ZTE's Axon 7 has some of the best hardware I've ever seen, but its software is a major letdown. Ryan's review and many more indicate that I'm not alone in thinking this. With this latest update for the Axon 7, ZTE doesn't change much visually, but there are quite a few upgrades under the hood.

Changelog

  • Group text messaging feature added
  • Android security patches updated through September 1st, including the infamous Qualcomm Quadrooter flaws
  • RF performance and signal bar indicator optimization
  • New "Fast battery drain apps" feature to identify apps that are sucking the most battery
  • Overall battery life optimization
  • Camera improvements, including general focus enhancements
  • Numerous minor enhancements and bug fixes

Probably the biggest improvement here is the better RF performance. The Axon 7, for whatever reason, is terrible with handling signal; both Wi-Fi and cellular signals are weaker than competitors'. You might think that ZTE is aiming for a placebo effect by simply bumping up the bars, but users are reporting that performance in this arena has indeed been boosted. Also of note are the September security patch, battery life and camera improvements, and a group text messaging feature. It's nice to see a Chinese phone with such a heavy skin on top getting such quick updates.

This isn't included in the changelog on ZTE's Community post, but ZTE's official blog is saying that the fingerprint sensor has been made faster and more accurate. Since the Axon 7's fingerprint scanner is a bit slower than its competitors', this is good to hear.

Unfortunately, the dreaded lockscreen notification bell is still in place. Considering how many people hated the notification bell and how easy it'd be to remove, I don't really understand why it's still here.

The update brings the Axon 7 from A2017U B20 to A2017U B27, and it's rolling out over the air already. Axon 7 owners, let us know what you think about it.