Summary:

The Boost Max is the first no-contract “phablet” to debut for less than $300.

Boost Max

Boost Mobile on Tuesday announced the Boost Max, a new 5.7-inch “phablet” from ZTE. At $299.99, it’s the first no-contract phablet to debut for under $300.

To achieve that price, ZTE had to cut a few corners: The Max’s specs are mid-range at best. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and features a 5.7-inch 1280 by 720 IPS LCD (which works out to 257 pixels per inch). There’s also an 8-megapixel camera on the back of the phone and a 1-megapixel camera on the front.

To take advantage of the large display, the Max is the first device to use ZTE’s SmartView software, allowing you to run two apps on-screen at the same time (which sounds similar to multi-window mode on some of Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices). Other than that the phone runs the fairly dated Android 4.1 (JellyBean) operating system.

Other features include Dolby Digital Plus audio with surround sound, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and a 3,200mAh battery.

Boost uses Sprint’s network, and the Max supports both 3G and 4G LTE data connections (provided LTE is available where you live). The Max is available now in stores and online for $299.99. The Moto G seems like a much better deal, at $129.99 from Boost, but if you must have a phablet, the Max is among the less pricey newer options out there.

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