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ZTE Axon 9 Pro goes official as the company's main comeback effort

ZTE Axon 9 Pro goes official as the company's main comeback effort
ZTE didn’t try very hard to keep the all-new Axon 9 Pro smartphone a secret leading up to today’s formal IFA Berlin announcement, going so far as to share an actual, high-quality product image on social media last week.

The company clearly needed buzz following a near-death experience earlier this year that led to a temporary operation shutdown in anticipation of a costly deal with the US Commerce Department for an embargo reversal.

Unfortunately, the ZTE Axon 9 Pro isn’t exactly special or eye-catching in any obvious way, at least at a first glance. Of course, being original and trying new things isn’t always a good idea, as proven by last year’s experimental, bulky, and clunky Axon M.

The Axon 9 Pro is a fairly standard single-screen affair (with a notch), measuring an expansive 6.21 inches in diagonal while sporting an unremarkable 2248 x 1080 resolution resulting in an extra-wide 18.7:9 aspect ratio.

On the bright side, we’re looking at a top-notch (no pun intended) AMOLED panel here equipped with something called Axon Vision technology for optimized color tuning, the best color reproduction adapted to your environment and surrounding lighting conditions, and HDR10 video playback capabilities.

The Axon line has always been focused on delivering a truly premium multimedia experience, so it’s definitely nice but not at all surprising to see the 9 Pro offer stereo speakers with HiFi audio technology and Dolby Atmos enhancements.

Powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor (what else?), the ZTE Axon 9 Pro combines 3D glass with a metal frame for a robust flagship construction, also packing 6GB RAM and accommodating 128 gigs of data internally. The vertically-arranged dual rear-facing cameras are naturally AI-enhanced in keeping with modern trends, featuring 12 and 20MP sensors, while a potent single 20MP front shooter is in charge of selfie action.

Perhaps the single best thing about the ZTE Axon 9 Pro is how it manages to squeeze a hefty 4,000 mAh battery into a 7.9 mm thin body. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 9, which also sports a larger screen, measures 8.8 mm thick with the same exact cell capacity. 

You also get wireless charging support, IP68 water and dust resistance, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and pre-loaded Android Oreo, no doubt with a 9.0 Pie update on the way. Basically, ZTE ticks all the right high-end boxes, but that might not be enough to keep a humdrum design from a controversial company in the spotlight for more than the remainder of Berlin’s IFA 2018 trade show. 

The ZTE Axon 9 Pro is also reportedly not headed for the US, launching in Europe at some point next month with a fairly reasonable €649 price tag attached to its name.

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