will grow more than 43 percent in 2016 and will constitute 16 percent of the total U.S. smartphone market by 2020.

The new device stands out from unlocked phones priced at less than $200, the company contends, because of its 3,000mAh battery, which delivers 17 hours of talk time, and 5.5-inch 720p display.

Other key features include 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 64GB microSD card slot, 8- and 2-megapixel cameras, HSPA+21Mbps data in the 850/1900/AWS bands, and Category 4 LTE in the 850/1900MHz bands, T-Mobile’s AWS band, and AT&T’s 700MHz band. Category 4 supports peak downlink speeds of 150Mbps and peak upload speeds of 51Mbps.