ZTE AXON Phone Hands On-2

Despite having a number of high-end devices, ZTE is better known in the United States for its budget offerings. This is largely because most of ZTE’s high-end products have been reserved for the international market, but this is slowly starting to change. Just last month we learned that the Nubia Z9 was heading to the states, and now ZTE has also taken the wraps off a new high-end flagship for the US market called the Axon.

Android Authority is live in New York getting a hands-on look at the ZTE Axon, and we have to admit we are pretty excited by what we are seeing so far!

While we’ve been hearing about the Axon for a while now, ZTE did an excellent job at keeping most of the key details under wraps. So what exactly does their new US-centric handset bring to the table? Let’s start by taking a look at the spec sheet.

Specs and features

Display5.5-inch TFT LCD with 2560 x 1440 resolution, PPI 534
Processor2.0 GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994)
RAM4GB
Storage32GB
CameraDual lens rear: 13MP, 2MP, dual LED flash, 4K HD, Front: 8MP, 88 degree wide-angle, 1080p video and 4K at 30FPS
Battery3000 mAh
ConnectivityT-Mobile, AT&T network compatible: LTE B2/B4/B5/B12/B17/B29/B30, LTE IR B7/B3/B1/B13, USM/HSPA 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, CA Band 2/4 + Band 17, LTE (Cat 6)
SoftwareAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
Dimensions6.06" x 2.9" x 0.37" (154 x 75 x 9.3mm)

As you can see, the ZTE Axon is far from the budget end of the spectrum, easily keeping pace with 2015 flagship offerings from Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony. Although the Snapdragon 810 has a mixed reputation, it is worth noting that the Axon utilizes the V2 revision which should address any potential overheating issues due to a more efficient design.

Moving past the processor, the Axon also offers a massive 4GB RAM, a beautiful 5.5-inch QHD display, and a pretty impressive camera package that includes a dual-lens setup on the rear.

ZTE AXON Phone Hands On-17

Its camera is certainly one of its biggest calls to fame, with a large f/1.8 aperture that span to f/1.0, fast shutter speeds of 1/90000 of a second, and the ability to capture bokeh effect thanks to the second lens on the rear. The front cam is equally solid.

Another big win for the Axon is in the sound department. Not only does the phone offer front-facing speakers, it also has Hi-Fi music support. Basically that means you get two dedicated audio chipsets that supposedly creates a more immersive sound when used with a pair of headphones. Speaking of which, the phone includes a pair of JBL E13 in-hear headphones right out of the box.

The press release doesn’t give much detail as to the special software features found onboard the ZTE Axon, but we can tell you that it runs Android Lollipop out of the box, just like you’d expect from any modern flagship-level device.

Design

ZTE AXON Phone Hands On-27

When it comes to its marketing materials, ZTE iterates that the Axon was “designed in the U.S. for the U.S.”, and while that’s just PR speak at its finest, there is no denying that this is an attractive looking device. The ZTE Axon features a premium metallic build, complemented by attractive dual grills on the front, and is available in your choice of Phthalo Blue, Ion Gold, or Chromium Silver.

ZTE Axon pricing and availability

Many times companies use their announcements to hype up a device without revealing key details like pricing or even an official retail launch date. Thankfully, ZTE hasn’t gone that route. The ZTE Axon will set customers back just $450, unlocked. Pre-orders will begin today from ZTE’s website and are said to ship as early as July 27th. Click here to pre-order!

ZTE Axon: additional coverage

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

What do you think?

Until we get more time with the device, we’ll refrain from making an official judgment call, but we do admit this phone looks pretty solid. Even better is the price tag, undercutting even the LG G4, and priced a fair deal less than the Samsung Galaxy S6. What really matters however, is what you think. How do you feel it fares against the competition?

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