Obviously this review is really late since this phone was released last year, so I’ll try my best to make it different from the others.
First off I’m not going to bore you with the specs of the phone since you can find there anywhere else, but here are the quick basics: Snapdragon 820 Processor, Adreno 530 GPU, 5.5′ 1440p IPS Display, and 64gb of storage + expandable micro sd slot.
One of the most prominent features of this phone featured in every review is the speakers. Undoubtedly they are the best on any phone right now since HTC stopped making theirs this way, but do the live up to the hype? Personally, I have mixed feelings. Yes they incredibly loud, the DAC is great, but they still speakers on a phone. They can only sound so good, my advice is not hype yourself too much on them. I will agree that they are the best smartphone speakers. The reality is that the Dolby Atmos Surround is absolutely amazing, but I haven’t found much real world use for it other than the included demo. Using the default setting for musics honestly makes it sound weird to my taste, however, you are able to customize the EQ settings to your liking.
I’ve been using this phone for the last month and a half. I haven’t found any major deal breakers yet. It definitely has it’s quirks but it’s still a great phone. I’ll run any app you throw at it easily. Multi-tasking is also a pinch on it since it’s essentially a stripped down Galaxy S7.
Using the phone is incredibly smooth. I thought I would have a problem with the MiFavor skin, but I still have installed an aftermarket launcher yet. It’s not stock android but it definitely emulates it really well. except for the fact that it doesn’t have an app drawer. That last bit would make it easier to transition from iOS.
For those few people asking this question, yes, it can fly a drone. The snapdragon 820 is identical to the S7 making flying a drone a no brainer. It its perfectly compatible with the DJI drone. Side fact, using DSLR controller, I worked perfectly as a controller when I put my Canon DSLR on a gimbal rig. In both scenarios, the 5.5 inch 1440p, yes that’s 1440p display made it the perfect choice, making footage look better than it actually is. That’s actually kind of dangerous now that I think of it. Whether for media consumption or aiding the creation of media the display is a joy to use.
Both cameras are quite standard for this price point, 8mp front-facing and 20mp rear-facing, except that the rear facing 20 mega pixel camera is capable of shooting 4k video at 30 fps and with a H.265 codec. There are only a handful of cameras in the market that shoot 4k let alone using a H.265 codec. The codec does make editing the footage harder since editing software doesn’t natively support the codec yet. Admittedly, when it comes to low light, it’a not quite a performer, but if you know what you’re doing you can get pretty decent results using the manual mode, but still no Galaxy S7.
One other gripe I have is with the fingerprint scanner. It’s too good! the positioning is perfect, I haven’t had any problems finding it at all despite it being on the back of the phone. It just too good, dangerously good. I feel it’s too easy to unlock with your finger barely on the scanner. Sometime I don’t mean to unlock it, just play with the scanner and it unlocks every time. That being said I wouldn’t want it to be any less sensitive.
The two biggest cons in my opinion is the slippery back of the phone and very rare cases. Both of which can be easily solved. The slippery back can be solved simply but using the included clear (and clunky) silicone case or applying a skin as I have with mine. The second is something you should peace with if you’re getting a smartphone that isn’t a top of the line Samsung or iPhone.
In conclusion, the ZTE Axon 7 is one of the best phones at this price point. second only to the One Plus 3T. I would give the best adding the fact that it’s quite easy to find compared to the rare store that sells the One Plus 3T. Yes I got it from a store, I prefer it that way. The phone exceeds all my expectations except for an over-hyped sound system that is definitely amazing, would have been better if there wasn’t so much hype about it. At this price point it’s are to say there are any competitors with is amount of availability. Is this phone for you? I would that depends if you’re someone who likes to stand out from the crowd and use a different phone and doesn’t mind people calling it an HTC.
It’s an ZTE!!!!!