Recently ZTE made a revolution by launching the first smartphones with an under-screen camera solution. The smartphones with an under-screen camera are ZTE Axon 20 and ZTE Axon 30. But does the camera make these smartphones worth buying? Stay tuned because, in this article, we will answer this question and compare the ZTE Axon 20 and ZTE Axon 30.
Release date and price
The Axon 20 was first revealed in China in 2020. But soon after that, the company announced that the smartphone would also be coming to other markets such as the US, and UK. The phone costs $586 / £419. This price is for the version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Though, it seems like, the company is not selling any other models in these regions.
On the other hand, the ZTE Axon 30 was released on July 27, 2021, in China. As it comes with different RAM and storage variations, thus prices are changing accordingly. The base 6GB + 128GB storage variant costs $341 / £245. The 8GB + 128GB storage model costs $387 / £277. The 8GB + 256GB storage variant costs $434 / £311. And the price of the top-of-the-line 12GB + 256GB storage configuration $480 / £344.
The Axon 20 5G is quite a large smartphone. As this phone comes with a 6.92 Full HD display, it is suitable for those who are looking for a large smartphone in size. The design of the handset feels premium considering the price. In addition, this ZTE device features a glass rear. This feature is not something that you’ll always get when buying a smartphone even on more expensive Android phones. The fingerprint magnet also feels premium to touch. Moreover, it has metal edges to make the touch feel more high-end. In terms of colors, the Axon 20 is available in black, gold, blue, purple, and yellow colors.
You can find the camera module on the back of the phone, and it juts out of the back. This means that the phone will not lay down on a desk without a bit of rocking back and forth. The power button and the volume rocker are on the right edge. The speaker is at the bottom edge of the device.
If you are using the phone one-handed sometimes it will be difficult to reach the power and the volume buttons because of its large size. Perhaps, at most times you’ll use the phone with two hands to avoid unwieldy feelings with dimensions of 172.1mm x 77.9 x 8mm. In addition, the phone weighs only 198g, so it’s not heavy at all compared with the size.
The ZTE Axon 30 adopts an ultra-thin body design with a thickness of 7.8mm and a weight of 189g. As we can see, the two smartphones come with the same weight. The device comes in an ultra-narrow bezel, double waistline, and dynamic streamline aesthetic design to allow the whole device’s appearance to be premium.
The camera area is on the back of the device and it features an iconic LABEL design. The rear shell is made of 3D composite polymer material with nano-level glow texture overlaid. Its illusion holographic effect can bring a rich light and shadow change with a dazzling beauty of colors. The new device is available in two colorways: Black and Aqua.
The Axon 20 supports a 7-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2460 (388 pixels per inch). On the other hand, the display is also OLED with strong brightness as well as an easy to view screen in direct sunlight.
Further, ZTE has also adopted a 90Hz refresh rate. In other words, the images refresh quicker on the display than your average smartphone, giving you a smoother picture when playing games or scrolling through feeds. Though lots of phones now offer a faster refresh rate, and even though this is not the fastest one on the market at this moment, it is one of the cheapest phones offering this functionality. So, if you are looking for a smartphone with a large display and a smooth refresh rate, you can consider this smartphone as a good option.
The ZTE Axon 30 is the first under-display camera smartphone, with a screen of 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. It features a 6.92-inch AMOLED screen and a 20.5:9 cinema-grade screen ratio and ultra-immersive 3D audio technology. So, the smartphone brings its users a high-quality movie viewing experience. The screen covers 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and supports 10-bit color depth and 1.07 billion colors.
It is also the first one worldwide, with a high pixel density of 400 PPI. The new device comes with an independent screen display chip. In addition, 7 layers of highly transparent materials and 3 special processing technologies are to make the under-display camera area more light-transmissive.
At the same time, the ZTE Axon 30 is the first smartphone across the globe to feature three authoritative eye protection certifications, covering TUV, SGS, and UL. The screen of this device can effectively reduce blue light radiation, protect eyesight, and support DC dimming to reduce visual fatigue caused by screen flicker.
What can we conclude? In terms of display, the Axon 30 provides better features.
As these two smartphones stand out for their under-screen camera solution, we will talk about the front camera first. Probably you have asked yourself: how has ZTE made this possible? Well, it is because ZTE uses two screens simultaneously but one of those is a small square screen on top of the selfie camera and the phone’s main OLED display.
What are the results? The result is not that fantastic and though the ZTE Axon 20 comes with a 32MP f/2.0 you are unlikely to get better shots out of this phone than many others offered on the market. Mostly, you will not see the camera under the display. But we have found out that it is visible sometimes when you are in certain apps. For example, when using Google Chrome you can see the selfie camera due to the light images around it.
On the rear, there is a super-powerful camera, especially considering the price of the device. The camera is a 64MP f/1.8 main shooter that’s flanked by an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 2MP f/2.4 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. In terms of video, you can record in 4K at 30 frames per second or 60 frames per second, and there are a variety of other modes too.
On the other hand, the ZTE Axon 30 5G comes with a quad rear camera setup with a 64MP sensor with an f/1.79 lens. Other cameras on the back of the device include an 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, a 5MP macro shooter, and a 2MP depth sensor. According to ZTE, the ZTE Axon 30 supports dual-way video stabilization for the main camera and a wide angle camera that can intelligently correct video shooting jitter in motion and make dynamic video shooting more clear and stable. The phone’s VLOG intelligent short video functions support Hitchcock zoom, pull focus effects, built-in fast playback, slow motion, and rewind. It is also equipped with dynamic, artistic, and multiple sets of cool filming templates to support users in easily filming in a variety of different styles.
Currently, we cannot talk about the details of the camera experience, as it has been launched just recently. But it promises to be good.
However, one of the most essential features of smartphones is battery life. And it is worth focusing on when buying a smartphone. The Axon 20 has a battery capacity of 4220mAh. The smartphone can last a whole day even with lots of use of its big screen. Moreover, on some occasions with more minimal usage, the device can last even longer. Considering its big screen, the battery capacity is quite good. But you should take into account that you cannot use the device for 2 days without charging unless you are very light in your usage. In addition, it comes with 30W fast charging and Quick Charge 4+. So, you can charge the handset to 60% in 30 minutes.
What about the ZTE Axon 30, it supports a Li-ion 4200mAh battery and 55W fast charging. The triple ice cooling system, consisting of a large VC liquid cooling plate, high power thermal gel, and graphene copper-based composite material, can guarantee the continuous high performance of the device
Specs and performance
The ZTE Axon 20 sports a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset powering the device. And the choice of 6GB or 8GB of RAM. The 8GB RAM variant can run top apps, play games smoothly, and take on a variety of tasks with ease. In addition, there’s also microSD support if you want some extra space at a later date. According to Benchmarks, the ZTE Axon 20 5G is capable with a score of 1910. The device is also capable of 5G connectivity. 5G coverage is a useful spec for the phone to have at these times.
The ZTE Axon 30 sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870G mobile platform with a “1+3+4” octa-core design and a maximum core frequency of 3.2GHz. This perfectly supports a professional-class gaming experience with its computing, graphics rendering, and networking capabilities. The new device adopts the self-developed memory fusion technology. It uses a part of the free storage space to expand the running memory by up to 5GB.
In terms of 5G experience, the ZTE Axon 30 provides seamless connectivity. The phone features the 5G super antenna 3.1, including an “anti-lock” antenna system and a dual Wi-Fi antenna.