Yes, it has a few imperfections, but ZTE’s Axon 40 Ultra turns out to be a bargain. Less expensive but as powerful as its rivals, it even allows itself some amazing innovations, including an invisible front camera.
Impossible to miss what has become the hallmark of the Axon from the Chinese manufacturer ZTE since 2020: the practically invisible front camera. No notch or black bar at the very top of the screen, allowing a video, for example, to use its entire 6.8-inch screen.
This camera hidden under the glass offers 16 MPx photos of satisfactory quality, much better in any case than the first version offered on the Axon 20, which often lacked sharpness. We don’t yet have the richness of colors and contrasts of a Pixel 6 Pro or a OnePlus 10 Pro, however.
Another hallmark is ZTE’s ability to deliver what the best Android phones enjoy at an unbeatable price. Here we have the same processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 used by the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but for $600 less. The Samsung has other advantages, though. Our Geekbench 5 tests have shown us that with the usual exception of iPhones, ZTE’s newest compares favorably to its competitors.
The technical specifications of the Axon 40 Ultra are of the caliber of the best in 2022, an AMOLED screen with an adaptable refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, for a resolution of 2480 x 1116 or 400 dpi with a peak of 1500 nits. A beautiful screen, clean and bright, readable even in direct sunlight.
ZTE prides itself on its triple rear camera system, each 64MP. The first is a wide-angle with 16mm focal equivalent and macro focusing capability within 4cm of the subject. The second is called ‘Humanity’, with a 35mm focal length equivalent, using the Sony IMX787 sensor giving better accuracy, especially for people. Finally, the “telescope” reaches an optical zoom of 5.7 x with image stabilization.
This gear gave us photos with good detail management and faithful rendering. On the other hand, comparing it to an iPhone 13 Pro Max, we found its colors very washed out. See for yourself.
The 5000 mAh battery accepts fast charging at 65 watts and, nice gift, we have the charger provided. It only took us 45 minutes to fully charge a drained phone after playing seven hours of videos. In normal use, it easily reaches 40 hours of autonomy.
Finally, it is one of the first phones, with the Pixel 6 Pro, compatible with the new WiFi 6E standard, which is promised to be more stable and using the less frequented 6 GHz bands. For lack of a suitable router, we were unable to verify these assertions.
We love less
There is no miracle to save: we did not integrate the magnetic charge, so practical.
Battery management makes the Axon 40 Ultra ruthlessly close background apps. We noticed that some notifications, especially those from Twitter and Slack, took an unusually long time to appear.
ZTE gives no indication as to the resistance of its phone to water or dust.
While manufacturers like Google and Samsung promise to offer security updates for up to five years after purchase, we don’t have that here with ZTE. For a Chinese manufacturer that often finds itself in the crosshairs of Western governments, this is worrying.
Sign of a still incomplete presence in Canada, the prices displayed are only in US dollars. Irritant.
One buys ?
The Axon 40 Ultra is unquestionably a bargain, offering some of the best features of Android phones at a great price. But it won’t convince an Apple user to cross the fence and will leave selfie enthusiasts and discerning photographers alike.
Axon 40 Ultra
Manufacturer : ZTE
Price: US$799 (8GB/128GB) and US$899 (12GB/256GB)
Rating: 4 out of 5
In presale on ztedevices.com until June 21