ZTE is mostly known for its mid-range and entry-level smartphones in the international markets, but the company does not feel shy to challenge the flagships from time to time. The AXON 7 is ZTE’s top-tier smartphone that aims to replace Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 without breaking the bank. From front-facing 360-degree speakers to gorgeous metal body design and powerful internals, the smartphone packs everything one would expect from a true flagship. Although AXON 7 poses a serious threat to many flagship smartphones out there, it mainly targets One Plus 3 and has every high-end feature one could imagine.
ZTE AXON 7- Overview
ZTE designed AXON 7 in the US to ensure nothing is left on chance as the phone had to compete with industry’s best phones. The result was nothing short of amazing and the phone is not only visually stunning, but also packs top-end hardware and delivers great performance. What makes this smartphone particularly interesting is its price, which is almost half of what the competition is charging. An aluminum unibody design, dual speakers with Dolby Atmos, beefy Snapdragon chipset, capable cameras and a stunning AMOLED display are the main features of the smartphone. The smartphone would have been a perfect all-rounder if it also featured water-resistance, but that probably isn’t going to be a real deal breaker for most users. Audiophiles and people who watch a lot of videos and listen frequently to music would find AXON 7 particularly interesting as the Dolby Atmos enhanced front-facing dual speakers mean a great multimedia experience.
|CPU/GPU||Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530|
|Display||5.5-inch AMOLED, 1440×2560 @ 538ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|Dimensions and weight||151.7 x 75 x 7.9 mm, 175 grams|
|SIM||Nano-SIM, Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby, MicroSD card uses SIM2 slot|
|Operating System||Android Marshmallow, Upgradable to Nougat, MiFavor UI|
|RAM and Storage||4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, microSD card up to 256GB|
|Camera||f/1.8 20 MP primary camera with phase-detection Autofocus and HDR, 2160p video recording @30fps, 8MP front camera @1080p|
|Audio||Dual front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm jack, 32-bit 192KHz audio, active noise-cancellation with dedicated mic|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, USB Type C connector|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, gyro, accelerometer, compass, proximity|
|Battery||3250mAh, Quick Charge 3.0|
|Package contents||Phone, earphones, power adaptor, USB cable, soft back cover, SIM needle, manual|
- Unibody aluminum design
- Powerful internals and GPU
- Generous storage space
- Hi-Fi sound
- Responsive fingerprint scanner
- Stunning AMOLED display
Pros and Cons
Great audio quality
Premium design and feel in hand
Impeccable screen viewing angles and contrast
Support for both Windows Desktop and Android Apps
Low-light camera performance not on par with Samsung S7
Design and Display
AXON 7 feels premium from every angle, thanks to the aluminum unibody design, subtle lines and ZTE’s attention to detail. However, the surface of the phone is rather slippery, while rounded corners also don’t help much in gripping the phone. The silicon back case does improve thing to a great extent, but everybody does not like to use them. The almost edge-to-edge 2K AMOLED display and dual speakers at the front compliment the overall design, while the fingerprint scanner is conveniently located at the back and works like a charm.
The QHD 5.5-inch AMOLED display is nothing short of stunning and is covered by a 2.5D glass. However, the maximum brightness of the display is not on par with other flagship smartphones, but users should not have any issues while viewing the screen even under direct sunlight. Colors pop on the display and viewing angles are impeccable as one would expect from an AMOLED display. The high-resolution display is also VR ready and is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.
Performance and Battery Life
Powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset, AXON 7 delivers great performance and it’s not very common to find such a high-end chipset in a rather affordable flagship smartphone. The performance is on par with other flagship devices and there is no lag or hiccup regardless of the usage scenario. Apps load quickly and graphic-intensive games run flawlessly, thanks to the powerful Adreno 530 GPU.
The 3250 mAh battery isn’t the biggest around, but the phone supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 and juices up the battery to 50% in just 30 minutes. Actual battery timing obviously depends on the usage, but the phone should be able to last for around two days on light to moderate usage and one day on heavy usage. The Li-Po battery provides enough juice for 16 hours of talk time on 3G, 10 hours of continuous video playback and around 11 hours of web browsing, which is quite good and on par with the competition.
Cameras and Audio
The 20MP main camera with an aperture of f/1.8 features OIS and phase detection AF. The captured images contain a lot of detail and are sharp and clear. Photos taken in well-lit environment and in day light are as good as photos captured by other flagship smartphones, but things change in low-light environments. The post-processing capabilities of AXON 7 in such conditions is not on par with other flagships, especially Samsung Galaxy S7. The front facing 8MP camera captures great selfies and also works well for video chats and Skype.
AXON 7 comes with dual Hi-Fi audio chipsets that promise to deliver the richest sound experience and take smartphone audio to another level. The dual speakers at the front are located where they should be on every other smartphone and offer an improved audio experience using Dolby Atmos enhancement. The end result is impressive whether you are listening to music via the internal speakers, headphones or external speakers.
Considering the asking price, there is nothing really to complain about the phone that comes with almost everything a true flagship smartphone should contain. However, AXON 7 still lacks in some areas, including a slippery surface and lackluster camera performance in low-light environments. If you don’t intend to use the phone for a lot of low-light shooting and are OK with using the ultra-thin transparent back cover, AXON 7 offers great value for the money and packs all other features you’d expect from a flagship and then some more.
How to Buy
ZTE AXON 7 is available at a market-competitive price from Gearbest. The following link takes to the product page that provides pre/post-sales support and information about supported network frequencies and shipping.