ZTE is a Chinese phone manufacturer that is making a serious effort to grow in the US. ZTE USA is actually the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the US and second largest in the no-contract market. A couple of days ago they held an event in New York and announced the new ZTE Axon.
The ZTE Axon is targeted to compete with the latest flagship smartphones, but at a price of just $449.98. This is hundreds less than current iOS and Android flagships.
The phone will be available starting as early as 27 July. You can buy it in blue, gold, and silver. Those who pre-order now from the ZTE website also receive a free pair of JBL E13 headphones. Amazon, Newegg, and eBay will also be carrying the ZTE Axon. It is a GSM SIM-unlocked phone that will work on AT&T, T-Mobile, and other prepaid GSM carriers.
Specifications of the ZTE Axon include:
- Android 5.1.1 operating system
- 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB integrated storage
- 5.5 inch 2560x1140 Gorilla Glass 3 display
- 13 megapixel/2 megapixel dual lens rear camera and 8 megapixel front facing camera
- 3000 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support
- 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi and Blueooth 4.0
- Dimensions of 154 x 75 x 9.3 mm and 175 grams
The one disappointing specification is the 32GB of integrated storage with no microSD memory card expansion support. Then again, every other spec is top notch and it's tough to complain at the $450 price.
CNET has a hands-on preview of the ZTE Axon Pro. We should be getting one to review next week and will post our experiences soon.
The rear dual-camera setup looks similar to what HTC had on the M8. On the ZTE Axon, this arrangement is designed to capture depth while also speeding up focus and shutter speed.
ZTE is also promoting the sound quality on the Axon with the two dedicated audio chipsets and dual microphones for capturing sounds in your videos.
In a couple of weeks we will see the next OnePlus phone that will compete directly with the ZTE Axon at the lower price point. It's great to see value flagships being offered up and it makes it tougher for me to personally shell out another $900+ for the next iPhone.
Related ZDNet ZTE coverage