A high-end flagship smartphone for $450 unlocked? ZTE's Axon makes it so
ZTE isn't nearly as big a name in theUS as Samsung or Apple, but that's something the company is trying to change with the Axon. Unlike many of ZTE's previoushandsets, the new device has the premium design and specs you'd expect from a flagship.
According to ZTE USA chairman LixinCheng, the company's new smartphone is “designed in the US, for theUS,” and at least on paper, there's a lot to like about the newflagship. It has an expansive 5.5-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) display, abeefy 4 GB RAM, runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is powered by aquad core Snapdragon 810 – the same chip you'll find in flagship2015 handsets like the HTC One M9. Not bad at all.
The positive impressions continue whenyou take a look at the housing for those components. At 9.3 mm (0.37 in),it's not the thinnest handset around, but it features an all metalbuild with a fairly slick looking design that includes a tiny bezelon the left and right of the display.
Its camera specs also look promising. On therear, there's a 13 MP dual lens setup that's capable of shooting 4Kvideo at 30 fps, while the front-facing shooter offers an 8 MPresolution.
Elsewhere, the device offers twodedicated sound chips and dual microphones for Hi-Fi quality recordingand playback. As you'd expect, both LTE and Bluetooth 4.0 tech isincluded.
The ZTE Axon is a solid-lookinghigh-end offering from a company that we're not used to producingtruly great smartphones. Of course, without some significant hands-ontime with the handset, it's impossible to say whether it's as good in thehand as it looks on paper, but it's definitely a promising, if notmind-blowing, piece of kit.
Considering that spec sheet, the Axon is priced at a very reasonableUS$450 unlocked, and will be available in blue, gray and silver. It's scheduledto arrive towards the end of this month.