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ZTE Axon M
ZTE Axon M
ZTE Axon M
ZTE Axon M

Informr score
The ZTE Axon M currently has an Informr score of 6.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 14 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review


If having dual screens is important, the Axon M is one of the best -- and only -- options available. However, it requires compromising both battery life and portability to achieve it. That trade might not work for everyone.

What's good

  • Innovative dual-display design
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Generous storage and microSD support
  • Decent camera
  • An all-day battery in single-screen mode

What's bad

  • Heavy
  • Limited availability
  • Low battery life in the dual-screen mode
  • Confusing camera arrangement
  • Lack of accessories
  • Fiddly fingerprint scanner

While still not a household name, ZTE has proven it is possible to make a high-end phone with mid-tier prices. With their latest release, they’re diving into uncharted territory.

We usually start by describing a phone’s design. But in this summary, we must start with screens... 

The Axon M sports two 5.2-inch 1080p LCD panels. There is a screen on the front and the back. An aluminum hinge in the middle makes it possible to use the phone in a tablet-like mode or stand it up like a tent.

The panels are both bright and reasonably accurate when it comes to colors. Gorilla Glass 5 coatings on both screens also meant that reviewers had no problems with scratches and scuffs when tossing the phone in their pocket or bag.

That said, the design has its downsides… 

The phone is both thick and heavy. Many reviewers likened it to holding a deck of cards. Also, since there are screens on both side of the phone, finding a compatible case is next to impossible. 

Lastly, while you can unfold the phone and span content across both screens, this creates a 10.4-inch square display, not a larger rectangle display. So for most content, you’re almost getting more black bars than added space.

The phone uses a 2.15Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 821 with 4GB of RAM. Reviewers had no problem launching two apps or a game and a movie at the same time using each display. The processor had no problem keeping up, and the experience remained fluid -- even when reviewers pushed the phone to its limits.

You’ll find a generous 64GB of internal storage for your favorite apps, games, and media. Support for microSD cards up to 256GB means you can expand anytime.

Software changes are minimal, with a few extra buttons and settings to account for the dual displays. Otherwise, you’re greeted with a stock Android 7.1.2 interface and features. ZTE planned support for Android 8.0 -- however, exact dates are unavailable.

The camera was a major point of contention among reviewers. The phone sports a single 20MP rear camera. There is no dedicated front lens. If you want to use video chat or take selfies, you’ll need to be sure you’re facing the correct display and use the software to trigger the camera.

Reviewers found this approach clunky and confusing. 

However, once they got the camera running the way they wanted, they captured decent pictures. Low-light performance is only so-so, but still acceptable for quick snaps or social sharing images. 

With two screens, the 3180mAh battery has quite a range of run times. In single display mode, reviewers had no trouble hitting a full day on a single charge. With both displays running resource-intensive apps, the battery died in roughly 2 hours. 

Charging speed was decent, with a full charge taking around 1.5 hours. However, if you’re planning on using the dual display features often, you’ll want to keep a charger nearby.

Reviews on the phone are mixed overall -- mostly revolving around the design. This isn’t a slim, trim, flagship device. And if you don’t have an interest in dual displays, there are cheaper single screen options with similar specs. 

TechRadar summed up opinions well, saying, “The Axon M is obviously a niche device, and to that niche it delivers something special in a surprisingly polished manner.” Gear Diary was less positive with their verdict, stating, “... as a proof of concept, the ZTE Axon M is fascinating, but it’s too small and too limited by the lack of third-party software to truly be a daily driver.”

Operating system
Operating system
2.15 GHz
2.15 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
20+ MP, f/1.8
20+ MP, f/1.8
3180 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


Considering the system performance, the Axon M from ZTE is nothing special. But with the second display which can be unfolded, it becomes a real alternative for those to whom the conventional smartphone displays are too small and tablets or notebooks too big.

- Mike Wobker, Notebookcheck
Gear Diary
Gear Diary

Basically, as a proof of concept, the ZTE Axon M is fascinating, but it’s too small and too limited by the lack of third-party software to truly be a daily driver. I am excited for what ZTE could do with it in the future though!

- Carly Z, Gear Diary
G Style Magazine
G Style Magazine

I think it has potential but I’d like to see maybe if ZTE can do it without the glaring fold in the middle, utilize more screen real estate and also not make the glass so glossy.

- Jason Million, G Style Magazine
Talk Android
Talk Android

I’ve had more fun with the Axon M than any other smartphone in 2017. The novelty of the second screen wore off a little, but I continued to find myself trying to find a reason to flip it open. It was just too cool working both simultaneously. It’s also the ultimate party trick with frien...

- Erik Slaven, Talk Android

Foldable phones are the future, but ZTE’s present-day take on the concept is here, bringing along some clever functionality to extend your work and play to a second screen.

- Cameron Faulkner, TechRadar

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the ZTE Axon M user manual here.

ZTE backs up the Axon M with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Axon M 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.

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Screen Size

The ZTE Axon M's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

2.15 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 pro Quad core 2.15 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 7.1.2 Nougat operating system (OS).

20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ MP, f/1.8 camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3180 mAh battery.

Axon M Specs

Release Date November 17, 2017
Regions Available USA, United Kingdom
Operating System Android 7.1.2 Nougat

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 pro Quad core 2.15 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.05 W/kg
Body: 1.20 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
20+ Megapixels, f/1.8
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Slow motion recording, Time lapse, Exposure
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel Density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display Color LCD (TFT), 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.2 inches, 16.7 million
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3180 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Cellular) Up to 538 minutes
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to 12 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Flip
Material Plastic
Colors Carbon Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.1 x 7.2 x 1.2 cm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.5 in)
Weight 230 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Stereo
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Additional Information Other Names (AKA): ZTE Z999
Related Links Manual (PDF)
ZTE Axon M Reviews
Where to buy ZTE Axon M
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