ZTE Axon 7-18

ZTE surprised us all last year with the launch of the Axon Pro. A high-end, premium smartphone at a competitive price tag wasn’t necessarily a new concept, but up until then we weren’t used to seeing that from ZTE… especially in the United States.

Now the company is back with a successor to last year’s Axon Pro. The all-new ZTE Axon 7 sports many of the same design cues and features as its predecessor, but also comes with a few notable enhancements that you’ll definitely want to check out. Want to know the details? Let’s get right to it.

See also:

ZTE Axon review

July 27, 2015

Axon 7 design

ZTE Axon 7-7

It’s pretty clear that most of our readers are partial to a smartphone made of aluminum as opposed to glass or plastic, and thankfully that’s exactly what we’re seeing here. The Axon 7 sports a full metal aluminum unibody and comes in two different color options – Ion Gold and Quartz Grey. Looking at the front, the first thing you’ll notice is the big 5.5-inch AMOLED display flanked by two front-facing speaker grills at the top and bottom. You’ll also find a front-facing camera sensor sitting to the left of the top speaker grill.

The top edge features a 3.5mm headphone jack and the left side is completely bare. On the right you’ll find the volume rocker and power/standby key, and the USB Type-C port is sitting at the bottom of the phone.

Moving around back, the Axon 7’s 20MP main camera sensor sits right above the dual LED flash and rear-facing fingerprint sensor. That’s right — ZTE has brought a fingerprint sensor to its Axon line this time around, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Just about every other major flagship on the market has a fingerprint sensor, and we’re glad ZTE chose to include one on the Axon 7.

Axon specifications and features

 ZTE Axon 7
Display5.5-inch AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
Gorilla Glass 4
Processor2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
GPUAdreno 530
RAM4/6GB
Storage64/128GB
MicroSDYes, up to 128GB
CamerasRear: 20MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor with sapphire lens, OIS, EIS, PDAF, f/1.8 aperture, dual LED flash
Front: 8MP
Dual SIMYes
SIM typeNano SIM
SIM 2 also supports microSD card expansion
USB TypeUSB Type-C
USB 3.0
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2
NFC
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz
NetworksGSM/EDGE:B2/3/5/8
CDMA BC0/1/10
UMTS/HSPA: B2/B5/B4/B1/B8
LTE: B2/B4/B5/B12/B13/B17/B7/B3/B1/B20/B29/B30/B25/B26/B41
2CA: B2+B4,B2/4+B12,B2/4+B29, B2/4+B5, B41+B41, B25+B25
Fingerprint sensorYes
SoftwareAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow with MiFavor UI 4.0
BatteryNon-removable 3,140mAh battery
Quick Charge 3.0
Dimensions and weight151.8 x 75 x 7.9 mm
185 grams
ColorsIon Gold, Quartz Grey

Taking a quick glance at the specifications, you’ll see that the Axon 7 is clearly a high-end flagship through and through. It comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display that’s covered in a panel of Gorilla Glass 4. The pixel density of 538ppi should be plenty clear enough for folks who are concerned about display resolution, as well.

The Axon 7 is no slouch under the hood, either. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 2.2GHz and backed by either 4 or 6GB of RAM. As you’re probably already aware, this is the same processor that’s included in the LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10, so the Axon 7 should be quite capable at handling just about anything you throw at it. You also get the choice between two storage options here – 64GB of on-board storage with 4GB of RAM, or a massive 128GB of on-board storage and 6GB of RAM. Both variants come with microSD expansion up to 128GB, so you’ll probably have a hard time running out of storage space on this phone.

The Axon 7 includes a non-removable 3,140mAh battery. This is also a Quick Charge 3.0-compatible device, and ZTE says you’ll be able to achieve a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.

ZTE Axon 7-16

The camera is where things get interesting. The handset comes with a 20MP rear-facing camera with a Samsung ISOCELL sensor and sapphire lens. It boasts OIS (optical image stabilization), EIS, phase-detection auto-focus, and an f/1.8 aperture. There are plenty of different modes and settings to play around with in the camera app as well, such as Super Auto mode, Auto HDR, Automatic Scene Optimization and a few others. The Axon 7 also comes with manual, slow motion and long exposure modes that will help you take even better pictures.

On the front, you’ll find an 8MP camera sensor that should be more than enough for all your selfie-taking needs.

The Axon 7 is running ZTE’s MiFavor UI 4.0 interface atop Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This software experience doesn’t stray too far away from vanilla Android, nor is it completely bare bones. We’ll have more details about the software in our hands-on post.

Axon 7 pricing and availability

ZTE Axon 7-2

The ZTE Axon 7 will be available in China starting today, with other markets to follow “very soon.” As for the US launch, we know it will be priced competitively compared to other flagships on the market, and will be sold unlocked with support for all four major U.S. carriers. ZTE would not reveal an actual price, but said that the device would cost under $500 in the US. We’ll be sure to let you know all the details once we learn more.

So what are your thoughts? If the price is right, will the Axon 7 be your next phone? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.
  • Daggett Beaver

    Depending on the price, it looks like a great phone. Still don’t want a metal back, though.

    • MJ

      You prefer plastic?

      • Daggett Beaver

        Yes, I do. Glass is acceptable, since you can still do wireless charging and MST through glass. But I’d rather have plastic. When (if ever) wireless charging and MST can work through a metal back, then I’ll prefer metal. Just as long as it’s not that cheap, flimsy metal Huawei used for the 6P.

        • MJ

          You must have an old phone.

          What the body is made out of has always been overrated to me since my phone is always going to have a case on it. I liked the wireless charging on my N5 but needed to upgrade. The Nexus 6P is a great phone and light for it’s size (my HTC 10 is a little heavy) but it was just to big. Stop believing everything you watch on YouTube.

          • Chuck Jones

            I agree, you paid real money for that phone, spending a very little more to protect it makes sense.
            Whoever says they like their phone ‘naked’ is a complete imbecile.
            When people say that the phone is ugly, that makes absolutely no sense.
            ALL the candy-bar phones look the same, have the same features.
            Screen in front, cover in the back, cameras on both.
            The color is covered up with a case, so it really doesn’t matter what color it is.

          • Nickname303

            So I’m a “complete imbecile” because I choose not to put my phone in a case? Were you drunk when you posted that comment, or are you naturally an asshole?

            I know this may be a shock to you – but some people actually have different opinions to you…
            Sorry to break it to you buddy, somebody had to tell you.

            Having a different outlook to you doesnt make someone an imbecile. Only an imbecile would think like that!

            Look in the mirror and you’ll see a bigoted, arrogant imbecile

          • Chuck Jones

            You just proved my point, imbecile.

          • Nickname303

            Wow, that’s an enlightening statement. Would you care to explain exactly how I’ve proved your point?

          • Nickname303

            Chuck? Hello? Are you having problems answering my question? Please tell me exactly how I proved your point. If you can’t answer a simple question about one of your own posts then you realise that makes you look retarded, right? Actually, I’m realising now why you seem to be so angry all the time. It must be so frustrating having a dysfunctional brain. I get it now. But Chuck, listen to me, don’t lose hope, there’s help out there for you. There’s medication, or maybe a psychiatrist could help. Youve got options, don’t give up yet.

          • Chuck Jones

            You keep proving what an idiot you are, you need your mommy?
            Grow the f*** up baby boy.

          • Nickname303

            Hahah. You still haven’t answered the question I see. Are you going to answer or just ignore it? Being unable/unwilling to answer a simple question about what YOUVE said is a sure fire sign that you’re just a dumb troll that doesn’t have any answers when challenged because youre full of shit. Like I say, there’s help out there for people like you. Just accept you have issues and get help. It’s only a matter of time before you start doing something like having sex with animals, and I’d hate your local animal population to be at risk just because you didn’t try to help yourself.

            And on the subject of growing up – let’s not forget that this whole conversation started because you think that anybody who doesn’t do the same as you is an “imbecile”. Yeah right, IM the one who needs to grow up, of course I am. I’m now having to descend into the gutter so that I can talk to you on a level playing field.

            It seems that you actually DONT realise that you’re making yourself look retarded! You’re dumber than I thought. It’s amazing how many trolls turn out to be dumb. You’re doing a good enough job of making yourself look stupid without my help, but I’m enjoying the fact that I’m being given the opportunity to make you look even more ridiculous!

          • Nickname303

            Come on then Chuck, what’s it to be? Are you going to explain your comments or are you just going to stay quiet? Hahha, you trolls make me laugh. You act all tough with your silly, arrogant words, but then as soon as someone challenges you or asks you a question about what you’ve said, you don’t know what to say. You’re a particularly weak and pathetic troll though because it’s only taken me a couple of posts to make you run and hide lol. It seems like you’re the one who’s run crying to mommy. Don’t play with the big boys if you can’t handle it. And don’t make dumb comments if you can’t defend yourself and your views (which you’re unable to because you’re full of shit and are just trolling) Have fun with mommy…

            No doubt if you do happen to reply it will just be some rambling abuse and not actually the explanation of your comments that I’ve asked for. That’s the typical reaction of trolls lol

          • Nickname303

            Hey Chuck. I’m glad to see that you’ve confirmed that you’re obviously a stupid troll by being incapable/unwilling to answer a simple question regarding YOUR OWN comment. Youve been hiding behind your mommy for days now. Hahah what a complete dumbass. Whichever hole youve crawled into to hide from me, can you stay in there and never come out? The world doesn’t need pathetic losers like you. You’re a complete pussy

          • N1ckname303

            OMG Chuck The Dumb Fu*k. How old are you??? Haha. You went running to the moderators and got me banned because you couldn’t take abuse from me, yet you think it’s OK to go around abusing other people yourself?? You really have shown what a complete coward and hypocrite you are!!!! It’s unbelievable that a grown man would go running to tell mommy just because someone said nasty little words to him. Hahha. Come out from between your moms legs and grow some balls!!! What an absolute p*ssy you are!!!

            To everybody who is reading this, Chuck is a big girl who bans you if you disagree with him and get the better of him in an argument lol

          • Nickname303

            Hey Chuck, whats going on? You’ve decided to edit your original post and change it from saying people are imbeciles for liking their phone naked… Looks like you agree with me that your comment was stupid after all. Pity you couldn’t just admit that in the first place, instead of continuing to act like an idiot.

            Ahhh well, at least I’ve been able to make you realise that you’re full of crap

          • Chuck Jones

            No, you are still an imbecile, your continuing watch, you insane rant, again proves you are a twat, imbecile, little boy that needs his mommy.
            It’s a pity that life can’t be real with you, you continue to live in your very small world as a very small boy, sucking his thumb.
            I changed it just to see if you are still being obsessed like a little boy.
            Yep, you proved it again.

          • Nickname303

            Oh yeahhhhhh, of course you did Chuck. Why are you changing things just to see if you get a reaction out of me? Seems like you’re kinda obsessed with me. Seeking attention were we? Typical troll.

            You say people are imbeciles just because they don’t use a case on their phone, and you reckon IM the immature one living in a small world? Hahhaah. You trolls just love to make yourselves look dumb don’t you? If you think the statememt you made about people being imbeciles was perfectly OK, then you’re the confirmed sociopath here – not me lol.

            Changing your post just shows you realised how dumb I’d made you look saying ridiculous crap like that. Like I say, looks like i finally made you aware of your stupidity. It’s OK, there’s no need to thank me

          • Nickname303

            Hey Chuck. From now on you will be known as Chuck the dumb f*ck

        • Juniors234

          I don’t know where you bought your 6p from or what you do with it. But i have owned several devices through the years(almost all the Galaxy devices except the most recent ones) plus some other devices from manufacturers like Motorola and HTC. They all pale in comparison to the build quality of the nexus 6p. If you throw your phone like a frisbee, or run your car over it a couple of times except ANY phone to be destroyed in seconds. But from normal use, a phone like the nexus 6p will never bend or be “flimsy”. Ignore all of those fake bendable nexus 6p videos too. The nexus 6p is arguably one of the best devices ever made. I’m glad ZTE and HTC are making their devices too with metal chassis. Its certainly much better than cheap plastic.

  • benoita74

    Looks like an awesome phone, except for the average battery and heaviness (185g)

  • shree vignesh

    It wil be awesome if they have a program like swap ur axon pro for a new axon 7 with a lil bit extra money..I would buy it if that’s the case because I have an axon pro and am not happy with it..so if zte could do that am in for it

  • patstar5

    Priced around $400 I would probably buy it

    • Technobro

      It also comes with $50 worth of accessories, so…

      • patstar5

        When is it coming out? I was going to get the Oneplus 3 but the camera is only “good enough”. I really don’t care about 2k resolution on a phone but this zte axon 7 will be daydream compatible. It also has front facing speakers. Every time I think of ZTE I think of a cheap brand that breaks all the time…. How’s the warranty on this?

        • Technobro

          The warranty covers everything. You can get a free phone replacement within 2 years for daily wear and tear. Also, look up a bend test. It’s like a Nokia 3310. You can even get your phone replaced if it gets stolen. I imagine a lot of people would steal their phones from themselves though, if you know what I mean. And it is on the greymarket in china, I think. You can get it for ~$800 right now. Of course it will be $450 in the US officially.

          • patstar5

            Well there’s still no release date. I might get a nexus 6p if this doesn’t come out within 3 weeks but the nexus is already 1 year old.

          • Technobro

            Yeah. I bought the Nexus 7 2013 when it was one year old. Nexus or not, age caught up with it quick. That 32 GB wasn’t much after 2 years. But the 6p is nice, still. I just wish it had expandable storage, then it would be perfect!

  • MJ

    Great specs for the price and available in the US? Impressive but… Does this come with a bootloader that can be unlocked? MiFavor UI 4.0 sounds like a no go. LOL

    • Technobro

      It comes with a switch for stock Android :}

  • Zer0.exe

    You seem to have forgotten the most important thing: Axon Passport 2.0. It’s their warranty policy that lasts 2 years that doubles as an insurance policy with NO DEDUCTIBLE. It even covers lost/ stolen phones. That’s got to be the biggest value of this entire package.

  • Marcin

    This will be my next smartphone. It will replace nexus 5 and oneplus one which are my current phones.

  • Shandy

    HTC is that you?

  • Kendrick Vargas

    A flagship with the fingerprint sensor in a place where i’d like it that DOESN’T do stupid things like “modules/friends” or look like it was beat with an ugly stick? I’m in. The only thing that would make this thing better is if the camera had the same full sensor phase detection like the S7’s have. Also, better kernel releases/openness for the community. I think that’s why CM hasn’t made the Axon line their darlings yet.

  • skizzor

    Do my eyes deceive me or are the CDMA and LTE bands listed compatible with Verizon?

  • anyone knows if the 2 year cover will apply in the UK as well?

  • BaffledTruffle

    This design is getting real tired, IMO. At least HTC did that chamfered edges to at least improve the ergonomics as well as differentiate the look of the metal back. Everyone did switch to metal but the same ass design? I’m betting it will again take Apple’s new iPhone for these OEM’s to change their designs…

  • With the audio its packaged with …. heck yea!

    ZTE Axon 7 audio
    – AKM4961
    – AKM4490 DUAL HI-FI

  • @Androsity101

    It’d be great if the fingerprint scanner supports gestures. Just watched an Honor 5X review and it had them. Same screen size so it makes sense…cause the only negative I can see about this phone specs wise is the weight and size, but scanner gestures would help make up.

    Either way this phone looks like a beast. Glad to see another company sock it to the big boys at Apple, Samsung, LG, etc.

  • Shawn Bray

    yes i will buy it for sure bye bye blu pure xl that took a dump on me in less than a year

  • chinna

    hello, do u have any information from ZTE weather it will be released in india and if so, when it will available?

  • Bil Carter

    There are tons of articles all over the internet that announce “release date” of this phone, but NONE of the articles actually tell the release date. When the hell is this phone coming out?

  • Jim McNevin

    I would prefer a phone close too $400 than $500, but the specs look awesome. But one thing is for sure, I won’t be spending $900 for a new Note from Samsung .

  • Pratik

    when it launch in India.pls tell me as fast as you can.