Camera

While it’s able to pull out some cool shots with its dual camera configuration, it still just trails its peers in its overall quality.

Again, we can argue that its design is inspired by HTC’s One series, as the Axon Pro is fashioned with a dual-camera setup in its rear, which works in similar fashion to how the HTC One M8 was able to apply a bokeh effect to photos post shot. Well, this particular configuration breaks down to a main 13-megapixel sensor and a secondary 2-megapixel one – accompanied with BSI, dual-LED flash, and a 6-element f/1.8 aperture lens. The love doesn’t stop there, since front camera is treated to a wide-angle 8-megapixel sensor.


A dual-camera setup isn’t really new, but it merely makes a statement for the ZTE Axon Pro. Going beyond the hardware, the camera app is sure to delight a broad range of users. Indeed, it’s accompanied with a plethora of shooting modes, such as HDR, panoramic, and time-lapse modes, but there’s a manual one that allows us to adjust the shutter speed parameter as well, which impressively tops out at 80 seconds. Going further than that, its carries a bokeh mode as well that enables it to achieve an aperture of f/1.0 via software – allowing us to adjust the focus and bokeh effect to our liking post shot.

Image Quality


Thus far, our interest has been piqued thanks to its dual-camera setup, as well as the rich shooting modes it has to offer, but at the end of the day, it’s the performance and quality that matters the most. In that regard, our views about the ZTE Axon Pro’s camera are largely positive, but it’s not enough to overcome and overpower the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4. Although, it’s still better than the HTC One M9.

To the untrained eye, the images from the Axon Pro’s camera under ideal lighting conditions are passable – blending saturated colors with average details. It’s particularly good with close-ups, especially when using its bokeh mode to achieve that professional look. Thanks to the dual-camera setup, we’re able to snap an image at will, and then have the ability to select the focus and bokeh intensity later on. From what we’re able to see, the phone does a really great job in properly recognizing boundaries – so that the out-of-focus effect is applied to areas outside of the subject.

However, upon further inspection, we can visualize how fine details appear slightly speckled looking at times when switching over its HDR mode. Additionally, it has a tough time properly applying the correct exposures to give photos that neutral dynamic range – and it doesn’t help either when colors are overblown. In fact, the end results tend to come out extremely artificial looking.

Using the automatic mode, there’s nothing to gloat about with its low light performance. Well, to be frank, it’s pretty subpar and plagued by softer toned details, graininess, and washed out colors. Enthusiasts, however, can achieve better results by properly using its manual mode. Aided by keeping the phone extremely still, whether it’s done by propping the phone against something or placing it on a stand, setting the shutter speed for a long exposure helps to draw details out – evident in the shots of the living room using varying shutters speeds between 2 to 80 seconds.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
ZTE Axon Pro 2.4
No data
534
423
Samsung Galaxy S6 2.2
2.4
No data
No data
HTC One M9 3.75
No data
No data
No data
LG G4 2.7
3.9
357
311

Video Quality


The same can be said about its video recording performance. It’s just okay, that’s all. You’ll want to stick with shooting in UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution because 1080p is just lacking the sharp details to win our eyes over. With UHD resolution, at least, it’s able to maintain a high level of clarity – while also being complemented by its super clear audio recording and fast focus adjustment. Under low lighting, though, it’s marred by muddy visuals that can sometimes see a reduction in its frame rate. And finally, its the slow-motion video capture is cool looking, but comes up short in the detail department.



Multimedia

You’ll be blown away by the Hi-Fi sound experience!

For anyone who loves editing their photos before sharing, they’ll fall in love with the ZTE Axon Pro’s various editing tools through the gallery app. Indeed, it offers all the customary options for filters and adjustments, but there’s also a useful gif animation and collage maker available through the gallery app.

Using the music player provided by ZTE as an alternative to Google’s own Play Music, it’s pretty conventional with its layout and functionality – so it’s just your ordinary, basic player. When playing music through its internal speaker, we blown away by the intensity of its volume output, which is indeed deafening at an outstanding mark of 80.3 dB, but it never sounds shrill or irritating. It simply commands authority.

Well, we can say the same thing about listening to music via its headphone jack. Despite putting out a ho-hum 0.583 V through the port, it’s able to achieve a higher degree of fidelity after enabling its Dolby Audio. Featuring two dedicated audio chipsets for Hi-Fi sound, the result is an experience that’s music to our ears, as it’s back by substantial audio ranges that never sound flat or dell. Sweetening the deal even more, the included JBL E13 in-ear headphones help solidify it as one of the best phones for music listening.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
ZTE Axon Pro 0.583
Samsung Galaxy S6 0.54
HTC One M9 1.022
LG G4 0.764
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
ZTE Axon Pro 80.3
Samsung Galaxy S6 73.7
HTC One M9 72.8
LG G4 79


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19 Comments

1. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

the screen is 5,5 inch not 5.1

2. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

LOL At 100% the images are horrible !!! Look like a paint photo

3. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1249; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I don't see any reason to pick this over the LG G4. Its worth the extra $100.

4. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

Why is no support for CDMA networks a con? I mean isn't that something we all expect when talking about unlocked phones?

5. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Another phablet.. I miss real size phones.

6. josephnero

Posts: 787; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Conclusion=nothing beats Z3 in battery life

14. SirYar

Posts: 351; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

You mean the Z3C?

17. bashartech

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

i agree

19. kupidzheart

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 13, 2014

sony t2 ultra .....budget phone but it didn't feel like it.

7. HildyJ

Posts: 341; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

My concern would be OS updates. What is ZTE's track record? Have they made an official announcement regarding Android M on the Axon?

8. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Why is the single core score so low? It's running the same 810 as m9.

9. Rajanvir

Posts: 56; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

The only Reason i'm gonna buy this mobile is because its looks alike the one and only HTC One X+

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Like old like the old HTC lineup. Sensation, Amaze, etc.

15. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Looks a lot like HTC One X in the front.

11. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

nice try zte. but i completely lost interest when you faked the dual stereo speaker thing with those aesthetic grills.

12. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Pretty good for the price. The thought the speakers are going to be sub par but this review tells otherwise.

13. ebinpissac

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

is that an HTC One X from the front?

16. Captainamerica214

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 05, 2015

Folks ZTE is awful- based in China- bought a Firefox Phone- sent without firmware-so couldn't work. Then spent 5 months speaking to Chinese staff-and still no resolution. Now they merge with Axion a French based company-great now we have companies Altcel - Lucent and Zte making phones. Buyer beware. Samsung- gauges you for huge amounts. Axon by ZTE is a no brainer. My Moto-Sony-Motorola-Nokia but stay away from the two above. Remember I told you first.

18. coldheat06

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

so not True..... I have nothing but great response from the ZTE US support team. The phone is great and I am happy with the 2 updates that they have sent out..... now if only they will just send out Marshmallow.
Axon Pro
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(12h talk time)

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