Chinese telecommunications and smartphone major ZTE, earlier today, unveiled its newest flagship-grade smartphone models in China. The new smartphones are part of the ZTE Axon 30 series and consists of two new devices; the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra, and the Axon 30 Pro.
The Axon 30 Ultra being the unabashed flagship has hogged all the limelight for obvious reasons, and we have done the same too. But if you are interested in the less glamorous Axon 30 Pro, we have shared all the details surrounding that phone as well. Read all about that phone here.
- ZTE Axon 30 Ultra is official
- Features three (yes three!) 64 MP cameras and an 8MP periscope camera
- 6.67" 144 Hz AMOLED display
- Gets the Snapdragon 888 SoC
- ZTE Axon 30 Pro also announced
Let's talk about the key features of the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra first.
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra: What you need to know
Quad-cameras with three 64MP sensors!
Looks like we are seeing an interesting camera trend on 2021 flagships. Until recently, the primary camera on most devices invariably also featured the more advanced (and better) sensor. Secondary sensors usually used for the (less important?) ultra-wide and telephoto cameras used lower resolution and lower quality sensors. This was the case even on flagship devices.
Oppo was among the first to put a stop to this and in the Oppo Find X3 Pro we saw the Chinese company use twin high-end Sony IMX766 sensors for the main camera as well as the ultra-wide camera. OnePlus and Xiaomi also seem to tread a similar path with the OnePlus 9 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. And now it is the turn of the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra to take things to the next level. This flagship-grade smartphone features a quad-camera setup at the rear of which three cameras boast of 64MP resolution! Only the telephoto camera was spared and gets by with a relatively 'paltry' 8MP sensor.
The quad-camera array on the ZTE Axon 30 includes the following:
- Main Camera: 64MP (IMX686), f/1.6, OIS
- Secondary Camera: 64MP, F/1.9
- Ultrawide Camera: 64MP, 120-degree
- Telephoto Camera: 8MP, 5x optical zoom, 10x Hybrid zoom, 120x digital zoom, OIS
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra ends up covering a focal length range of 13 mm to 123 mm, leaving almost all competitors behind. The only handset that betters the Axon 30 Ultra in terms of focal range is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra that can go from 13mm to a ridiculous 240mm
- Camera shootout: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. Oppo Find X3 Pro go head-to-head
- Oppo Find X3 Pro review
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
Lest we forget, the Axon 30 Ultra also gets a 16MP front-facing camera housed within a 'punch-hole'. This is a departure from the in-display camera that last year's Axon 20 5G was famous for. We bet this was largely because of the below-average images that the phone was (in)famous for.
144Hz AMOLED panel
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra features a 6.67-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display that supports adaptive refresh rate while also capable of going up to 144Hz when the situation demands. The touch sampling rate of 300Hz is also what you would expect from a 2021 flagship. Our in-house curved-screen fanboy Antoine will love the fact that the Axon 30 Ultra gets a, well, curved screen.
With a screen to body ratio of 95 per cent, the front fascia of the Axon 30 Ultra is mostly encompassed by the display. It also makes sense that the display and the glass-clad rear panel feature Gorilla Glass 5 protection
Snapdragon 888, 16GB RAM- what else?
As with any self-respecting flagship from 2021, the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra comes powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. To reduce instances of thermal throttling, ZTE has equipped the Axon 30 Ultra with a triple ice-sealed Vapor Chamber. The company claims that this will ensure that the performance doesn't dip even under intense load.
While the standard editions of the phone will offer either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM with 128GB or 256GB storage, there is a limited edition model as well that features 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage.
One area where you might find the Axon 30 Ultra lacking is the battery. The 4,600 mAh battery while not 'tiny' does feel a tad smaller in capacity hen compared to several other large-sized flagship devices. But then the phone redeems itself thanks to supporting 66W fast charging. Surprisingly, ZTE seems to have, for some reason, left out wireless charging in the spec-sheet.
The Axon 20 Ultra runs Android 11 underneath the company's own custom skin known as MyOS 11.
In addition to the Axon 30 Ultra, ZTE also announced a less-expensive "vanilla" version of the phone and named it the ZTE Axon 30 Pro. As expected there are some changes to the hardware but the SoC remains the same. The RAM/Storage combinations are as follows: 6/128GB, 8/128GB, and 8/256GB.
As expected, the camera hardware sees some changes as well. Instead of three 64MP sensors, the 'Pro' model gets by with two 64MP sensors for the wide and ultrawide cameras. Things go downhill rather quickly with two other cameras going the mid-range way by opting for low-resolution 5MP and 2MP sensors for macro shots and depth sensing, respectively. The front camera is unchanged and uses a 16MP sensor.
While the size of the display remains unchanged, the Axon 30 Pro gets a traditional flat display and supports 120Hz refresh rate. The battery capacity is also lower (4200 mAh0 and you'd have to do with (slower!) 55W fast charging.
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra: Price, availability
Well, we'll have to leave this space black as of now because ZTE is yet to announce the pricing for both the new handsets announced today. That being said. you and me should only really be looking at the 'Ultra' because at least for the time being, the Axon 30 Pro has no plans to go on sale outside of China.