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Christmas Gift Guide

The Boost Max from ZTE

One ginormous handset

A view from above

Just the top...

Expansive, 720p screen

More internal goodies

An 8-MP shooter in the back

Keeping it casual

If the Max looks familiar, that's because it's Boost's branded version of ZTE's Iconic Phablet, which was unveiled earlier this month at CES 2014. But despite the name change, the specs remain the same: the Max still has an 8-megapixel camera, Android 4.1.2, and a giant 5.7-inch display.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Measuring 6.5 inches tall by 3.25 inches wide by 0.4 inches thick, the Boost Max is a behemoth of a device. Don't expect to be able to navigate this one easily with one hand, or to have it sit comfortably inside your jean pockets.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the left are a volume rocker, a Micro-USB port, and a microSD card tray that you can access by inserting a small pin that's included. Up top is a 3.5mm headphone jack, and on the right are keys to power off the phone and to launch the camera app.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The back is made out of an attractive all-aluminum plate letterboxed between grey matte panels. The top half houses the 8-megapixel lens and flash. The paneling also can be removed so users can access the SIM card.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Max's 5.7-inch HD IPS display is topped with Corning Gorilla Glass. Its 1,280x720-pixel resolution is a disappointment for a screen this size, which would benefit most from the standard 1080p resolution of top-tiered devices. However, the display itself is responsive and sensitive, and high definition videos still looked smooth.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Additional features include 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, Bluetooth 4.0, and Dolby Digital Plus, which is a useful software goodie that improves the quality and clarity of audio.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The camera holds a slew of editing options, including 11 Instagram-esque filters, and three shooting modes: Pro, Basic, or Scenes. Each mode then has six more editing options underneath it. For instance, Basic gives you all your standard photo features like Auto, HDR shooting, panorama, and low-light.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Photo quality for the the 8-megapixel rear lens was acceptable, and will satisfy anyone who wants to take casual pictures from time to time. The camera shutter operates quickly, and touch focusing also took no time at all.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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