Reviews

ZTE Axon 20 5G Full Review

ZTE Axonpere has a long tradition of new entrants to the industry. Now they’re bringing us the world’s first commercially available device with a selfie camera under the screen, the Axon 20 5G. It’s something we’ve been waiting for since the first phones came in.

You expect this revolutionary feature to be associated with advanced hardware. But ZTE wants to play it safe this time and the on-screen camera is connected to a combination of premium mid-range hardware. But the main selling point here is clearly on display. If you get rid of sodium, it makes sense to also use a better screen.

ZTE Axon 20 5G specs at a glance:

Body: 172.1×77.9×8.0mm, 198g; Glass front, glass back, aluminum frame.
Display: 6.92″ OLED, 1B colors, 90Hz, 1080x2460px resolution, 20.5:9 aspect ratio, 388ppi; Always-on display.
Chipset: Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G (7 nm): Octa-core (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver); Adreno 620.
Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot, up to 2TB).
OS/Software: Android 10, MiFavor 10.5.
Rear camera: Wide (main): 64 MP, f/1.8, 25mm, 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 16mm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
Front camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, (wide), under display.
Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected], gyro-EIS, HDR, 10‑bit video; Front camera: [email protected]
Battery: 4220mAh; Fast charging 30W, Quick Charge 4+.
Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; Sound on Display, under-display selfie camera; only 8GB/128GB available in Europe.

The full-screen control panel controls all boxes: HRR up to 90 Hz, HDR support, OLED, and 10-bit color depth. And it’s actually one of the biggest in town. The screen measures a diagonal measurement of 6.92″, making the phone slightly uncomfortable even for users with medium hands.

But the average range above this phone is the chipset. Snapdragon 765G provides 5G connectivity and more than enough energy and is associated with 128GB of internal memory as a basic configuration. Camera settings also show something that is desirable because it does not offer a telephoto lens camera and ultra-wide driving is only 8MP. In addition, stereo speakers are not available.

So is this typical first-generation product with your puns to be fixed and people paying the price for early adoption, or is there much more than a big screen, not left? We need it.

Unboxing the ZTE Axon 20 5G

The handset is available in a standard box with a real USB-A USB-C cable charger that is used to charge and transmit data. As a bonus, ZTE includes a transparent silicone case and a 3.5 mm dongle on a USB-C because the phone does not have a headphone jack.

Design and ergonomics

Let’s see what’s clear first, and that’s the size of the thing. It’s hard to adapt to a 6.92-inch screen compact case, so don’t expect miracles. The side frames are not thinner, the lower chin will come out a little. You can’t get past it, it’s a seedless phone and it’s almost impossible to do it with one hand. But we were surprised that the weight is only 198g, which is quite impressive for the phone up to its size.

The camera is not the only one ZTE was able to hide under the screen. The fingerprint reader is located down there and several other sensors, such as the proximity and light sensor environment. The headset doesn’t heat up anywhere, so the piezoelectric vibrator takes its place. Tap the screen to vibrate and make a sound. We have already seen these solutions at Xiaomi and Huawei. In any case, we will talk about the screen, camera, and sound quality on the following pages.

Total Axon 20-5G assembly is thin. The side frame is made of metal and the front and rear panels are made of glass. Unfortunately, there is no glass gorilla – just old glass. And the first thing we noticed was how smooth the phone seemed. For the phone, its size means smooth bad. At least the spots on the back are not as noticeable, at least in black color as ours.

We like the clean look at the back. On the back are only the ZTE and Axon 5G brand, but they are quite subtle and certainly not “face”. The camera’s going to collide, too. It’s not the coolest thing we’ve ever seen, and it looks good. There are all four cameras with lightning. Of course, leaving the phone on a flat surface wakes up a great camera. Slapping a suitcase will fix it.

Setting a button next to it is great. The power button has a fine texture and reaches the correct height. Thumb’s going to fall. There are no drive handles because the volume keys are separated up and down. Maybe it’s a good decision because it gives you even clearer where exactly to put your thumb without looking at it.

At the bottom of the frame, we find a speaker grille, USB-C port, and SIM card drawer that is a hybrid. You go to SIM + SIM + microSD card settings.

All in all, we liked the Axon 20 5G design, which makes us feel better. And we’re not talking about the size of the phone because it’s very subjective. It is clear that anyone looking for a small phone does not go to the 6.92″ Humongous Axon 20 5G screen. However, we believe that the frames need some trimming and the smooth nature of the back glass makes it even more difficult to handle the phone than it is.

Full-screen 10-bit OLED

Perhaps the best thing about this phone is the big OLED screen. It measures diagonal 6.92″ and gives a high resolution of 1080 x 2460px. The monitor also supports a 90 Hz refresh rate, but we’ll talk about her behavior later. Firstly, we want to assess the overall performance of the panel.

The maximum brightness saved in manual mode is not impressive and hits 406 nights. Unfortunately, there is also Max Auto mode, so there is no way that the light panel brightens brighter than this. Don’t expect much legibility from sunlight.

Color accuracy is also not a letter, which we must miss the opportunity on behalf of ZTE. This vivid 10-bit color (supports more than a billion colors) OLED is also able to play with cheerful and accurate images, but the average dE2000 set to 5 white and gray is slightly blue. But there are a few things to remember.

First of all, the average delta 5.0 is not too bad and can often go unnoticed. Secondly, you can adjust the desired color temperature on a nice colored wheel. It is also optimized for a space that adds all colors and therefore adds the average amount of DE2000 to 6.6, but if you use this mode, probably not restless color accuracy.

Let’s talk about the elephant under the camera. The technology hosting panel is produced by Visionox. It consists of a very transparent catheter, OLED field, and transparent matrix under everything. Specially integrated circuits and nuts have been used to reduce the impact of the selfie camera viewing experience. We believe that ZTE has done a good job with the first genetic product. ZTE explains that the biggest challenge is to get enough light from the camera sensor so that the small square patch of OLED fields has a lower resolution. That’s why it can feel a little bumpy.

When the light color is displayed, the cut angle of the camera is displayed. Otherwise, you won’t feel it if you don’t know what and where to look. On important issues, such as playing games or watching movies, the app looks great. And if you look too often toward the top square, enter the dark mode and the camera is not visible.

And if it’s too much wear and tear and works, there’s the ability to move the contents down and leave the country bar black, and if it’s black, it’s impossible to see the camera.

Although ZTE doesn’t mention HDR support, it’s at least there on YouTube. It looks like it’s working, but it’s not compatible with the Netflix app that we had downloaded side by side. We were surprised to see that the Netflix app wasn’t available for download from the Play Store, but it worked well when it was uploaded side by side. It even supports WideVine L1 full HD streaming quality.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to control the speed of updates. While most manufacturers struggle to find a soft spot between high refresh rate and efficiency, ZTE uses only a standard refresh rate of 90Hz, which sometimes drops to just under 80 Hz for no apparent reason.

Battery life

For a 4220 mAh battery and an OLED-paneled phone, you can expect more screen time. But it has an exceptionally low browsing rating and the most demanding video playback time, which brings an overall score of just 82 hours. We also checked whether reducing the refresh rate of the display to 60 Hz would help and found no significant benefit.

Our battery testing is automated thanks to SmartViser using the visor device app. The above resistance rating shows how long it takes to charge a single battery when you use a ZTE Axon 20 5G per hour for one hour of phone, web browsing, and video playback per day. We have configured this method so that battery results are similar to the most common daily operations. The battery testing process describes a case that is interested in grit. You can check out our full battery test table, where you can see how all the smartphones we tested for normal use compare.

Charging speed

The phone comes with a charger that is compatible with fast charging from 4+ to 30W. Of course, the Axon 20 5G also pulls 30W, but we are not sure what kind of voltage and amplifier is used. The charger label says it can work with 12V/2.5V, 20V/1.5A or 10V/3A. Either way, the charging speed is slightly faster than its competitors, but most of them sport larger batteries as well.

Speaker

ZTE announces the DTS: X Ultra Audio and 3D surround listening experience. Unfortunately, this is impossible to achieve only with a smaller fire speaker. It’s good for music, but don’t expect deep bass or enough clarity in larger amounts.

Maybe we should talk about the piezoelectric vibrator under the screen. It has great and economical technology with space on the edge, but this solution has its drawbacks. Right now, bats can see an entire robotic sound, and secondly, it’s not loud enough in a noisy environment. On the other side, it’s a little hard to hear when the sound of the environment is close. And then there are the privacy issues that almost every phone is as it is. Although the screen is not high, you can hear people sitting nearby when the room is quiet. That’s because the full screen emits audio and the 6.92-inch panel itself is quite large.

Use playback controls to listen to sample phone recordings (better use of headphones). We measure the average volume of speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means louder sound. Check the frequency reaction chart to see how far the ideal flat “0db” bass, sharp and medium frequency play. You’ll add more phones and compare them if they differ. Ratings and ratings are not comparable to our older speakers test. Learn more about how we test here.

Audio output quality

Recently completed a sound power quality test.

This is because most of the phones that came up with testing were already excellent in this regard. Whatever it is, it was marginal and probably unsparing from something other than our lab team.

ZTE’s MiFavor 10.5 on top of Android 10

Axon 20 5G works with the latest iteration of MiFavor ZTE, version 10.5. It looks very different and feels very different from the Nubia interface that we performed some time ago, but they have something in common. Both launchers are trying to provide a vanilla experience with some clean fixes to improve overall usability.

The first things we noticed were the app’s ointment, notification shadow, and the latest app menu. There are a few differences between the appearance of the measures and the current state of MiFavor. The quick transition to the shade message is round and quite strong, but the icons are the ones that turn them off. To improve usability with one hand, the second time it reduces the lowest quick contacts in the thumb area, leaving a large empty space at the top of the current date and time. Like Samsung One UI and OnePlus OxygenOS. We certainly like how this feature is applied, except that it only exists. The menu with the rest of the options is not optimized for single use.

We’ve noticed something unusual, too. The dark state switch has doubled the battery underwater menu, which makes sense when you think about it. The main attraction of the so-called dark mode is the potential battery wins it would make OLED smartphones like the Axon 20 5G. And of course, it’s aesthetic.

Interestingly, the show submenu has shifted a little, coming after setting up the home screen and battery menu. You’ll find an advanced version of the dark mode you design and disable for your app.

When we go to the sound menu, we should miss a mention of grainy sound controls. One of the few custom Android skins that offer a separate volume slider for notifications and incoming calls. This is something that Android long ago stopped supporting originally. You can also set the volume keys to move the slider or media volume as the default.

The Tools menu contains several decent gestures and features. If you want to turn specific gestures on or off, use good old software buttons. We found that “automatic response”, “Switch to phone”, “Shake turn on flashlight” and “Pocket mode” are especially useful every day. Some of them are quite self-explicative, while others are not so much. Luckily, you test them with the system before you turn them on.

If you’re dirty, “Automatic Answer” when carrying a phone to the back of the phone, answer without touching the phone. In pocket mode, the phone increases the number of incoming calls when it detects that it is out of pocket. “Turn on the handset” is also slightly polished when connected to a Bluetooth speaker and must answer the phone’s call. Just take your phone as usual and the phone will go to the headset instead of redirecting calls to Bluetooth speakers.

The real-time playback setting can’t be customized like the Nuba interface, but they still have many options. Of course, the design option is available, as are the different watch styles on the lock screen. It is certainly not as flexible as the Nubian AOD.

Even if we’re already on the lock screen, you can choose a fingerprint reader from multiple animations, while the scanner’s performance itself is fine. It’s certainly not the fastest, but most of the time it was accurate and reliable. We have just seen the better implementation of competing brands. In addition, miFavor 10.5 provides a brilliant feature of oxygen one plus. Unlock your phone with your fingerprint and leave your finger on for a while and open the pop-up menu with shortcuts to the selected apps.

But we found that miFavor is liquid, fast, and highly customizable, while sometimes some Android vanilla sensation. Honestly, this is one of the few off-the-board Chinese takes on Android with most features that really matter. We’d like more detailed speed control and a slightly faster fingerprint reader, but you don’t have everything, would you? We were not even aware of the major translation problems that could often be seen in the Nubia and ZTE software. Sometimes there were strange translations, but something important.

Performance

Axon 20 5G factories built with the competent Snapdragon 765G on a 7nm manufacturing process. SoC even uses an eight-core processor core with a 2.4GHz Cryo 475 Prime, a 1x 2.2GHz Cryo 475 Gold core, and a 6x 1.8GHz Cryo 475 Silver Cores used for less demanding tasks and saving some performance. The Adreno 620 GPU performs graphically demanding tasks. Memory configurations start at 6GB/128GB and grow to 8GB/256GB. We’re starting to make this 128GB the main basic option for middle-class phones, so it’s good to see ZTE viewing over time.

Another important thing to consider is the 5G connection, but especially the 5G performance of the smartphone. ZTE has a so-called direct printing structure (PDS) around the device. It is very thin and the technology improves antenna performance by 50%. Signal stability should also be 50% higher with efficiency, which he says is 30% higher. In the end, it should also affect the download and download speed. And for better connection stability, there is a special 5G Wi-Fi mode available during the game, so the antennas work simultaneously. It may not be a new feature, but it’s good to have players. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to test 5G performance as they are not yet available in our area, so we need to include the word ZTE in these claims.

In addition, ZTE sought to improve sustainable performance by using different components of heat runoff. There is a graphite plate, a traditional steam room cooling system, and carbon nanofiber that keeps things fresh and liquid.

lengths. Often, when you tap ultra-width, for example, you can see the zoom wheel. The three-camera modes are too close or the sockets are slightly used.

Main camera

As long as the light is sufficient, the main camera can also produce sharp, detailed images in fairly accurate colors. An error occurred in YDn. The good news is that it’s hard to spot if you don’t look hard enough and can only see a consistent background. There’s also some halo focus here and there, but again, you might notice if you pixel-peek. In general, we like the sharpness added during processing because it gives images a much cleaner look.

Another pretty consistent problem we had with the main camera is soft patches for most photos. You can see that in some scenes where there are leaves, the grass becomes blurry on the left side of the image.

Unfortunately, the circumstances in which we film photos in broad daylight do not allow us to comment on the capabilities of the HDR camera. The phone does a pretty good job of balancing light and shadows due to the cloudy thickness that we see.

We are especially pleased with the 2x zoom photos, although they cut down the main sensor and then back to 16MP. Sure, don’t expect super sharp photos, but a general social media post and if you usually look at your phone screen, it’s just fine. Increasing these patterns amplifies the 2x zoom mode of the main camera traps: halo grinding is more visible, while the sound is plentiful.

Ultra-wide camera

Like all intermediate distances with an ultra-wide 8MP camera, the Axon 20 5G does not turn its head. Even in broad daylight, the images come muddy, lacking detail, and often too much noise to bring to the stage. There is some sharpness during processing, as in the main camera, but this time it is not in place for significant changes in overall image quality. In fact, the sharpness of the halo stands out a little bit.

The overall color processing is the same as the main camera, so expect us to get closer to the actual colors. The distortion correction algorithm also does a very good job. The objects closest to the edge of the frame appear to be quite vertical.

Macro camera

The macro camera has a fixed focus distance, which increases its own limitations, but the largest is the low-resolution 2 MP sensor. But if you’re patient enough, there are some good close-ups. The colors are vibrant and the level of detail is surprisingly high. Be sure to shoot enough light around for optimal results.

Here’s however the nerve fiber twenty 5G fares against the competition during a lot of controlled surroundings.

The first thing we noticed is a real HDR algorithm that works, even if not in night mode. The light sources are well connected, a lot of details are in the shade and the lights are quite well balanced. Of course, like most midranges in this price range, sharpness is not great, and there is some noise. Interestingly, the level of detail is quite high in the scenes.

Additionally, we tend to found the distinction excellent, color replica is another time on purpose, and also the color temperature even as correct.

Night mode

To our surprise, the night mode did not bring significant benefits and left us waiting only a few seconds to stop stacking and processing. Night mode features are rarely sharper and brighter, but they look much brighter and less noise. There is no noticeable change in the way they are highlighted, while the shadows are much brighter. Honestly, we had better pictures without night mode and the sky would be more natural there.

There is not much talk about 2x zoom photos because they are washed from the main sensor. Noise is visible in this mode; sharpness and detail deteriorate rapidly when light decreases.

Ultra-wide camera

As expected, the evening performance of the king’s camera is not at odds with anyone’s expectations. In the twilight photos of this camera lacks detail, sharpness and seems generally muddy. The biggest problem is the amount of noise around the scenes. Unfortunately, there is no night mode for an ultra-wide camera. It’s hard to use this camera when the light goes down.

Selfies

As expected, the Axon 20 5G front camera serves as a first-generation product. He’s doing his job, but he’s not doing very well. All selfies are blurry looking, taking us back to the era of VGA cameras when it was standard.

The Mp camera in this version 32 tries to give enough details and does not appear to be sharp. While the theme face may not seem so bad in some rare cases, the background still looks like watercolor. Exposure measurement is also slightly off and can sometimes darken or break the face of an object depending on the environmental light. But the color of the skin seems natural.

Portrait mode reduces photo size to 5 MP and male. For this reason, the background is difficult to distinguish from the plane, and the topic just looks harsh around the edges. Literally.

Portraits

The portraits are a bit soft on the side and look a little noisy. The skin tone feels natural, and the colors of the octopus are normal. But the bokeh effect itself is not very convincing and often black body hair even in the process. Not even such a difficult means.

Video recording

4K video recording looks good and smooth. It is sharp, detailed and has virtually no noise. The contrast is also not over the top. And because of the thick layer of clouds above, the phone does a pretty good job of balancing shadows and marking it as well. Here are some difficult circumstances.

Electronic image stabilization, or EIS, is offered in 4K videos at 30fps and it is also a reasonable job. However, there is [email protected] support.

Competition
In terms of price, there is a lot of competition to consider, but in terms of features, the Axon 20 5G is a union. Unlike, not even just a selfie camera with a duck under the screen. For example, Axon 20 is one of the few devices with a large screen. And they’re usually the flagship. The ZTE participant is impressed with a 6.92-inch display that uses an OLED panel that supports a depth of 10-bit colors (~1 billion colors). However, if you end up here because the Axon 20 5G fits your budget, we have other viable deals you are considering.

Let’s start with the most obvious: OnePlus North. The original basic requires EUR 40 less than axis powers for EUR 410. And with the exception of novelty selfie cameras under the screen, North is better in almost every way too. The screen is brighter, which is probably more important than 10-bit color depth, overall camera performance is higher, battery life is longer and the software is more mature as a whole. The ZTE menu has a larger screen for your communication, fresh new technology, and glass and metal construction.

Approaching the 6.92 marks, we have a Galaxy M51. A little less powerful in the middle tin, but it has a great 6.7-inch screen on the side, but is limited to 60Hz. As long as you like Samsung’s new and simpler One UI 2.5, you will probably come up with an M51. Expect record battery life and of course slower charging. In fact, the battery is so large that it can be used to charge the electric bank by other devices. The best part is that the budget is simpler – about EUR 360-370.

Poco F2 Pro is still a long way from a nearly 7-inch sample of the Axon 20, but it only hits the budget. At around EUR 450, only F2 Pro compromises are an upgrade rate. But get great OLED HDR10+ support. The more powerful Snapdragon 865 sits behind the wheel and uses more competent camera settings. The battery life is longer, the miui is more flexible and mature, and the quality of construction is in order. Sure, there’s no luxurious visual UNS camera, but there’s a more reliable little fingerprint reader screen and an unstructured viewing experience even when working with new devices. You can argue that this is probably the best way to use the full screen if it’s not part of the selfie and image quality.

Verdict

Someone has to be first, and in this case, it’s Axon 20 5G. Phone with the first genetic engineering that makes really cool and disappointing at the same time. The point is, the selfie camera under the screen is too blurry and won’t meet standards until 2020. There is also a visible square where the camera is located, but we can pass because it is barely visible.

It’s still a unique phone, but not just because of the new technology. It’s also because it offers one of the biggest displays in the city. 6.92-inches is hard to beat, making it a great content consumption. 10-bit color depth and 90 Hz refresh rate are a good bonus; However, the lack of brightness-enhancing features prevents us from consuming a great rating for the screen.

The most noticeable drawback remains the relatively short battery life and an unacceptable selfie camera. All other aspects of the phone are largely in line with our expectations. Even the most refined MiFavor 10.5 looked pretty good. This is what technology shows how Axon 20 5G does. It rarely impresses from the beginning, but it is important that pioneers like ZTE.

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