Today ZTE has announced the Axon M, a folding phone with dual 1080p displays. There have been a couple of leaks in the past month or two, but now it's official. The Axon M isn't quite the vision of the future we expected from Westworld, but it has some decent specifications to support its unusual design. 

Specs

SoC 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821
Display(s) Dual 5.2" 1920x1080 "TFT LCD" w/Gorilla Glass 5
Battery 3180mAh, Quick Charge 3.0
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB emmc v5.1
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2, 2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Rear camera 20MP f/1.8, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Front camera None (rear camera can be used for both)
Software Android 7.1.2 Nougat
Dimensions 150.8 x 71.6 x 12.1 mm (5.93 x 2.82 x 0.48 inches)
Price $24.17 x 30 months ($725.10)

If this tickles your fancy and you'd like to know a bit more, our own David Ruddock did a hands-on, too.

On paper, it doesn't sound too bad. The 821 isn't Qualcomm's latest chipset, it is about a year old at this point, but it's still performant. In this case, it should be more than powerful enough to drive the dual 1080p displays.

Of course, they're the star of ZTE's folding show. They're both 5.2" displays, which works out to a high 426 PPI. There's still a gap between the two screens, so it's (literally) not quite seamless. Even so, the narrow bezels and hinge allow them to get somewhat close.

ZTE is advertising the Axon M as having four separate "modes," Dual Mode, Extended Mode, Mirror Mode, and Traditional Mode. The descriptions for each aren't too complete, but it sounds like Dual Mode uses Android's multi-window support, so you could feasibly have a separate application open on each screen. Extended Mode lets you span both displays, Mirror Mode places the same content on both screens, and Traditional Mode uses just one screen.

When folded, it is a bit asymmetrical as the hinge is exposed on one side. Durability could also be a potential concern since both the front and back of the device are screens. At least the Gorilla Glass 5 and aluminum unibody construction might ease some of those concerns, though.

Since it's only being sold through AT&T in the US, the only price ZTE has announced is a $24.17 monthly payment over a 30 months with AT&T Next. Availability is set for sometime in "the next month." Customers in China, Europe, and Japan will also be able to pick one up.

ZTE's Axon M is an exciting experiment, but we'll have to see if the dual-screen functionality is of genuine utility.

Press Release

The New Foldable ZTE Axon M with Dual Screens Transforms the Mobile Entertainment Experience

The ZTE Axon M will be exclusively available at AT&T in the United States

NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2017 – Today, ZTE USA announced the upcoming launch of the revolutionary ZTE Axon M with AT&T* as the exclusive carrier in the United States available in the next month. The foldable, dual-screen smartphone will also be available to customers in China, Europe and Japan.

The ZTE Axon M lets customers multitask and enjoy entertainment in new and exciting ways. The ZTE Axon M is the size of a traditional smartphone when folded, fitting easily into a pocket or purse and functions in four different modes:

Dual Mode: Provides unlimited potential in app combinations so consumers can do more, all at once. With Dual mode, you can watch your favorite professional basketball team or PGA TOUR tournament on one screen, while ordering a pizza online on the other.
Extended Mode: Stream, email and play games on a full 6.75-inch Full HD display. Extended mode lets you watch your favorite shows and movies on a larger screen, when and where you want to.
Mirror Mode: Sit across from your friends and watch the same content on one device. Simply fold the device in Mirror mode and place it on a table for easy viewing from two separate sides.
Traditional Mode: When you aren’t watching sports, catching up on your favorite shows, or surfing the web, Traditional mode gives you a great everyday smartphone that’s easy to use and hold in one hand.

“The ZTE Axon M is the beginning of a significant movement of smartphone capabilities, and ZTE is leading the way,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices. “The mobile technology ecosystem and consumer habits have evolved over the past several years, but the smartphone experience has only slightly varied throughout that time until today, with the introduction of the Axon M. Consumers need and expect more from their current smartphone and we are proud to collaborate with carriers around the world and AT&T in the U.S. to transform their mobile experience.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the revolutionary ZTE Axon M exclusively to the nation’s best data network,” said Kevin Petersen, SVP of Device and Network Services Marketing, AT&T Entertainment Group. “Our customers continue to demand more from their mobile entertainment experience. Pairing DIRECTV with the dual screen capabilities of the ZTE Axon M will deliver a new and transformative way to enjoy the entertainment they want on the network they need.”

The ZTE Axon M creates an entirely new foldable smartphone category, one that ZTE is committed to invest and lead the way in. ZTE will work with developers to help optimize applications for this new evolution of dual screen smartphones.

In the next month AT&T customers will be able to purchase the ZTE Axon M for $24.17 for 30 months on AT&T Next when they have eligible service. Stay tuned to att.com/axonm for more details.1

1Requires well-qualified credit, 0% APR installment agreement, and eligible service. Tax due at sale.  Down payment available and may be required.  If wireless service is cancelled, device balance due. $ 25 activation/upgrade and other fees, charges, limits and restrictions apply. Visit att.com/next for details.

 

About ZTE USA

ZTE USA (www.zteusa.com), headquartered in Richardson, Texas, is a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, a global provider of mobile devices, telecommunication systems, and enterprise solutions. Operating since 1998, ZTE USA is dedicated to making cost-efficient, quality communication technology accessible to all. ZTE is ranked by independent industry analysts as the fourth-largest supplier of mobile devices in the U.S. overall, and second-largest supplier of prepaid devices.

Visit ZTE USA at www.zteusa.com on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ZTEUSA, Twitter https://twitter.com/ZTE_USA, and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/ZTEUSAInc.

*About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We offer the nation’s best data network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Claim based on the Nielsen Certified Data Network Score. Score includes data reported by wireless consumers in the Nielsen Mobile Insights survey, network measurements from Nielsen Mobile Performance and Nielsen Drive Test Benchmarks for Q1 + Q2 2017 across 121 markets.

Media Contacts:

 

ZTE USA
Jeff Norris
(972) 671-8885
[email protected]

AT&T
Eric Ryan
(929) 273-8434
[email protected]