We have known that ZTE was always one step ahead of most of the competition for years, and we have already talked about it; In fact, ZTE is one of the most innovative manufacturers in the mobile sector, often the first to introduce new technologies that were then “copied” and improved by other companies as well.
Today I'm talking about the ZTE Axon 30 5G, a product that is born after a axon 20 innovative because the first smartphone with an “invisible” front camera under the screen: now the technology is more mature and you will hardly be able to notice the presence of the camera, but it is not the only improvement that comes.
ZTE Axon 30 5G review
Design and Materials
I was a little hurt, I have to admit, but most of theAxon 30 5G from ZTE it is made of plastic; ZTE defines it as "3D polymeric material" and many other striking phrases, but it is plastic, nothing more and nothing less. All this contributes to making it extremely light when you think of the generous dimensions: only 189 grams, well balanced throughout the smartphone which on the other hand, is handled well and used comfortably.
Pleasant to the touch and also to the eye are the curved edges on the back of the smartphone; favor a good grip and create a beautiful optical effect on the back that certainly does not go unnoticed, thanks to the particular texture where you can read the name AXON.
Feature is also the integration of the camera: here we find a sort of "double step" where in the first there are the three "secondary" cameras and the LED flash, and in the second slightly more protruding (they are only 2mm, probably, but you can notice!) there is the main 64MP camera.
There could not be a biometric sensor under the display which turned out to be accurate and reliable; I also set a face unlock so as to speed up the unlocking even more and reduce to virtually zero the cases in which I can not unlock the smartphone "quickly".
Logically, the part that stands out most is the “evident” absence of a selfie camera on the front of the device: here ZTE did a great job in terms of camera concealment, making the technology anticipated last year more mature and, in fact, putting in front of us a truly imperceptible camera if not with the screen off and backlit, where seeing it is a little easier.
As for the equipment, the volume rocker is present on the right side as well as the power and unlock button, at the bottom instead we find the Type-C connector for charging, the SIM slot (also combined with MicroSD for the expansion of the memory) and the speaker only Mono. Absent various certifications for resistance to water and dust.
Among the most consistent innovations introduced compared to last year's model we find the update frequency up to 120Hz, which further improves an already excellent panel 6.92 ″ inch OLED and resolution of 1080 2460 pixels x; Unfortunately, there is no compatibility with HDR 10, which is increasingly common on smartphones in this price range.
As for the quality of the display there is well poco to put in black on white; the colors are good, sometimes they could be too cold but it is nothing that cannot be solved through the various settings menus. The management of the display refresh rate is not optimized in the best way: the selection obviously concerns between 60 and 120Hz as well as an automatic mode
The biggest job, to be honest, is theZTE's ability to engineer a better solution than last year for hiding the selfie camera; here the Chinese company used 7 different layers to obtain an excellent result, at least on an aesthetic level.
Compared to the previous generation, the algorithm has improved and allows the portion of the display around the camera to adapt more quickly to changes in light on the screen: now you can identify the selfie lens only in backlight and only if the smartphone is showing a screen. completely white, but even in these extreme cases you will notice the camera if and only if you are aware of its presence. Guaranteed.
Hardware and Performance
The soul that moves all this ZTE Axon 30 5G is it Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, a rather widespread Octa-Core solution and already seen in many other smartphones in circulation; ram memory in two cuts, from 8 or 12GB (mine has 8GB) the GPU is an Adreno 650 clocked at 670MHz while the UFS 3.1 internal memory can be 128 and 256GB.
In everyday use, everything translates into excellent performance, with few rivals (if not a few more recent smartphones or with Snap 888): in gaming you can always get exceptional fluidity, and in everyday operations, just as it is difficult to put it in difficulty.
The temperature management is also impeccable and even in difficult situations the smartphone does not heat up that much. The connectivity sector is also good: ZTE Axon 30, as the name implies, it is compatible with 5G networks, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and video output via the USB-C port; presentfinally, too NFC for payments via Google Pay.
As for the equipment of photographic sensors, ZTE Axon 30 5G is well organized: the main sensor from 64MP f / 1.8 realizes overall good shots, especially in good light conditions while at nightfall thanks to the software optimization with the night mode it manages to bring home decent results and at the height of the competitors.
La wide-angle camera is 8MP f / 2.2: this one succeeds a little less in giving pictures worthy of note, but on the whole during the day the results are acceptable while in the evening nothing more than a full pass. Finally, there is room for two Macro cameras from 5MP f / 2.4 e depth from 2MP f / 2.4, as usual present but nothing relevant, a bit like all smartphones in circulation.
I am sure that what you are looking forward to is the response of the hidden camera under the display: I start by telling you that the progress in terms of aesthetics and integration, compared to the last generation, is there and it is evident, that's for sure. The progress is not clear, however, as regards the definition of the shots that the smartphone takes, totally far from the competition (even in lower price ranges): it is definitely not a smartphone for selfies, the photos taken always have reflections that tend to white around the faces almost as if the lens were constantly dirty. Not great.
Videos can be recorded until 4K is 60fps, good electronic stabilization of the main chamber; the anterior chamber, on the other hand, records maximum in FullHD to 30fps and in terms of quality, what has been said for the photo department follows.
One aspect where the manufacturers seem to all (or almost) go in the same direction is the simplification of the graphical interface, increasingly similar and close to the guidelines of pure Android. It is the example My OS 11 based on Android 11 that we find on this Axon 30 5G.
L'graphic interface it is very simple, there are no problems of any kind with the translations and there are some of the Google apps as default, for example the Phone dialer, contacts, messages and poco other. Few additions from the manufacturer, but I don't see it as a negative; among the additions, the Z-POP function should be mentioned, which allows you to create a sort of virtual and customizable button with one or more of the most used shortcuts (screenshot, back or other).
It is certainly not a dragon in terms of autonomy, but it is the (expensive) price to pay in the presence of a careful design and low weight; ZTE in fact, it uses a 4200 mAh which guarantees the smartphone an autonomy of poco less than a day of stressful use.
It is different if we use the smartphone with a display set at 60Hz, in that case we can complete the day without major difficulties. The battery saving mode also turns out to be a good ally even if, unfortunately, you run the risk of missing some notifications since the software "killa" the apps in the background to save energy, and not all notifications could be reported. .
Note of merit, however, is the speed of charging: with the 65W power supply in the package ZTE Axon 30 5G manages to charge from 0 to 100% in about 45 minutes, not bad!
Final Thoughts and Price
What, then, at the end of the review of the ZTE Axon 30 5G? The speech, without a doubt, must start with the price. In fact, buying it on The Amazon at the price of €349 for the version 8/128 GB, by checking the Coupon on the product page, you find yourself in your hands an almost complete smartphone in terms of performance and hardware, with a peculiarity not easily found in these figures such as the display entirely clear of the selfie camera and therefore we can say that yes, in its general context this model can be the solution for many users.
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