ZTE Axon 7 Reviews and Ratings

The ZTE Axon 7 is a lot of phone for a lot less money than the competition. For $400 you get a premium metal design, a top-of-the-line processor, a Quad HD display, and support for all the major US carriers. There is no other phone on the market that brings together this array of features at this price. The OnePlus 3, for instance, has a lower resolution 1080p display, while the Idol 4S has a slower processor. The Moto G4 Plus also has a slower processor, not to mention a plastic build. If you're looking for something more affordable, the Blu Life One X$149.99 at Amazon gets you a good mix of features at a much lower price point. But if you want flagship-level features and performance in an unlocked phone at a midrange price, the Axon 7 is the one to get, and an Editors' Choice.

  1. ZTE AXON 7 REVIEWS AND RATINGS: DESIGN

NETWORK Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2016, May. Released 2016, June
Status Discontinued
BODY Dimensions 151.7 x 75 x 7.9 mm (5.97 x 2.95 x 0.31 in)
Weight 175 g (6.17 oz)
Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass 4), aluminum back, aluminum frame
SIM Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED
Size 5.5 inches, 82.2 cm2 (~72.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~538 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4
PLATFORM OS Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow), upgradable to Android 8.0 (Oreo), MiFavor 5.2
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 (14 nm)
CPU Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo)
GPU Adreno 530
MEMORY Card slot microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
Internal 64GB 4GB RAM
MAIN CAMERA Single 20 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.6", 1.1µm, PDAF, OIS
Features Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama
Video 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@240fps
SELFIE CAMERA Single 8 MP, f/2.2, 1/4", 1.12µm
Video 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes, with Dolby Atmos stereo speakers (2 dedicated amplifiers)
3.5mm jack Yes
  32-bit/192kHz audio
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS/ BDS (region dependent)
NFC Yes
Radio No
USB USB Type-C 3.0
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERY Type Li-Ion 3250 mAh, non-removable
Charging Fast charging 18W
Quick Charge 3.0
Stand-by Up to 360 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 16 h (3G)
MISC Colors Ion Gold, Quartz Grey, Chromium Silver
Models A2017G, A2017U, A2017, A2017X
Price About 240 EUR
TESTS Performance Basemark OS II 2.0: 2346
Basemark X: 32243
Camera Photo / Video
Loudspeaker Voice 66dB / Noise 72dB / Ring 84dB
Battery life
Endurance rating 70h

ZTE AXON 7 REVIEWS AND RATINGS: DESIGN

 

ZTE Axon 7 is the grown up version of last year's ZTE Axon Pro thanks to its all-metal design and considerably less chunk. It's ready to compete with Samsung, LG and Apple.

I can hold it in one hand, but with dimensions of 151.8mm x 75mm x 7.8mm and a slippery aluminum design, I found myself struggling to reach for the corners without resorting to two. Luckily, a clear silicone case is included in the box along with a earbuds and a USB-C-to-micro-USB adapter.

What ZTE did nicely on the front is it maximized the real estate for its 5.5-inch display thanks to an edge-to-edge screen and overall minimalist look. Besides the 2K display, it limits the phone face to awesome-sounding dual-front facing speakers and a small front-facing camera.

You won't find a fingerprint-sensing home button taking up space on the front. Instead, the home button is on-screen (just like Google and LG do it), while the biometric sensor is elegantly embossed on back.

 

Update: ZTE Axon 7 may be changing over to capacitive buttons and away from on-screen buttons. I like this change, personally, although I haven't tested out the new buttons on the updated prototype. My first chance will likely come in my final review in a matter of days. Stay tuned.

It's easy to reach the fingerprint sensor on a phone of this size (easier than I found it to be on the taller Nexus 6P) and it's as just fast and accurate as its top competition, likely using the same Swedish sensor supplier, Fingerprint Cards.

ZTE also resisted the temptation of stamping its logo on the front of the device, favoring the back. It creates an undeniably cleaner look all around.

So far, I've been able to play with the ZTE Axon 7 in an Ion Gold color, and the included earbuds take on matching gold trim. In the future, the company plans to launch a Quartz Silver color, too, but it's not available at launch.

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- Ha Noi
Are you wanting to travel the world but afraid to take the next step? The travel quote above says it all. Fear is only temporary, but if you don’t follow your dream, you may regret it forever.
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