The ZTE Axon 20 5G is one of the first commercially available cellphones to use an under-display camera, while ZTE has beendeveloping this technology for quite some time.
It wasn’t very nice back then; the image quality itself wasn’t very excellent, and the pixel density above the camera was terribly low and protruded like a sore thumb. With the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, released two generations later, the firm has significantly enhanced its under-display cameras.
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is a terrific phone in and of itself, even though it lacks the under-display camera that is its main selling point. The Full HD 6.8-inch display and top Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU make it a premium experience, and the phone’s build quality feels good in the hand.
Even better, there is absolutely no notch or punch hole anywhere on the display, making it a fantastic smartphone for watching media.
But is the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra a worthwhile purchase? It’s difficult to say. It’s advised to avoid snapping selfies if you do it more often than once per month. Alternatively, if you seldom snap selfies but want them to be of the highest quality, you should still decline. But if you don’t care about selfies, keep reading. You could use this phone.
Design of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra has a soft-touch glass back that shines in certain lighting settings, small bezels, and an extraordinarily luxurious look.
The camera island on the rear has three equal-sized sensors and more camera branding, and it feels fantastic in the hand. The “ZTE” logo is then imprinted on the bottom.
The phone’s front is just as luxurious. Because of the waterfall display, the big 6.8-inch screen extends to the edges, and the corners have such a short radius that they don’t exactly seem to be curved.
It resembles a current Samsung Galaxy Note/S22 Ultra or a Google Pixel 6 Pro in general appearance. The front’s finest feature is how utterly invisible the selfie camera hidden behind the display is. This time, it’s much more difficult to see, and it’s simple to forget that it’s even there.
It’s very good to watch Netflix, YouTube, and simply use my phone.
The pop-up camera on devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro provided it for me, and although the Axon 20 came close to satisfying my need, the poor pixel density around the camera made it unsatisfactory.
I thought the Full HD screen would have low pixel density on this huge monitor, but I was mistaken. Although I still wish it had a Quad HD display, it looks excellent and is hardly apparent when using your phone.
I do wonder whether the Full HD panel’s lower pixel density is advantageous for the camera since it would account for why an otherwise super-flagship phone only has a 1080p display.
You can see the under-display camera while focusing on it, but only in certain lighting conditions and with particular phone angles. You won’t really ever detect it while gazing at it directly since it is considerably more difficult to capture.
It’s a significant advance over the company’s earlier products that used this camera technology since you hardly ever see it. You have to look very closely to find it, even in the image up top. Look just next to the Google News notification symbol, as a hint.Cameras, ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Even if the selfie camera on the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is more discrete than before, it’s difficult to determine how much better it is now. Even after smoothing out images, it still has a “soft” appearance and has trouble with bright lights of any kind.
Any light sources visible in the viewfinder will significantly bloom and completely ruin the picture quality while in direct sunlight. Photographic “bloom” is the term used to describe the halo-like appearance that is seen around light sources in pictures and is an issue, especially with under-display cameras.
However, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra’s rear cameras are really rather good. They still do an excellent job of offering consistent quality across all three lenses since they continue to maintain outstanding hardware for all three back cameras, despite the fact that I’ve used better across a tonne of other devices.
I like the adaptability since switching to a different sensor doesn’t make me feel inferior. An element of smartphone cameras that is sometimes disregarded is the fact that all three punch at about the same level.Performance
Newest flagship chipset
The newest flagship chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, is used in almost every flagship phone that has been made public to far.
Although it’s a strong processor, we often see manufacturers battling to control the heat it produces.
That is also true of ZTE, whose ZTE Axon 40 Ultra achieves a balance between battery use performance. Although there are minor errors, generally, it’s a really good implementation.
Charger and battery
It’s possible that ZTE’s management of the chipset is the reason behind the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra’s exceptional battery life.
With my smartphone, I could use the screen for somewhere between four and six hours, with the upper end of that range seeming to be almost impossible with current generation of flagship phones.
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh battery can be charged at 65W using the included charger, which also supports USB Power Delivery with PPS. That means you can use it to quickly charge other devices as well, such as the Nintendo Switch or the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, in addition to your phone.
The fact that many devices now support Power Delivery and that many more will in the future, owing to the European Union, suggests that this will likely rank among the top USB PD chargers.
Regarding charging time, I’ve discovered that the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra often takes 40 minutes or less, which is excellent for a smartphone.
The MyOS-based Android 12 ZTE Axon 40 Ultra stands out from the competition thanks to a few clever concepts. I really wanted to like it, spoiler alert. As far as Android flavours go, it’s definitely not the worst I’ve tried, but it is a distinct taste with some interesting concepts. Nevertheless, there are several issues with it.
But I’ll start with what I find most enjoyable. In terms of appearance, it actually keeps a lot of the Android 12 look and feel.
At the top, there are four sizable toggles, and by lowering the notification shade one level, more toggles become visible. Additionally, you may customise your lock screen, set an always-on display, and alter many other aspects of the launcher.
The launcher is among the nicest I’ve encountered that comes preinstalled on a smartphone from a usability standpoint. On the left side, there is an alphabetically scrollable app drawer. There are also a few customising options, including animation settings.
Now, some of the things I dislike are quite aggravating. To begin with, the notification centre itself has a rather jumbled feeling. You can nearly see how “Device controls” extends outside of the bubble in the screenshots above.
Icons below fast settings seem disorganised and perplexing. Additionally, I’ve discovered that unlike how Android is intended to work, listening to music doesn’t anchor Spotify or YouTube to the top of my notification list. It is discarded with the rest of the notifications and handled like any other notification.