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Here are the best ZTE phones you can get in 2021

ZTE has a lot of great phones in its lineup, and it's finally back in the flagship race.
By
December 14, 2021
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G detail
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

China-based phone maker ZTE is bouncing back from its turbulent 2020 in many ways. It made headlines for all of the wrong reasons last year, but it wasn’t banned from sale in the United States during Donald Trump’s time in office. Here are the best ZTE phones to see what the OEM has up its sleeves.

There is a lot to like about ZTE’s devices on the whole. They tend to have solid designs and pretty good specs, and they’re typically much more affordable than the competition. If you’re ready to take the plunge into a new smartphone, here are the best ZTE phones to try.

Many of these links will work best for our European readers — again, a drawback of the US-ZTE relations — but there are a few carrier-locked options for US readers to try.

Best ZTE phones:

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best ZTE phones as new devices launch.


ZTE Axon 11

ZTE Axon 11 5G lockscreen
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you want the most accessible phone that ZTE offers, you have to go for the Axon 11. It’s a 5G device at just a fraction of the price. There’s also a special edition that swaps the standard teardrop notch for a corner-mounted punch-hole camera.

See also: ZTE Axon 11 review

The standard Axon 11 comes loaded with a Snapdragon 765G processor as well as your choice of 6GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of onboard storage. It packs a 4,000mAh battery backed by 18W fast charging and four rear cameras in all. The primary shooter is a 64MP powerhouse supported by an 8MP wide-angle lens and 2MP macro and depth-of-field lenses.


ZTE Axon 11 specs:

  • Display: 6.47-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android Q

ZTE Axon 30

ZTE Axon 30 5
Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Up next is a monster of a device — the ZTE Axon 30 fills your pocket with a massive 6.92-inch display. Backing up that display, you’ll find a modest 4,200mAh battery with 65W wired charging to keep you on the go. In addition to the giant screen and battery, the Axon 30 packs up to 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage.

Learn more: ZTE Axon 30 review

It sits a step below the premium Axon 30 Ultra with a Snapdragon 870 chipset instead of the flagship-grade 888. However, you still get a smooth 120Hz display with a plenty capable rear quad-camera array. ZTE’s 64MP wide sensor is the star of the show, with an ultrawide, a macro, and a depth sensor to back it up. On the front, you get a 16MP selfie shooter to boot.


ZTE Axon 30 specs:

  • Display: 6.92-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 870
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,200mAh
  • Software: Android 11

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra rear to the right
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Axon 30 Ultra is ZTE’s hands-down flagship beast. It marks the OEM’s return to the true flagship realm, and it packs just about everything you can ask for in a premium device. You can snag either 8 or 12GB of RAM to go with up to 256GB of storage. Keeping the whole rig afloat is the powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, the best you’ll get on any ZTE device.

ZTE didn’t skimp on the main camera, either, and the rear bump is impossible to miss. That massive bump houses a trio of 64MP lenses, and there’s an 8MP telephoto sensor on board for good measure.

The Axon 30 Ultra marks a true return to the flagship realm for ZTE.

The Axon 30 Ultra offers a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate alongside the beefy camera unit. It’s large, in charge, and the 4,600mAh battery packs a punch to keep you moving. When you do tick down to zero percent, the 65W wired charging will have you on your feet in no time.


ZTE Blade 10 Smart specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 64, 64, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Software: Android 11

ZTE Blade A7

zte blade a7 2020
Amazon

The ZTE Blade A7 is one of the true entry-level phones on this list, and it offers a simpler setup than most of ZTE’s advanced devices. It’s perfectly pocket-sized at 6.09-inches, and the battery is respectable at 4,000mAh. The battery powers a MediaTek Helio P22 chipset and PowerVR GE8320 GPU to keep you connected.

Rounding out the spec sheet, the Blade A7 is available with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage. It’s equipped with a triple-lens rear camera — a massive upgrade over the previous single-lens versions. You’ll have a 16MP main camera spelled by 8MP and 2MP lenses. On the front, ZTE upgraded the selfie camera to 8MP.


ZTE Blade A7 specs:

  • Display: 6.09-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P22
  • RAM: 2/3GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB
  • Cameras: 16, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

ZTE Axon 20

ZTE Axon 20 5G front display cutout macro
David Imel / Android Authority

ZTE’s Axon 20 is limited to the middle of our list for one very good reason — it’s currently a challenge to find reliably. Your best bet right now is to head to ZTE itself, though we can’t make any promises on international shipping costs.

While you’ll have trouble tracking down the Axon 20, it packs quite a few unique specs. It’s the first device created with a proper under-display camera. ZTE boasts that it’s created five core technologies to accomplish the feat, which accompanies an in-display fingerprint reader on the massive 6.92-inch display.

Outside of the futuristic camera setup, the Axon 20 relies on a Snapdragon 765G processor that allows for 5G connectivity. It’s rocking a 4,220mAh battery with 30W fast charging to keep up with the 5G power usage. As for the camera, ZTE chose a 64MP main shooter, 8MP ultrawide lens, and a pair of 2MP sensors for depth and macro effects.


ZTE Axon 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.92-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,220mAh
  • Software: Android 10

ZTE Blade X1 5G – Visible

ZTE Blade X1 dark blue
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Verizon’s MVNO, Visible, is the best way to get your hands on a ZTE phone in the United States right now. The carrier offers three devices from ZTE, with the Blade X1 currently holding the top spot. For your money, you’ll get a 5G-ready device that’s complete with a Snapdragon 765G onboard.

Learn more: ZTE Blade X1 review

The Blade X1 is essentially a repackaged version of the Blade V, and it carries a quad-camera setup on the back. You’ll find 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage inside, as well as a solid 4,000mAh battery. Most of the ZTE Blade 1 is made of plastic, which helps to keep costs down. It’ll run you just about $350, but you can also get a prepaid gift card and an Amazon Fire Stick from Visible right now.


ZTE Blade X1 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Blade A7 Prime – Visible

zte blade a7 prime
ZTE

Another ZTE phone you can get exclusively from Visible is the A7 Prime. You’ll notice that the names are quite similar to those of the international devices, but these devices were created exclusively for Verizon’s network.

The A7 Prime reflects a slightly older 16MP single-camera version of the Blade A7 mentioned above. It features a similar 6.09-inch display with a 5MP camera housed in the small teardrop notch. You’ll only have a 3,200mAh battery to work with, but the smart power mode should keep you going longer. On the inside, the Blade A7 Prime makes the most of 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage, which you can boost up to 2TB if needed.


ZTE A7 Prime specs:

  • Display: 6.09-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek 6761
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 16MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 3,200mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Blade A3 Prime – Visible

zte blade a3 prime
ZTE

The small, 5.45-inch ZTE Blade A3 Prime has something that few other phones can match in 2020 — a removable battery. You can remove the 2,660mAh unit and add another to keep going all day long. Can you remember the last phone you grabbed with a removable battery? It’s also available completely for free from Visible if you trade your phone in.

Internally, the Blade A3 Prime is powered by a MediaTek 6761 processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. As an extremely budget-friendly device, you won’t find a punch-hole camera or multiple lenses. The Blade A3 Prime packs a solid chin and forehead with a rear-facing 8MP camera and a 5MP front camera. While you’re not packing on the pixels, the rear camera does light up with two flashes for picture-perfect lighting.


ZTE A3 Prime specs:

  • Display: 5.45-inch, HD
  • SoC: MediaTek 6761
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 8MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,660mAh
  • Software: Android Q