The big players may be grabbing all the headlines, but ZTE is discreetly building a lineup of smartphones with excellent value. The Blade Z Max is the newest of which, and it offers features you’d normally find in handsets more than twice its price.

You wouldn’t think the Blade Z Max could offer anything substantial with its US$ 129 price tag, but all that changes at the first glance alone.

The back shows off a dual-camera setup composed of a 16-megapixel sensor coupled with a secondary 2-megapixel shooter to help with portrait duties. Below that, you can find the fingerprint scanner — another feature that was once reserved for much more expensive phones.

You can’t tell by the renders above, but the Blade Z Max has a massive 6-inch Full HD display and 8-megapixel selfie camera up front, as well as a 3.5mm audio port at the bottom. While the large screen would suck more energy out of the battery, the capacity is a healthy 4080mAh, and unlike most entry-level phones, this one has the more future-proof USB-C connection.

To keep things efficient, this ZTE model has a Snapdragon 435 processor and a decent amount of memory at 2GB. This means it’ll struggle to play graphics-intensive games, but running several light apps simultaneously should be manageable. On the bright side, its 32GB of storage can be expanded using a single microSD card.

All these are encased in a metal frame and textured back — again, not bad for a Android Nougat-powered smartphone costing less than US$ 150! The official release date is August 28; if you want it earlier, you may pre-order through MetroPCS in the US starting today.

SEE ALSO: Best Budget Smartphones below $300 (August 2017 Edition)

Best Budget Smartphones below $300 (August 2017 Edition)