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ZTE Axon 7 review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING



7.8/10
Informr score
The ZTE Axon 7 currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 18 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Price
  • Fast performance
  • Beautiful display
  • Front-facing dual speakers
  • Excellent sound processing
  • All-day battery life
  • microSD support
  • USB Type C with Quick Charge 3.0 support

What's bad

  • Bloatware
  • MiFavor UI is cluttered
  • Camera performance is inconsistent
  • Fingerprint scanner is inconsistent
  • Voice controls are inconsistent
  • Cramped navigational controls

ZTE has long touted their “affordable flagship” devices. Yet, they have not made a device that really captured the market. With the release of the ZTE Axon 7, they’re trying once again to take on an increasingly competitive mid-tier field of phones.

While the spec sheets might look nice and the price is amazing, does the experience add up? Let’s see what reviewers around the Internet are saying!

ZTE worked with BMW Designworks to style their latest phone and reviewers seem to feel that the pairing worked great. In typical fashion for recent phones, the fingerprint scanner is on the rear of the phone making for easy access and a natural feel. Reviewers all noted that the phone was heavy--though this is a bit relative at only 175g. Some also noted delays in the responsiveness of the fingerprint scanner as well.

Heading around to the front of the phone, you’ll find a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel. The 2560-by-1440 resolution screen was a hit with reviewers. Android Authority called it, “One of the very best displays I have seen on a smartphone.”

However, to keep the size of the phone down while including the large display, ZTE had to shave the bezels. Add in the need for capacitive buttons and you have an issue that all the reviewers pointed out quickly--the navigation buttons at the bottom of the phone are very small. Even worse, they’re not backlit.

The phone is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM. Performance reviews are generally positive. Android Police said, “Opening apps, multitasking, loading web pages, and all the other general smartphone tasks are very snappy.” PC Magazine agreed, saying, “Even with games and numerous apps open in the background, I wasn't able to get the phone to stutter.”

You’ll find 64GB of internal storage to keep all of your apps, media and other goodies at hand. Should you need more space, the phone supports microSD cards as well.

One area of contention on the phone’s performance is the MiFavor 4 interface ZTE paired with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. Many reviewers had issues with menu placement and configuration. Android Police summed up opinions well, saying, “MiFavor 4.0 doesn't look bad. It's just overloaded with buggy features that probably don't need to exist. It feels cluttered.”

Photography was a similarly mixed bag. While the 20MP rear camera with dual flash and optical image stabilization looks great on paper, reviewers found it struggled in low light and provided inconsistent results. Reviews noted that while the 8MP front-facing lens takes great shots, the “beauty” mode on the phone tends to over process photos.

Fortunately, reviewers all agreed on battery life--it’s great. With a 3,250mAh battery and Quick Charge 3.0 support you can enjoy all-day battery life with rapid top-ups if needed. Android Central noted, “It lasted from the time I woke up until I went to bed. And I get up early and go to bed late.”
Audiophiles and media fans will find a lot to love about the Axon 7 as well. The phone includes 32-bit HiFi Dolby Atmos sound processing, a premium amplifier and dual front-facing speakers. Reviewers raved about both the clarity and loudness of music and movies from the phone’s speakers and were similarly pleased when hooking up headphones. Mobile Syrup said, “The sound quality lives up to the hype, providing a level of excellence that I have previously never experienced with a mobile phone.”

Reviews for the phone were positive overall. While the competition at this price point is heavy, most of the flaws noted in reviews had nothing to do with hardware and everything to do with software issues that ZTE will hopefully fix in the future. Engadget summed up opinions well, saying, “Those who prefer a great multimedia experience and a distinct aesthetic will find a more suitable companion in the Axon 7.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
20+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TechRadar

ZTE Axon 7 is less expensive than the best flagship smartphones, yet it looks and performs like a top-tier Android Nougat handset, with front-facing speakers, 64GB of storage and only a few sacrifices.

- Matt Swider, TechRadar
Make Use Of

If you want the best Android phone on the market right now without spending over $500, the ZTE Axon 7 is the device for you.

- Riley J. Dennis, Make Use Of
LaptopMedia

Top specs go hand in hand with top price and this is quite normal. But what if a company that is not at the top of the pyramid of the smartphone market offers a device which is not inferior to other high-end smartphones? ZTE have tried doing exactly this and have succeeded to a large extent. Their A...

- LaptopMedia Team, LaptopMedia
VR-Zone

The ZTE Axon 7 is a great device for its price. It is built with top-of-the-line specifications and materials that make it look and function like a premium smartphone, except for a much lower price. The extremely fast processor and high-resolution camera makes the device an attractive buy for anyone...

- Zayne Seah, VR-Zone
Good Gear Guide

The ZTE Axon 7 does little wrong, but it launched overseas many months ago and, at this high price, there are many better choices to be made.

- Nick Ross, Good Gear Guide


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The ZTE Axon 7's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 Quad core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat) operating system (OS).

Camera
20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3140mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3140 mAh battery. ZTE's performance ratings are 960 minutes, 477 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Axon 7 Specs

Overview
Release date August 3, 2016
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/1800/2600/2300 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 Quad core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.19 W/kg
Body: 1.13 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3140 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 477 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Silver, Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.2 x 7.5 x 0.8 cm (6 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 175 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density 534 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
20+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Exposure compensation, HDR, Scenes
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Additional Sensors: Fingerprint sensor
Related Links Manual (PDF)
ZTE Axon 7 Reviews
Where to buy ZTE Axon 7
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