ZTE Axon 40 Extremely Evaluation: Incredible at all the pieces, besides selfies

ZTE has been engaged on its under-display digicam tech for fairly some time now, with the ZTE Axon 20 5G being one of many first business units to pack one. Again then it wasn’t nice — the pixel density over the digicam was extremely low and stood out like a sore thumb, and the image high quality itself wasn’t superb. Now, two generations later with the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely, the corporate has improved on its under-display cameras an entire lot.

Nevertheless, even with out the headlining characteristic of an under-display digicam, the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is a improbable telephone in its personal proper. The flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset alongside the Full HD 6.8-inch panel makes it a premium expertise, and the construct high quality of the telephone is great within the hand. Even higher is the truth that the show is totally unimpeded by any form of notch or punch gap, making it a superb smartphone for media consumption.

Is the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely value your cash, although? It’s arduous to say. If you end up taking selfies greater than as soon as a month, then it’s finest to present it a move. Alternatively, if it’s uncommon you’re taking a selfie however you need it to be the absolute best high quality whenever you do, then you must nonetheless move. If selfies don’t matter to you, although, then learn on. This can be the telephone for you.

    The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely has an under-display digicam that does not do a fantastic job, however stays properly hidden. It packs different flagship specs too that assist it contend as a prime smartphone.

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely: Specs

Specification ZTE Axon 40 Extremely
Dimensions & Weight
  • 163.28mm × 73.56mm × 8.41mm
  • 204grams
  • 6.8-inch AMOLED
  • Full HD+  (2480 x 1110)
  • 360Hz contact sampling charge
  • 1500nits
  • 100% DCI-P3 huge coloration gamut protection
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
    • 1x ARM Cortex-X2 @ 3.0GHz
    • 3x ARM Cortex-A710 @ 2.50GHz
    • 4x ARM Cortex-A510 @ 1.80GHz
  • Adreno 730 GPU
RAM & Storage
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 65W quick charging assist
Safety In-display optical fingerprint scanner
Rear Digicam(s)
  • Main: 64MP IMX787
    • 16mm equal focal size
    • Vast angle and macro 2-in-1
    • 4cm AF micro
    • Free type floor with low distortion
    • f/2.35
  • Secondary: 64MP IMX787 ultra-wide
    • 35mm equal focal size
    • OIS
    • f/1.6
  • Tertiary: 64MP telephoto
    • 91mm equal focal size
    • 5.7x optical zoom
    • f/3.5
    • OIS
Entrance Digicam(s)
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • 5G NR
  • NFC
  • GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
  • Stereo audio system
Software program ZTE MyOS primarily based on Android 12

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely: Band assist

  • For Europe:
    • NR: n78/1/3/5/7/28/38/40/41
    • FDD: B1/3/5/7/8/20/28
    • TDD: 38/40/41 UMTS:B1/2/5/8
    • GSM: B2/3/5/8
  • For non-Europe:
    • NR: n77/78/1/2/3/5/7/28/38/40/41/66
    • FDD: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28/66
    • TDD: 38/40/41 UMTS:B1/2/4/5/8
    • GSM: B2/3/5/8

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely: Design

  • Lovely design
  • Massive digicam array
  • Utterly unimpeded show

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The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely packs an extremely premium design, with skinny bezels and a soft-touch glass again that sparkles below particular lighting situations. It feels good within the hand and the digicam island on the again packs three equally-sized sensors, together with extra digicam branding. Lastly, the “ZTE” insignia is emblazoned on the underside.

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely packs an extremely premium design

The entrance of the telephone is equally premium. The big 6.8-inch panel goes edge to edge due to the waterfall show, and the corners have such a small radius that it doesn’t fairly seem like they’re curved. It principally appears to be like like a current Samsung Galaxy Observe/S22 Extremely, or a Google Pixel 6 Professional.

1654948086 499 ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Review Fantastic at everything except selfies - ZTE Axon 40 Extremely Evaluation: Incredible at all the pieces, besides selfies

The very best a part of the entrance is how utterly undetectable the under-display selfie digicam is. It’s manner tougher to see this time round, and it’s very simple to overlook that it’s even there. Watching Netflix, YouTube, and simply utilizing my telephone is extraordinarily good due to it. It’s one thing I missed from the likes of the OnePlus 7 Professional with its pop-up digicam, and whereas the Axon 20 almost scratched that itch for me, the low pixel density across the digicam ruined it.

In terms of pixel density, I used to be fearful that the Full HD panel could be poor on this measurement show, however I used to be mistaken. It appears to be like good and is barely noticeable when simply utilizing your telephone — although I nonetheless want it had a Quad HD show. I do marvel if the decrease pixel density of the Full HD panel is useful for the digicam, as it might clarify why an in any other case super-flagship telephone solely has a 1080p show.

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Specializing in that under-display digicam itself, it’s doable to see it, however solely in particular lighting and solely when tilting the telephone a sure manner. It’s a lot tougher to catch it, and also you gained’t actually ever spot it when taking a look at it head-on. It’s an enormous enchancment from the corporate’s previous units that packed this digicam system, as you’ll almost by no means see it. Even within the above photograph, you should look arduous for it. Right here’s a tip: look straight beside the Google Information notification icon.

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely: Cameras

  • Utterly “meh” entrance digicam
  • Respectable again cameras

Selfie digicam

Whereas the selfie digicam on the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is best hidden than ever earlier than, it’s arduous to say that it’s truly improved by a lot. It nonetheless appears to be like “comfortable” in the way it smoothens out images, and it struggles with any robust mild sources. When in direct mild, any mild sources proven within the viewfinder will bloom closely and destroy the photograph high quality fully. “Bloom” in images refers back to the halo-like impact which is seen round mild sources in images and is an issue particularly on under-display cameras.

If you wish to get a telephone the place you will be taking a number of selfies, then keep away from this one

The explanation for the poor selfie high quality is as a result of it’s as should you have been attempting to take a photograph by means of a window — which is actually what’s occurring, besides it’s by means of your telephone display. If you wish to get a telephone the place you’ll be taking a number of selfies, then I counsel staying away from this one. I might by no means use this telephone digicam for taking selfies with family and friends, however I can see it getting used typically for video calls and the like.

All in all, this feels similar to the selfie digicam on each the ZTE Axon 20 and the ZTE Axon 30. The corporate has gotten higher at hiding its under-display cameras for positive, however I’m undecided I can say they’ve improved the standard all that a lot.

Again cameras

The again cameras on the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely, nevertheless, are literally fairly first rate. I’ve used higher throughout a ton of different units, however they nonetheless do a very good job at offering constant high quality throughout all three lenses as they keep nice {hardware} for all three rear cameras. I’m an enormous fan of the flexibility, because it doesn’t really feel like I’m downgrading simply because I swap to a different sensor. All three punch at about the identical stage, which is an typically neglected side of smartphone cameras.

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Taking pictures with the first digicam on this telephone feels just a little bit zoomed in, and that’s due to the 35mm equal focal size. ZTE says it permits for higher images, however the issue is that it may simply be annoying to shoot with because it means you should again up out of your topic much more when taking a photograph.


  • Typical Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 warmth vs. efficiency challenges
  • Attention-grabbing throttling efficiency

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the most recent flagship chipset from Qualcomm, and it’s the premise of just about each flagship telephone we’ve seen launched to date. It’s a strong chip, although we’ve persistently seen producers struggling to tame it and the warmth that it generates. ZTE is not any completely different in that regard, because the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely manages to strike a steadiness between energy consumption and efficiency. There are some missteps, however total, it’s a really first rate implementation.

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely manages to strike a steadiness between energy consumption and efficiency

At first, it’s vital to say that sure, at instances, the telephone can certainly find yourself feeling gradual or laggy. I particularly discover it when unlocking my telephone, although the identical can often occur when opening the digicam app too. I additionally got here throughout this on the Honor Magic 4 Professional, and I believe it’s a results of throttling the chipset. Cameras are fairly hefty on the software program computational facet, and it might make sense that it’d wrestle if the chip is being throttled.

The outcomes obtained by means of CPU Throttling Take a look at and Geekbench 5 are consultant of what the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can obtain although. I discovered it fascinating when working CPU Throttling Take a look at, because it began off fairly poor, and picked up tempo over the course of 5 minutes or so. It could spike up then again down, getting barely greater on some spikes than others.

This habits was constant throughout a number of runs, and I imagine there could also be some intelligent course of scheduling happening to attempt to work out if an utility requires constant extra assets. I’ve by no means seen this habits when working this check earlier than, but it surely’s fascinating to see and simply is perhaps a singular method to coping with this chipset.

Battery and charging

  • Makes use of 65W Energy supply charger included within the field
  • Costs to full in ~40 minutes

The battery life on the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely has been fairly spectacular, and that could be due to how ZTE is dealing with the chipset. I used to be reaching anyplace between 4 and 6 hours of display on time when utilizing my smartphone, with the higher-end of that spectrum seemingly being almost unachievable with this era of flagship telephones.

That 5,000 mAh battery within the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely may be charged at 65W with the included charger within the field, and that charger additionally helps USB Energy Supply with PPS. Which means not solely are you able to quick cost your telephone, however you too can use it to quick cost different units too just like the Nintendo Swap or the Samsung Galaxy S22 collection. Loads of devices use Energy Supply and much more are going to due to the European Union, so it’s seemingly this may find yourself being probably the greatest USB PD chargers.

As for charging velocity, I’ve discovered that the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely fees usually in round 40 minutes, which is fairly stellar for any smartphone. I don’t have any complaints in that division.

ZTE’s MyOS isn’t nice

  • It has a very nice implementation of Android 12.
  • Aggressive background process killing and delayed notifications maintain it again.
  • ZTE’s longer-term replace observe report is abysmal.

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely comes with MyOS primarily based on Android 12, and it has a number of good concepts that set it except for the remainder of the gang. Spoiler, I actually needed to love it. It’s a singular taste of Android with some good concepts, and so far as Android variants go, it’s definitely not the worst that I’ve used. However, it has fairly a number of issues. I’ll begin with what I like first, although.

Seems to be-wise, it truly retains numerous the Android 12 feel and appear. It has 4 massive toggles on the prime, and flattening the notification shade to its subsequent stage will present extra toggles. You can even create a customizable always-on show, modify your lock display, and alter loads in regards to the launcher, too. From a usability perspective, the launcher is among the finest I’ve used that’s come preloaded on a smartphone. It has an app drawer you could scroll by means of alphabetically on the left-hand facet, and there are a number of personalization choices too, together with animation selections.

Now, a number of the stuff I don’t like that’s extremely irritating. For starters, the notification heart itself feels extremely disjointed. Even within the screenshots above, you’ll be able to see how “Machine controls” is nearly lengthy sufficient to increase exterior of the bubble. The icons beneath fast settings really feel jumbled and complicated. I’ve additionally discovered that after I’m listening to music, it doesn’t anchor Spotify or YouTube to the highest of my notifications like Android is supposed to. It’s handled as another notification and thrown someplace in the remainder of the pile.

In terms of notifications, I simply do not get a number of them

Not solely that, however with regards to notifications, I simply don’t get a number of them. The worst offender is Slack, the place for some purpose, they arrive in delayed. I don’t imply delayed as in they take a couple of minutes to reach but when I open the app they arrive immediately, I imply delayed. I can get a message from a colleague on Slack, reply to it on my telephone, after which shut the app and get a notification minutes later. It’s a habits I’ve solely ever skilled one different time, and that was with the OnePlus Nord 2. It’s additionally notably overzealous at killing apps within the background, with it taking a number of minutes at a time to get Fb Messenger notifications.

MyOS is so near being a very good Android variant, and to date, I’m largely having fun with it. As properly, whereas the corporate hasn’t been recognized for its dedication to software program updates, I’ve already obtained three updates all through the overview interval. They’ll nearly definitely taper off, however I’m hopeful that ZTE could keep up to the mark a bit extra this time round versus the corporate’s earlier makes an attempt at updating its personal flagships. For context, the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely from final 12 months is just now beginning to get a secure Android 12 construct… in China. Don’t purchase this telephone for the replace promise, albeit we keep eager for a turnaround.

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely: Miscellaneous

Sign power

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely has no drawback holding a sign just about wherever I’m. I get VoLTE too for high-definition calls, although I can’t get Wi-Fi calling working for no matter purpose.

Audio system

The audio system are loud, however not the loudest that I’ve used. They’re a pair of twin audio system with the top-firing speaker being quieter than the bottom-firing. They get the job executed and are your typical smartphone audio system, so what to anticipate right here.

Vibration motor

The vibration motor on the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is fairly good, and the haptic suggestions feels good when typing. I’ve missed a number of notifications every now and then when it’s in my pocket, however not typically sufficient that I believe it’s a weak motor.

Bootloader and kernel sources

The kernel supply for the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is presently accessible on ZTE’s personal web site. As for bootloader unlocking, it’s presently not formally doable.

Field contents

  • Telephone (duh)
  • 65W charging brick
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Primary case

Must you purchase the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely?

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is a telephone with a number of compromises, but it surely’s aimed toward a really particular kind of consumer. If you happen to don’t care in regards to the selfie digicam, it’s most likely already excessive up in your checklist due to that stellar show. Coming in at €829 although, it’s a fairly tall ask when there are smartphones with a number of the identical options and higher cameras for lots cheaper.

For instance, in Europe, it can save you €80 and get the Realme GT 2 Professional, a telephone that actually provides much more. You get an extended assist window, a lot better cameras, the identical charging velocity, higher software program, and a a lot nicer QHD+ LTPO show. The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely’s finest promoting level is the show, however even that lots of people seemingly gained’t care about and falters behind the show tech of a less expensive telephone. A pal of mine noticed the ZTE Axon 40 Extremely and thought it was cool, however identified that the front-facing digicam on their telephone doesn’t hassle them as a result of it’s within the heart of the standing bar anyway. To be trustworthy, I utterly see the place they’re coming from.

Do customers actually care that a lot about punch-hole cameras?

It’s nice to see ZTE spearheading under-display digicam expertise, however I don’t understand how a lot customers care. Whereas images and movies nonetheless look terrible, most individuals gained’t care in the event that they get a number of pixels again on their telephone’s show. I prefer it for viewing content material, however the trade-off isn’t value it. Similar to small telephones, the demand is there for a really area of interest userbase, however time and time once more it’s been proven that individuals total desire the flexibility of a bigger telephone. The identical may be stated right here in regards to the front-facing digicam.

Is that this telephone worthy of the “Extremely” tagline, then? I believe regardless of the failings in its digicam system, I believe so. ZTE has crafted an impressive smartphone right here, even when it’s not the perfect of the perfect you could get. I prefer it and also you most likely will too, however the price ticket is one thing that you just’ll must weigh up towards the competitors to see if it’s actually value your cash.

The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely is accessible within the following areas, at $799/829 euros/709 kilos.

  • North America: Canada, United States (56 of 62 states. American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands not included)
  • Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Eire, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain(50 of 52 provinces), Sweden, United Kingdom
  • Center East: Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
  • Asia Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Macao SAR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Africa: South Africa (8 of 9 provinces)

    The ZTE Axon 40 Extremely has an under-display digicam that does not do a fantastic job, however stays properly hidden. It packs different flagship specs too that assist it contend as a prime smartphone.

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