- Uninspiring camera quality
- No microSD slot
- Plastic ends don't match color of metal frame
ZTE has put out several entry level handsets without making any huge splashes, but they hope their first "flagship" phone – the Axon Pro – will attract more attention. Experts believe it will do just that thanks to its competitive prices, powerful specs and a premium design.
Unlike many other mid-tier phones, the Axon Pro flaunts and all aluminum frame and comes in three different colors: blue, gold and silver. While the metal gives the phone a higher class look, it also made it much more slippery for reviewers to hold on to. While much of the phone is metal, ZTE still used plastic on the rear top and bottom case. Unfortunately, experts immediately noticed the change of material, especially since the pieces didn't color match with the trim. At 6 x 2.9 x 0.37 it veers on the larger side and is also a bit heavier than its competitors at 6.1 ounces. Despite this, experts found the Axon Pro comfortable to hold and use one-handed even with the 5.5-inch display.
Speaking of displays, the Axon Pro offers quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels). It isn't just sharp, though. Reviewers also praise it for being colorful and accurate albeit slightly over saturated. With that said, they truly enjoyed viewing it with Android Headlines stating, "The display is so good, that I can hardly put the phone down." In addition, experts had no issue viewing the phone in different lighting situations from low to bright, though they add the adaptive brightness did make the screen too dark indoors. It is also the first phone to employ Corning's antimicrobial Gorilla Glass. While they didn't test out the antimicrobial claim, experts did like that it was much easier to wipe away smudges and fingerprints.
ZTE didn't skimp out when it came to internal hardware as evidenced by the 2GHz octo-core processor and 4GB of RAM. Experts were able to zip through the navigation and easily multi-task without any hiccups or crashes even when using more processor heavy tasks like video editing or 3D gaming. The 3000mAh battery keeps the phone humming along and lasted critics a full day without recharge. Thanks to quick charging, they were able to get the batteries to 50% in just 30 minutes. The one area they weren't too happy with was the limited internal storage option of 32GB without microSD support.
Perhaps the feature that least impressed experts was the camera. It actually has two cameras on the rear: a 2MP shooter to capture exposure and depth and a 13MP one to actually take the pictures. When combined together reviewers were able to churn out some decently exposed shots that were good enough for Facebook and Instagram. When they looked closer they noticed some distortion. This became even more evident when they took low light images and they describe the overall low-light quality as "muddy" and "drab".
But it isn't the camera or specs that are the selling point of the Axon Pro. It's the audio. Together with JBL and Dolby, ZTE brought HiFi audio to the device. Unfortunately, it only works through the headphone jack, but even the audio quality from the front speaker managed to impress reviewers with its clear notes and full bass.
Despite the excellent offerings of the Axon Pro, reviewers ultimately had a hard time recommending it. Toms Guide states, "Those who want an awesome multimedia experience will really like the Axon Pro's unbeatable display-and-audio combo, but there are better options for your money." CNET adds, "…the ZTE Axon Pro is an excellent device…unfortunately, ZTE isn't alone in offering consumers a premium unlocked device for competitive prices."
Prices (Where to Buy)
ZTE released the Axon Pro on July 30, 2015.
ZTE Axon Pro prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. ZTE's suggested retail price is $449.98. You can compare Axon Pro prices from around the web here on The Informr.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Axon Pro user manual here.
ZTE backs up the Axon Pro with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.
If your Axon Pro has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact ZTE support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find ZTE's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.