ZTE cell phones are considerably less expensive than similar cell phones produced by competitors, while still retaining features such as large screens and strong basic functionality. However, the performance of ZTE phones is often less satisfying than that of competitors, and some reviewers and owners find the physical design and construction quality of ZTE phones questionable.
A good example of the price and performance trade-offs offered by ZTE phones is the ZTE Max smart phone. This phone is among the largest phones or "phablets" on the market as of 2015, with a 5.7-inch display that compares well with offerings from industry leaders such as Samsung and Apple. The ZTE Max is also less than half the price of similar phones from more expensive manufacturers. However, the physical design of the ZTE Max is less comfortable to hold and manipulate compared to an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy product, according to many reviewers. Similarly, while the processing power of the ZTE Max is good enough for basic smart phone tasks, it is not powerful enough for satisfactory performance in very demanding tasks.
Build quality is among the consistent complaints among owners and reviewers of ZTE phones. The extensive use of slippery plastic in many ZTE phones gives the phones a less attractive look and feel than phones made by other manufacturers. Despite the low price of most ZTE devices, many reviewers feel that other brands handle the physical design and manufacture of their devices better at the same price point.