- Analysis by KJ David
Entering the market looking like the classic Nintendo 3DS gaming console, ZTE's Axon M is one of the world's first foldable smartphones , rocking a list of pros and cons that's headlined by twin 5.2-inch full-color Full HD (1920 x 1080) displays , which are both furbished by 5th-generation 2.5D Gorilla Glass . Decorating its dual-screen technology are features like Extended Mode , which basically extends the total screen diagonal to a tablet-esque 6.75 inches, and Dual Mode , letting you stream or play games on one screen while scrolling down social media on the other. A Traditional Mode is on board as well.
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Its unique form factor comes with a price, though, since the Axon M settles for a budget-tier TFT screen architecture (In comparison, some 2017 flagships boast AMOLED or pOLED screens) and weighs a hulking 8.1 ounces . Additionally, with most of the attention pooled into its rare interface, the Axon M lacks a secondary camera entirely , although its lone 20-megapixel 4K-video-capable dual-flash camera is by no means a lackluster effort from ZTE and it is used as the selfie cam too, which ends up being somewhat of a pro , after all.
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Powering this foldable Android is a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor , which is a fitting high-end CPU, despite ZTE doing away with an octa-core system . Accompanying the forenamed engine is a 4GB RAM , while a 64GB memory expandable by a maximum of 256GB is in charge of storage. For power, the Axon M comes with a 3180mAh battery capacity , which seems oddly-low, taking into account its dual-screen profile. That said, it promises 28.7 hours of talk time , which is a slight consolation.
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Joining its pros and cons include fingerprint user authentication and the Dolby Atmos audio system clubbed with dual speakers , both rather standard facets for a 2017 high-end ZTE device. It is only offered Carbon Black and it runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat out of the box.
In review, the ZTE Axon M calls out to upmarket Android buyers who think that foldable smartphones are the way to go, but would prefer their dual-display Android to pack some high-end specs here and there.
On-paper Review rating:
It's all well and good that the ZTE Axon M can record high-resolution 3840 x 2160 movies, but we were disappointed not to find any evidence of the Axon M featuring an HDMI port (which is convenient to watch HD videos on your shiny HDTV.)
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We didn't find SAR (radiation level) information for this phone.
- Recommended alternative: The best low-SAR phones
It's disappointing that we could not find its weight information.
Not only does it have a 2.15GHz processor clock speed, but it also has 4 cores.
- See also: List of the fastest Android smartphones
The screen is larger than usual, making it a phablet: 5.2 (Dual Screens) inches and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (both screens) pixels means about 11.55 square inches and an image quality of at least 426 dots per inch (DPI)!
- Also read: View other large smartphones and phablets
The Axon M is has an exceptional 20-megapixel camera.
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