The ZTE Axon 7 was one of 2016’s more affordable flagship smartphones, packing a slick design, great audio capabilities, and powerful internals for $400. We didn’t see a follow-up in 2017, but it looks like two successors are coming this year, in the form of the Axon 9 and Axon 9 Pro.
We’ve previously reported on the vanilla model, confirming the name, but the ZTE Axon 9 Pro is the new entry here. News of a Pro model comes via trademark filings on the Eurasian Economic Union website, reported by Mobielkopen.
As per our earlier article, ZTE is skipping the Axon 8 name because if someone were to say the name in Chinese, it would apparently “include a homophone that would translate into ‘mess-up.'”
If it continues the flagship stylings of the Axon 7, we’d expect the Axon 9 Pro to feature a Snapdragon 845 processor and some quality audio credentials. It’s not uncommon for Pro/Plus models of Chinese phones to pack a ton of RAM, so don’t be surprised if 6GB or 8GB is in the ZTE variant.
The trademark listing also shows three other unreleased smartphones, in the form of the Blade A7, Blade A7 Vita and A531. These are expected to be budget offerings, so don’t look for flagship levels of power and camera quality here.