The ZTE Zmax is a smartphone that runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. There are two root methods which are known as working for this device. However, one of them does not work if you are running a kernel version past mid-2014. That’s the other guide I’ll be knocking up today shortly.

Sadly, if you are running Android 5.0 Lollipop, there is no way to open up the system internals as of yet. However, you can gain root access from KitKat and install a custom ROM which is based on the Android 5.0 Lollipop.

What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.


  • You need to have a working computer or laptop with a USB port so you can connect the smartphone with the same.
  • You’ll need to have a file manager application of your choice running on the smartphone. Furthermore, you should already know how to use the file manager and upload APK files so they are working. The rooting tool is coming as an APK file.
  • Make sure you have enough battery power so that the smartphone doesn’t turn off during the installation. You can soft brick your phone if it turns off during the operation. Have at least 60% battery power before starting.
  • You must enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu on the phone.
  • Moreover, you must enable the Unknown Sources option from the Menu > Settings > Security


1. Download the Framaroot rooting package from here.

2. Do not extract the folder to the desktop. Keep the file zipped.

3. Connect the Zmax to the computer with the USB cable.

4. Transfer the Framaroot file to the internal storage SD card of the phone.

5. Unplug the ZTE phone from the computer.

6. Open the file manager application and tap on the rooting file to open.

7. Go back to the app drawer and launch the new app from there after it’s finished installing.

8. Open the app and tap on the SuperSU option to install the SuperSU.

9. Open this XDA Developers forum page and learn which exploit works for your specific device.
– you must choose from Sam, Frodo or Aragorn.

10. Choose the correct exploit for your device.

11. Wait as the app now root your device. Do not touch any buttons until the program does its thing.

12. Reboot the handset once it’s done. Upon reboot, you have the root access you desire.

The ZTE Zmax has had a lot of complaints when it comes to finding a rooting method that works. If you are experiencing a shaky ROM or wishing you hadn’t given it a try, you can learn how to unroot the device. If you did manage to get root access, however, then you’re all set to start installing whatever root applications you desire. There are thousands of root apps out there in existence, but only a few hundred of them are commonly installed on a rooted users device. The root apps will forever run until you flash the stock ROM again and unroot your device. You should always flash that stock ROM manually when you are ready to unroot instead of accepting over the air updates just in case the OTA’s create problems for you. Since this rooting method is based on the Android 4.4 KitKat software update, taking a factory reset from the Recovery mode will not break the root access as it does in future rooting methods such as the systemless root created by Chainfire.