ZTE V5 Max vs ZTE V5S: A review and comparison

by Frank Tu 7



A few days ago, ZTE formally launched two new versions of the ZTE V5: the ZTE V5S and V5 Max. The former, which has a 5-inch display screen, costs 899 RMB (146.49 USD), while the latter, which sports a 5.5-inch display screen costs 999 RMB (162.78 USD). With a 100 RMB (16.29 USD) difference, how different could both devices be from each other? Let’s find out. First, here’s a table listing the main differences between the two.

Display 5 inches 5.5 inches
Battery 2400mAh 3000mAh


       These are the ZTE V5 Max and V5S’ batteries, which, respectively, have 3100mAh, and 2400mAh. Please take note that the phones being reviewed and compared here are blue prototype phones. The ones that will be released on the market may end up a bit different.


       There is very little difference between the two phones when it comes to the front. You can even say that the V5 Max is just a slightly bigger version of the V5S. The only difference lies in the positioning of the front-facing cameras and sensors. In the ZTE V5S, they are on the left, while in the V5 Max, they are on the right.


       The ZTE V5S and V5 Max do not have physical buttons, but only three virtual buttons. From left to right they are the Menu button, Home button, and Return button. The Home button is a small blue circle which lights up when you get a notification. 20141024_162422_87


     When it comes to the design, the biggest difference between the two phones besides the rear cover is the sides. The V5 Max has rounder, slimmer edges which were designed as such to make it easier add a 5.5-inch screen. The V5S has straighter edges. Both phones are basically equally thick.


       Next, there’s the side buttons. The buttons on the V5S are silver. On one side, you have the power button, and on the other side, you have the volume switch. The buttons in the V5 Max, which are white, were designed in a way that it is easier to use it with one hand. They are located on the right side of the phone.

       Lastly, both have removable covers and batteries. It’s just the way the front cover and back cover are held together that is different. As you can see from the photo above, there is a blue bar in the middle of the covers of the V5 Max.

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Hardware and Performance 

Both versions of the ZTE V5 use the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core CPU and have a 1280 x 720 screen. It’s only their memory that is different. The ZTE V5 Max has 2GB RAM, while the V5S only has 1GB RAM. How do they compare in benchmark scores and actual use? Let’s see.

The CPU of both devices were tested using Nbench and Geekbench 3.0, while the GPU was tested using GFXbench and 3D Mark ICE Storm Extreme. Here are the results.

The tests on the CPU showed that the memory has an impact on the processor, although it is not that great. The benchmark scores of both are close to each other, with the V5 Max’s being somewhat greater. At most, the Snapdragon 410 has a frequency of 1210MHz in both phones.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 uses the Adreno 306 GPU which, at most, has a frequency of 400MHz. Because the V5S only used 1GB RAM, it could not pass the GFXbench’s 1080p off-screen test. In GFXbench’s Manhattan test, both phones got somewhere between 200 and 300. In the 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme benchmark test, the V5 Max got 2578 while the V5S got 2566.

Real-life use 

       Now that we have discussed what kind of CPU and GPU these phones use, let’s talk about how they compare to each other in terms of practical application.

We did a lot of the things that people usually do with their cellphone such as making phone calls and texting. We also watched videos online, took photos, etc. The V5S, which has 1GB RAM, was able to work well. About 200MB RAM was left. Overall, we were able to use both without any problems.

As for playing 3D games, we played Asphalt 8. First, we played it using the V5 Max which has 2GB RAM. At a medium resolution, it was pretty fast. At a high resolution, there were a few pauses and such. For the V5S, we had to close all the background apps for it to work well at a medium resolution. There were still pauses at times and it was slower than the V5 Max.20141028_122603_52 20141028_122609_159

Screen test

        The ZTE V5S and V5 Max both use OGS display screens and have a 1280 x 720 resolution. Both have pixel densities of 267ppi and 294ppi respectively. We noticed as we used the V5 Max, that the feature that allows users to adjust the color saturation was not working. It might be due to production-related problems as this was a prototype. Furthermore, the V5S’ screen was a bit warm, while the V5 Max’s was a bit cool. 

Let’s check out the color tests.


Top: ZTE V5S, Bottom: ZTE V5 Max


Top: ZTE V5S, Bottom: ZTE V5 Max

User Interface 

       The ZTE V5S and V5 Max use the new Nubia UI 2.5, which looks pretty similar to its predecessor, the Nubia UI 2.0. For example, there is use of round icons at the bottom of the screen.


     Here is the ZTE V5 Max’s home interface and scroll-down notification bar. To make the best use of the V5 Max’s big screen, the icons were made a bit smaller. They look a bit packed. Don’t you think?

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     Here is a side by side comparison of the Nubia UI in both the ZTE V5 Max (left) and V5S (right). The icons on the V5S look a bit more packed and crowded which does not really look good. That is just my opnion. What do you think?

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These 2 devices can be bought from oppomart.com.