ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G and mid-range Blade V10 make their MWC 2019 debut
ZTE is back in business following a near-death experience last year that's still haunting the company, threatening to re-escalate if the strict terms of a probationary deal with the US Department of Commerce are violated again. While the Chinese OEM already sells a few new phones stateside, its focus for the near future will probably be on European and Asian markets, where the MWC 2019-unveiled Axon 10 Pro 5G and Blade V10 are headed over the next few months.
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
This bad boy's predecessor seemed like a decent high-ender that ticked pretty much all the right boxes at a fairly aggressive price point, but everything is now upgraded and refined to keep up with the rapid changes of the industry.
5G connectivity may prove to be a genuine game-changer, even though global network deployment is still slow and patchy. ZTE is touting a number of 5G partnerships with carriers like China Telecom, Finland's Elisa, and Austria's Hutchison Drei, but unfortunately, the release timeline is a nondescript "first half" of the year, with pricing kept completely under wraps.
It's obvious that we're not dealing with an inexpensive flagship this time around, though, and not just because the 5G-enabled Axon 10 Pro packs an obligatory state-of-the-art Snapdragon 855 processor and Snapdragon X50 modem. You also get a faster and "more concise" in-display fingerprint recognition method rather than a conventional biometric sensor slapped on the handset's back.
Speaking of the display, whose size and resolution are unspecified, it's certainly nice to see a waterdrop-style notch at the top instead of the unnecessarily wide screen cutout of the Axon 9 Pro. The "chin" is also pretty slim, while ZTE advertises "significant gains in both size and thickness" as compared to a "4G smartphone." That sounds interesting, considering the Axon 9 Pro is not exactly bulky, but once again, the specifics are oddly left out.
The same goes for the megapixel count, purpose, and capabilities of the three AI-enhanced rear-facing cameras in tow here, not to mention things like memory, storage, or battery capacity. It sounds like this device isn't quite finished yet, so let's move on to the...
ZTE Blade V10
For those who might not be familiar with the company's branding and release strategies, the Blade lineup consists of low-end and mid-range models like the Max View and Max 2s you can officially buy in the US unlocked. The ZTE Blade V10 is significantly more feature-packed, including a remarkable 32MP "smart selfie" shooter highlighted as the phone's key selling point, a 6.3-inch "full density" screen with FHD+ resolution (2280 x 1080 pixels), and dual rear-facing cameras.
The large display is surrounded by noticeably thicker bezels than the Axon 10 Pro 5G, but it also comes with a teeny-tiny notch housing that mind-blowing front snapper capable of producing crystal clear selfies in low-light environments.
The two 16 + 5MP cameras on the back of the Blade V10 are billed as standout low-light performers too, while Android 9.0 Pie runs the software show, and a decently sized 3,100 mAh battery is in charge of keeping the lights on.
The 4G LTE-only device measures 7.8 mm in thickness, does away with the in-display fingerprint reader in favor of a more traditional (and cheaper) rear-mounted sensor, also packing up to 4GB RAM and 64 gigs of internal storage space. There are no words on pricing as far as this impressive mid-ranger is concerned either, but folks in China, Europe, and Latin America only need to wait until March to get their hands on that 32MP selfie beast.