The ZTE Axon 7 is the definition of the best bang for the buck if it ever was one with regards to smartphones. But don’t get me wrong: this baby is by no means cheap looking nor cheap feeling.
Truth is, if you disregard the branding on the shell, the ZTE Axon 7 can easily run along withe the big boys on the market. Basically, this cheap and beautiful droid has all the ingredients of a flagship, sans the hefty price tag.
Are you starting to get the picture just yet?
If not, keep reading, you’re in for the real deal.
The ZTE Axon 7 is built following the philosophy that you should afford a high end smartphone which looks and feels gorgeous without having to put a second mortgage on your house. And who doesn’t agree with that premise?
The end result is nothing short of amazing, as the ZTE Axon 7 is great both externally, as per design/build quality and internally, i.e. the hardware platform/specs/performance.
Another truth to be told is that building a cheap yet highly advanced smartphone is not an easy task. Compromises are unavoidable, yet the ZTE Axon 7 has so few of them, it’s truly remarkable. The only disadvantages are the lack of a removable battery and no back-lighting on the front facing buttons. But that’s about it.
So, let’s start the show with the hardware overview. The smartphone ships in an elegant box, which is also modest, i.e. it doesn’t look cheap, nor tries to impress. It’s exactly spot-on. The box contains a quick charge 3.0 power adapter, a premium set of headphones, an USB Type C cable, a SIM card ejector tool, an adapter (Type-C to micro USB) and even a silicon case.
Nothing short of amazing, isn’t it? The Axon measures 151.7 x 75 x 7.9 millimeters and weighs 175 grams, boasting a design which is like a breath of fresh air, as the company managed to pull out a smartphone with a character of its own, both stylish and outlandish.
The Axon 7 looks and feels premium from any angle so to speak, featuring a cool aluminum-made unibody design, with subtle lines which emphasize the company’s attention to detail.
The droid flaunts an excellent 5.5 inches wide AMOLED display of quad HD resolution, which translates into an impressive 538 pixels per inch density. There’s also the hugely popular 2.5 D glass design, making for a gorgeous display if it ever was one.
The ZTE Axon 7 ships with a 3250 mAh lithium-polymer battery which comes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, boasting a 70 hours of endurance rating, which is nothing short of respectable.
Connectivity wise, it’s worth mentioning the USB Type-C port, the LTE Cat.7, the hybrid nano-SIM slot, the full set of Wi-Fi standards and even the almost extinct 3.5 mm headphone jack. The smartphone comes loaded with an Android fork, i.e. the company’s proprietary MiFavor 4.0 user interface on top of the standard Android OS.
The hardware department is taken care of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system on chip, which is pretty much the nec plus ultra of today’s high end smartphones, but considering the price range of the ZTE Axon 7, the choice for the QSD 820 is rather amazing.
The GPU is an Adreno 530 powerhouse and truth be told, the performance level offered by the Axon 7 is truly spectacular. In this writer’s opinion, this baby could have fought toe to toe with any other smartphone in the world if it would have ran on pure Android, i.e. sans the relatively poor software optimization (the proprietary UI), the smartphone would have been better.
The camera is a 20 MP snapper and it uses the hugely popular Samsung Isocell sensor, with the frontal lens made using sapphire crystal in order to prevent scratching. There’s optical image stabilization on board, as well as on sensor phase detection auto-focus and the whole nine yards of a respectable flagship in the photo department. Photo quality is great, minus the Panorama mode, whilst the smartphone is capable of recording 4K video/UHD@30 fps.
Bottom line, ZTE is spot on with its latest Axon 7, which is a meticulously built high end smartphone, with sleek looks and top notch design and hardware. The price is very reasonable to say the least and that concludes today’s review.