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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra review: A step in the right direction

ZTE is leaping again into the high-end premium phone market ft first with the Axon 30 Extremely. This flagship smartphone presents all of the specs the Axon 20 didn’t and does so in a glossy, fashionable bundle. On paper, it competes properly with prime telephones from Xiaomi, Samsung, OnePlus, and others. Does the most recent from ZTE have what it takes to attain shoppers’ money? Discover out within the Android Authority ZTE Axon 30 Extremely assessment.

About this ZTE Axon 30 Extremely assessment: I examined the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely (8GB/128GB) for seven days working software program model Android 11 and My OS 11. The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely unit was offered to Android Authority by ZTE for this assessment.

What it is advisable to know in regards to the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra rear to the right

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • ZTE Axon 30 Extremely (8GB/128GB): $749/€749/£649
  • ZTE Axon 30 Extremely (12GB/256GB): $849/€849/£739

The Axon 30 Extremely marks a return to the premiere flagship area for ZTE. It’s a monster of a tool with (nearly) all of the specs and options you anticipate to see on this class.

The Axon 30 Extremely is already being bought in China and is being made accessible for North America, Europe, and the UK beginning in June. Two fashions can be made accessible to the better worldwide market; one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and one other with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Black is the one coloration possibility accessible exterior of China. On-line preordering from ZTE’s web site begins Might 27 and the final on-sale date is June 4. Anybody who pre-orders the telephone will obtain a free pair of headphones from ZTE.

The telephone goes head-to-head with the likes of the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, and the Xiaomi Mi 11 family. That’s some stiff competitors, however the Axon 30 Extremely is up for the problem.

How is the design?

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra design 1

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

ZTE’s Axon 30 Extremely jogs my memory a little bit of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s a blocky piece of {hardware} that has tight corners and a large digital camera module on the rear. The telephone takes on the glass and metallic sandwich design, with Gorilla Glass 5 on the back and front, and aluminum serving because the mid-frame. ZTE didn’t say why it went with Gorilla Glass 5 somewhat than the newer Gorilla Glass Victus, although it’s not a dealbreaker at this worth level. Each the entrance and rear glass panels are curved, the rear extra so than the entrance. The curves assist the telephone relaxation deeper in your grip. The metallic body is skinny alongside the facet rails and stands proud a bit. You may really feel it towards your palms. I just like the black colorway, which takes on totally different hues relying on the way you maintain it within the gentle. It has a matte end and consists of an anti-scratch coating.

See additionally: The best ZTE phones you can get in 2021

The telephone is a good-sized hunk of glass. The display screen form makes for a tall, lean telephone that’s simple to grip in your hand, however not essentially simple to succeed in along with your thumb. ZTE stored the burden to a good 188g. It doesn’t really feel overlarge in your pocket, although the corners could poke you within the leg as you progress round.

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely is a effective piece of {hardware}, even when it borders a bit bit on the acquainted.

The telephone’s purposeful parts are reserved for the fitting and backside edges. On the fitting is the place you’ll discover a display screen lock button and quantity toggle. These buttons are a bit sharp towards your pores and skin however present wonderful suggestions. The underside edge homes a USB-C port, a bottom-firing speaker, and a dual-SIM card slot. ZTE maintained clear strains on the left facet and prime edge. Which means there’s no room for a headphone jack. As well as, not like earlier Axon sequence telephones, the Axon 30 Extremely doesn’t assist expandable storage.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G detail

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Most flagship telephones have adopted large digital camera modules the previous couple of years and the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely isn’t any totally different. The telephone’s module is beefy and busy. 4 lenses crowd the module together with a flash, laser-focusing system, and stenciled textual content. It’s laborious to overlook.

ZTE says the telephone has “fundamental waterproofing solely” and doesn’t carry an IP rating. Lots of the telephone’s opponents do have official water and mud resistance scores.

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely is a effective piece of {hardware}, even when it borders a bit bit on the acquainted.

What in regards to the 144Hz display screen?

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra screen to the right

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

ZTE loaded the Axon 30 Extremely with a high-tech display screen. It bests a lot of the competitors by skipping the 120Hz refresh fee and leaping to 144Hz as a substitute. ZTE ensured the display screen is energy environment friendly. It’s set to adaptive mode out of the field, which suggests the display screen varies the refresh fee relying on what you’re viewing. You can even select to peg it at 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz if you want. At 144Hz, the result’s a few of the smoothest on-screen motion in each on a regular basis apps and video games that we’ve seen exterior of dedicated gaming phones.

Extra studying: Refresh rate explained: What does 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz mean?

The panel stretches 6.67-inches with Full HD+ decision (2,400 x 1,080) in a 20:9 facet ratio. Along with the quick refresh fee, the display screen helps a 300Hz contact response fee, 10-bit coloration, and a 100% DCI-P3 coloration gamut. You’ll word a small punch gap digital camera centered on the prime of the show. In contrast to the Axon 20 5G, the Axon 30 Extremely doesn’t have an under-display selfie camera. ZTE says the screen-to-body ratio is 95%. These specs are all on par for a flagship machine.

The display screen is a magnificence to behold. Scrolling up and down menu gadgets and feeds seems unimaginable due to the upper refresh fee. Colours look wealthy, the decision is sharp sufficient for most individuals, and the brightness measures up underneath the solar. It’s display screen, notably for watching video.

There’s a fingerprint reader constructed into the show which I discovered to be a cinch to coach and painless to make use of for unlocking the telephone in a rush. I additionally didn’t encounter any ghost contact points with the display screen’s curved edges.

How is battery life?

ZTE crammed a 4,600mAh battery contained in the Axon 30 Extremely and it does job. With the telephone set to the adaptive display screen refresh fee, I recurrently noticed loads of battery left within the tank after a full day of heavy utilization. Display screen-on time was typically between 6.5 and seven.5 hours, which is lots. Standby time stretches into the ridiculous in case you use the telephone calmly.

There are gobs of instruments aboard to handle battery life, from the always-on show to darkish mode, display screen refresh fee, and background app utilization. If you end up in battery bother, there’s seemingly a setting to regulate that solves the issue.

The telephone helps 65W wired charging and the charger comes within the field. In our assessments, the telephone powered up from 0% to 100% in just below 50 minutes. That’s not the quickest we’ve seen but it surely’s nonetheless actually fast. There’s no assist for wi-fi charging, which is a serious lacking function for a contemporary flagship, even one which’s this inexpensive.

How highly effective is it?

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 aboard, together with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in our assessment unit, the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely units the stage for stellar efficiency and it delivers.

The machine powered by means of the standard set of benchmarks. On 3DMark, for instance, it outscored 91% of all units — solely different Snapdragon 888 telephones bested it. It did very properly in GeekBench and AnTuTu, as properly. For our personal, homegrown Pace Take a look at G benchmark, the 30 Extremely ran it in 74 seconds, which is extraordinarily aggressive with different Snapdragon 888 units.

See additionally: Here are the best Snapdragon 888 phones you can buy

Talking extra virtually, real-world utilization demonstrated zippy efficiency throughout the board. All the things in regards to the telephone felt quick and fluid. The telephone by no means lagged or slowed down, and even intense video games ran easily with no body drops.

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely lives as much as the Snapdragon 888’s tall promise and based mostly on our outcomes the 8GB mannequin supplies all you want. The 12GB mannequin could be overkill.

How good is the Axon 30 Extremely digital camera?

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra camera module closeup

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Despite the fact that the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely has 4 rear-facing cameras, the corporate refers to it because the “trinity digital camera system.” The telephone has three 64MP sensors on board for the usual, ultra-wide, and portrait lenses, respectively. There’s a periscoped 8MP zoom digital camera as properly, which might deal with 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 60x digital zoom. The digital camera additionally features a laser detect autofocus system and dual-LED flash.

It’s a strong digital camera system that, on the whole, captures good snaps when out and about. I used to be happy with focus, publicity, and coloration, which have been all on level. The ultra-wide handles photos with aplomb. Colour profiles throughout the three predominant lenses (extensive, ultra-wide, tele) are considerably totally different as you may see under within the greens, blues, and whites. You can even see how the zoom works from 0.6x to 60x within the sequence under. Zooming to the utmost is clearly nugatory, however the 5x optical outcomes have been fairly strong.

Indoor pictures are correct, with good focus and coloration, however a contact of grain, as evidenced by the samples under. The dynamic vary can be nice, as seen within the balloon picture.

ZTE packed the digital camera with tons of taking pictures modes to discover, reminiscent of the flexibility to seize video with as much as three cameras on the similar time, long-exposure portrait for creating dramatic backgrounds behind your topic, tremendous moon extremely shot for enhanced moon pictures, a color-changing filter, in addition to a number of vlogging templates and different video filters. The moonshot function, which has similarities to 1 on the Samsung Galaxy S21, doesn’t produce the perfect outcomes as you may see under. Even so, the digital camera did an honest job at sundown and submit sundown.

The telephone can report video at as much as 8K at 30fps or 4K at 60fps, which is commonplace for a flagship nowadays. The video footage appeared actually good. I used to be happy with coloration, focus, and readability of what I shot. I didn’t see any noise or different issues in my movies.

The 12MP selfie digital camera does a semi-respectable job. It doesn’t overdo the beautification, which I admire. Outside pictures appeared clear. Selfies captured indoors have been on the grainy facet. Self-portraits taken indoors have been blended, and you may see within the (proper) pattern under that the digital camera had a tough time detecting the left facet of my face.

You may view full-sized samples on this Google Drive folder.


  • Stereo audio system: The telephone combines the earpiece and bottom-firing speaker to generate stereo audio. The sound is sweet so long as you retain the quantity set to an inexpensive stage. Blasting all of it the best way up creates a variety of undesirable distortion.
  • My OS: That is the most recent model of ZTE’s Android person interface pores and skin. It’s palatable. I’m not a giant fan of the colours used all through the UI, however which may be simply me. I admire that there are solely a few bloatware apps on board and they are often deleted.
  • Updates: ZTE’s monitor report for updates is murky at finest. For the Axon 30 Extremely, ZTE mentioned it’s going to “present Android OS updates, common safety patches, and roughly two years of assist (could fluctuate by area).” In case you’re on the lookout for a gauge on how well timed these updates could also be, ZTE has but to replace final 12 months’s Axon 20 5G to Android 11.
  • 5G: Not solely does the telephone assist sub-6GHz 5G, but it surely additionally helps “twin 5G.” What does that imply? You may have two 5G-enabled SIM playing cards within the telephone working on separate 5G networks. Few telephones can do this. It doesn’t assist mmWave 5G.

ZTE Axon 30 Extremely specs

  ZTE Axon 30 Extremely
Show 6.67-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 Full HD+
HDR10+, 100% DCI-P3
Processor Snapdragon 888
Adreno 660
Storage 128GB
Wi-fi 5G
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6e
Cameras Rear:

Primary: 64MP, f/1.6, OIS
Portrait: 64MP, f/1.9
Extremely-wide: 64MP, f/2.2
Telephoto: 8MP, OIS


8K @30fps

Battery 4,600mAh
65W wired charging
QuickCharge 4+
Dimensions 161.53 × 72.96 × 8.0mm
Weight 188g

Worth and competitors

ZTE Axon 30 Extremely

ZTE’s high-end Axon 30 Extremely presents a big, 144Hz show, a Snapdragon 888 processor, and a triple 64MP digital camera system. It additionally packs a wholesome battery, twin 5G, and wholesome battery life.

ZTE’s pricing for the Axon 30 Extremely is pretty aggressive. It’s not the most cost effective flagship to succeed in the market, but it surely undercuts a few of the competitors by a whole bunch of {dollars}. At $749 for the bottom mannequin, you’ve acquired the 6.67-inch, 144Hz display screen, the Snapdragon 888 with 8GB/128GB, the quad-camera system, and all-day battery life in a bundle that’s properly constructed and engaging. Boosting the RAM and storage to 12GB/256GB solely prices $100 extra ($849) and could be value it in case you plan to shoot a variety of movies.

Beginning off, let’s deal with the ZTE Axon 30 Professional, which is a less-costly model of this telephone. The display screen is identical dimension, although it’s restricted to 120Hz. It additionally has the Snapdragon 888, a 64MP predominant digital camera, and 128GB/256GB storage choices, but it surely lowers RAM to 6GB and makes different concessions. Pricing is extra affordable at about $459, although the telephone is restricted to China for the second.

The relative cut price pricing of the ZTE is a compelling gross sales issue.

The obvious competitor from different manufacturers is the Samsung Galaxy S21 vary. The Galaxy S21 is a wonderful selection, but it surely does price a bit more cash if you’d like a display screen dimension similar to that of the Axon 30 with the Galaxy S21 Plus. Samsung’s cameras are higher, although, and every telephone within the sequence has official IP scores, helps wi-fi charging, and has a three-year software program improve dedication from Samsung. That further money could be value it.

The usual OnePlus 9 is one thing to think about. At $729, it performs proper in the identical area because the Axon 30. It sacrifices a couple of premium options however remains to be an honest telephone. An alternative choice is the dearer $969 OnePlus 9 Pro. I discovered the design of the OnePlus 9 Professional higher than the Axon 30 Extremely, however that’s subjective. Extra importantly, the cameras are about on par between the 2 telephones.

Elsewhere, Xiaomi’s inexpensive $749 Mi 11 is a effective telephone with an interesting design which may function an alternative choice to the Axon 30 Extremely.

ZTE Axon 30 Extremely assessment: The decision

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra screen to the left

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

ZTE’s first true flagship telephone in years is a wonderful effort. The Axon 30 Extremely is a finely crafted piece of {hardware} that covers many of the fundamentals when it comes to options and efficiency.

In its favor, the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely has a beast of a display screen, prime pixel-pushing energy, and battery life that lasts. Detractors embody no wi-fi charging and no IP ranking, each of which can be found from many opponents.

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely competes properly in a wholesome marketplace for premium units.

The Axon 30 Extremely is essentially the most compelling flagship I’ve seen from ZTE in a very long time, although it falls simply wanting at this time’s finest.

Who’s it for? Anybody who’s available in the market for a funds flagship may take into account the Axon 30 Extremely. Maybe it doesn’t illicit the uncooked emotional attraction a few of its opponents do however ZTE managed to prove a high-end machine simply the identical. ZTE has taken a giant step ahead with the Axon 30 Extremely.

What do you think?

Written by virajthari


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