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ZTE Axon 30 Ultra: Hands-on

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra is the 2021 flagship offering from the company. With a starting price of $749, the Axon 30 Ultra positions itself somewhere between the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and the Galaxy S21 when it comes to price. However, the specs sheet mentions perks and features you’d expect out of much more expensive phones: 65W fast charging, a periscope zoom camera, a Snapdragon 888 chip with 5G, and a 144Hz OLED display, for example.

It is natural to ask now what cuts have been made for a phone like the Axon 30 Ultra to undercut the competition. We hope to have the answer when we’re done with our full Axon 30 Ultra review later this month. For now, let’s take a quick first look at the phone and see what it has to offer.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra Design and feel

The Axon 30 Ultra feels just a bit smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in the hand. The phone is roughly the same size as the Galaxy S21 Plus. With a weight of 188 grams, the phone feels balanced and light for its size. The Axon 30 Ultra has curved edges on the display, which help shrink the side bezels and make it look more expensive.

ZTE’s newest smartphone feels well built and polished. An aluminum body is present on the Axon 30 Ultra. Тhe back of the phone feels a bit plasticky, but at least it is not prone to fingerprints, feeling similar in terms of build to the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S20 FE. The Axon 30 Ultra’s body is a bit slippery and edgy, so you better be careful when holding it. The quad-camera module is on the big side and protrudes from the back of the device.



The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra’s strongest feature could be its display. The phone rocks a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with 10-bit color depth, 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut, HDR10+ compliance, and a whopping 144Hz refresh rate. By default, the screen refresh rate is on Auto, but you can quickly change it to be either 60, 90, 120 or 144Hz at all times. The screen has a 300Hz touch sampling rate as well, which will help with the gaming performance. Of course, the higher you go, the more battery the screen will drain.


Battery and performance

As far as specs go, the Axon 30 Ultra is equipped with the Snapdragon 888, which is the best processor for Android phones in 2021 and a rare find at this price point. The processor is coupled with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, depending on the version you choose. The storage is respectively 128GB or 256GB, with the latter costing additional $100.

Battery-wise, the Axon 30 Ultra has a 4,600mAh unit with 65W fast charging. We should note that the 65W charger is included in the box, making the new ZTE phone even better value. The phone has a triple cooling system that uses heat-transmitting gel to help prevent overheating when throwing heavy tasks and games at it.


A quad-camera system is located on the back. The cameras are as follows:

  • 64MP main camera, f/1.6 aperture, OIS
  • 64MP ultra-wide camera, 120-degree
  • 64MP portrait camera, f/1.9 aperture, 35mm equivalent
  • 8MP telephoto camera, 5x optical zoom, OIS

The main camera uses a Sony IMX686 sensor. The telephoto camera has 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom, with optical image stabilization for better results. The Axon 30 Ultra also has laser autofocus. The device can capture 8K 30fps video as well. The front camera is a 16MP punch-hole unit. It definitely looks like ZTE are taking photography seriously with this one. We’ll see how the cameras perform in our upcoming review.












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