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T-Mobile ZTE Zmax sales halted because people keep trying to remove the non-removable battery

People love being able to remove batteries from their phones, and some will even do it when the battery is not meant to be removed. T-Mobile has put a stop to selling the ZTE Zmax for now because people are attempting to remove the battery that is meant to stay in the device. The back of this device is not even meant to be removed, but since it is only clipped, people are using brute force to get it off. At this point it is unknown whether the devices were locked up, users wanted to reset the device, or exactly what was going on that made people want to get to the battery. Some people even went as far as using knives and screwdrivers to gain access.

T-Mobile has pulled the device from its line-up after having it around for only seven months. We are unsure of how many people have tried to remove the battery, but we would imagine it was more than just one or two people who caused T-Mobile to pull the device. It is unclear at this time whether or not it will make another appearance, but T-Mobile has apparently voiced their complaints to ZTE. At this time ZTE urges that users experiencing issues with the device take it back to T-Mobile instead of attempting a repair of their own.

Source: PCMag

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.
88 Comments
  • Odd.... I wonder how hard it would be to get to my turbo's battery Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think you should try it and report back. Then I'll see how hard it is to get to my G3 battery ;) lol Posted via Android Central App
  • If he tries hard enough he might be able to get Verizon to stop selling them!!! Long live the Note 4!
  • This is what happens when NORMAL people that aren't aware that these phones aren't mid to low end Samsung phones. Should have bought a Samsung.
    (Not the new flagships, that's too much phone for these people.) You can hate me now, but I won't stop now.
    You can HATE ME NOOOOWWWW. I love that song. Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • Okay, seriously. ZTE, we'll start selling your phone again when you make it idiot proof. Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • I was wondering how long it would be before a commenter blamed a designer's mistake on "idiot" users. --shirtpocketable 6.44-inch Sony Z Ultra GPE
  • A user failing to read the manual isn't the designers fault. It clearly states the battery is NOT removable and requires the power button to be held for 10-15 seconds to force a hard restart. Most every plastic assembly uses clips to secure items that aren't intended to be removed, including your beloved Sony.
    This is probably the fault of some code geek who screwed up and the phones are suffering from a 'sleep of death' (You know, like Sony phones) that internet experts feel requires the battery to be removed/replaced to address.
    This is what happens when know-nothings that think butter knives double as screw drivers delve into the inner workings of a phone: disaster.
  • I completely agree...I for one really enjoy this phone and it was obvious from the moment I bought it the it had a non removable battery... Some ppl just lack common sense!
  • Lol! Now I have a sudden urge to open up my Nexus 5!
  • I had to replace my wife's N5 battery last week due to a bad battery. It was very easy.
  • Yeah I replaced my n4 battery. Not bad at all Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thinking about doing this to mine too.
  • Here's a forum thread about it. http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/510369-phone-randomly-sh...
  • Well, they've already stopped selling those, so fire away!
  • Mine opened easily enough with my ringke slim case... I'd take that case off and the back came with it haha
  • Easy to open, but the fragile contacts and plastic chassis make it likely that your mic and speaker connections may fail afterward. I opened mine to try and rectify just such an issue and was unable to achieve a permanent fix.
    Turns out putting the phone in my back pocket frequently wasn't harmful to the screen, but it sure warped the whole thing into a twisted potato-chip shape that apparently was too much for the spring-tab connections on the back cover.
  • the zmax has longer battery life than the droid turbo
  • I don't know about that Posted via the Android Central App
  • Consumers have spoken. Consumers want a removable battery.
    It is none of the phone company's business if or why people want to remove the battery.
    The question is whether ZTE will listen, and give the people what they want - a removable battery.
  • T-mobile should sell the phone. If you are going to be this big of an idiot and destroy your phone, you deserve to have to pay for it... Without warranty either Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Exactly. When addressing a problem will take more than what's outlined in the manual, time to contact the manufacturer for a warranty.
  • That's a big leap of logic. It's not a removable battery they want, it's to listen to self proclaimed internet 'experts' who think they know how to fix an issue. The same experts suggest to these know-nothings a procedure which requires more dexterity than the average user will ever have that results in a physically damaged phone rather than one simply needing a reboot. Apparently READING THE MANUAL is more difficult than spending hours perusing forums and videos in search of a 'fix'.
    My heart pumps purple piss for people unable to grasp simple tasks or who take it upon themselves to address an issue in such an asinine way and then have the gall to blame the designer/carrier/manufacturer for the damage they inflicted on their own device. There's a warranty and consumer protection laws for a reason, but obviously there's no fixing stupid.
  • Really people want removable battery in there phones? I never heard anyone with an iPhone say that they wish they could take the battery out. What people want are high end phones at reasonable prices. People don't buy the iphone 6 because the battery comes out they but them because they're top of the line. Ask yourself this, does the phone work and is it the one you want? Then use it, love it and don't care if the battery comes out.
  • What a shame. I got one of these for my 14-year old. It's a solid phone at a great price.
  • Why make it so easy to open?
  • Did you read the part of the article where it wasn't easy to open, and people were using knives and screwdrivers to force it open?
  • It's actually quite easy to open if all you need is a knife and flat head screwdriver to pry it open.
    That to me is easy whereas to some such as yourself it might be like rocket science
  • Apply ice to that burn. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think you and I read different comments.
  • Lol Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5
  • What did I say that implied I'd have trouble with that? I replaced my Nexus 4 screen myself, which required far more than a knife and a screwdriver, and it was, indeed, "easy." But being able to use tools to force something apart isn't the same thing as making it easy to open. In fact, I think we both just answered your question right there: it's not EASY to open, but it IS easy to REPAIR. Also, it's cheap. Cheap electronics are put together more cheaply. But I'm sorry, easy to force open with tools against all logic is NOT the same as "easy to open." A Samsung Galaxy S5 is "easy to open." Apparently the ZTE ZMax is "easy to force apart with tools."
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mine opens easy with a blowtorch
  • Try a sledgehammer. Less odor, better YouTube video.
  • I'm not sure I buy this as the reason. 7 months is actually a pretty common sales lifespan for a phone these days.
  • Yeah, I'm not sure how this really affects T-Mobile. Are people breaking the phone and then returning it? Are they complaining to T-Mobile that they can't remove the battery? I'd imagine, the people buying this device don't really care about removable batteries. For a budget device, 7 months is a decent amount of time on the market, especially for a device limited to one carrier.
  • Yeah there's more to this story I think.... Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App
  • Exactly. People break their products all the time doing stupid things. I don't see why T-Mobile would have any reason to be concerned about that.
  • I tried to open the back in my Note 4, oh wait Posted via the Android Central App
  • +10 Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • I'm not surprised based on many of the clientele I see using this phone.
  • i think it's a lie. i have the phone and most users only complain about the locked bootloader and the inability to root.
  • You think "most users" are trying to root and ROM their phone? Cute.
  • Can't argue with you there. Most users of Samsung do not care and ZTE has what, a tenth of the sales volume? Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Idiots. But then again you have to be an idiot to be on T-Mobile.
  • Yeah...screw that cheap and fast service.
  • I left Verizon in February after 11yrs, haven't looked back. I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup
  • Hey for once it was not sprint getting bashed first. Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • On T-Mobile I pay almost half as much as I did on VZW, while getting faster service. If that makes me an idiot, then I will wear that title proudly.
  • Exactly kinda shows who the real idiot is... lololol!
  • Did they ever pull the nexus 5? The back can be removed without tools and is merely clipped on. I know because I dented mine and when I replaced it all I needed was to get my finger nails into the seem and it popped open.
  • excellent phone
  • That's very subjective Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have the device. It has incredible battery life. Up to 30 days standby. Its basically stock android. Fast performance huge screen at $180.
  • Yep had my Dad get one... easier for him to see the buttons... fast on T-Mobile and the price was right! It's basically almost pure android too!
  • I had a guy come into our store asking why his Zmax wasn't working. He then pulled the back of his phone out of his pocket asking why it wouldn't go back on. I told him it wasn't supposed to come off. He said "no one told me that" >.> I asked him how he got it off. He said he used a screw driver. Lmao some people. Posted via the Android Central App
  • These are the people you give a flip phone. Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • Worst part is he was in his late 20's lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Is this a law? If u buy something u can't tinker with it? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Its just that people try to return it after breaking it. Nothing wrong with opening your device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do all you want but if you break it expect and accept that you broke it, no one is there for you to cry to and you have no one to blame but yourself. Have at it. I did it way back in the day when you had to use a paper clip to get s-off Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Alternate solution for carriers: Tell ZTE we won't sell your smartphones unless you make some of them with the option to remove the battery, so our crazy (just kidding!) customers don't try it themselves.
  • Or glue them shut Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • If you cannot remove the battery, doesn't opening the shell VOID the warranty??
  • Yes it's basically destruction of the device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have this phone it's pretty obvious it's not meant to be open... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Zte says to bring it back to tmobile if you have any issues.......if it's passed 30 days, it's zte's problem. Another shitty Chinese phone, between this and the one plus one, I would stay away from those 2 companies Posted via the Android Central App
  • so it's a crap company and a crap phone because people don't understand what "non-removable" means?
  • There seems to be some rumour that were dumping it as a normal end of life span reason. This is probably not true. We stopped receiving the z3 and have officially discontinued it, but we kept demo phones and accessories until we've sold off our z3 inventory. With the zmax we received instructions to removal all demo phones and accessories from the store as well as immediately halt any sales. There's are probably more reasons this was done than just removing the back (could pry the backs of lots of devices with a flat head), but being at eol probably isn't one of them
  • Have you had any customers come back with like a white line at the bottom of the screen? I've seen 4 or 5 customers with that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Consumers have spoken. Consumers want a removable battery.
    It is none of the phone company's business if or why people want to remove the battery.
    The question is whether ZTE will listen, and give the people what they want - a removable battery.
  • This is comical. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I lol'd, like seriously.
  • i bet these are the same people that caused the recall of the chevy volt, right?
  • Its probably related to this.....http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vringo-announces-update-on-litigation-a...
  • Patent trolls really are lame.
  • Consumers have spoken. Consumers want a removable battery.
    It is none of the phone company's business if or why people want to remove the battery.
    The question is whether ZTE will listen, and give the people what they want - a removable battery.
  • Can't fix stupid! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Apparently you can pry the back off of stupid though.
  • My G3 has a non removable back.
  • I found that the battery on my M8 is easily removed with enough C4.
    I think it came out pretty cleanly, but I won't know for sure until I find all the pieces ;)
  • Unfortunately for the consumers who purchased the Zmax they are stuck with a device that is no longer supported by the carrier. They should refund the consumers or offer a similar priced device. Posted via the Android Central App. On my Samsung Galaxy s6 device.
  • This is why I always buy flagships devices. I get a device that is fully supported by the carrier and OEMs. Posted via the Android Central App. On my Samsung Galaxy s6 device.
  • Rule 1. Only buy phones with removable batteries!
  • I have this phone with metro. The best phone ever. Yes when i had my galazy 3 i would take the battery out to reset it, but so many phones today like the iphone do not have removable batteries. This phone cost me $100, i laugh at those paying $600 for a note or?
  • I have this phone with metro. Love it. Best buy ever
  • I had this phone, it was the slowest POS, had the worst sounding speaker and felt cheap. Yes, the battery lasted but that's pretty much the only good thing about it. It was also big and heavy for it's screen size. T-Mobile gave me $180 on a trade in and I took it without hesitation.
  • Good. Maybe zte learns and quits sealing in battery. Keep it removable. This is why only g4 is on my list for new flagship and maybe even note 4. Posted via the Android Central App