The ZTE AXON Pro arrived in the US on August 1st, and similar options appeared elsewhere last month, giving smartphone buyers a chance to own a 5.5" screen with a Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM for $450. Now the manufacturer has launched a smaller version of the device, the ZTE AXON Mini, in China. It's joined by the AXON Watch, which doesn't come with Android Wear. And while it's not available yet, ZTE announced that the larger AXON Max is on its way.
The AXON Mini is smaller, not small. You still get a 5.2" display, one that will offer pressure-sensitive touch. Unfortunately, the specs also take a hit. You get a Snapdragon 616 and 3GB of RAM. The rear-facing camera remains stable at 13MP, but the battery makes a small dip from 3000mAh to 2800mAh. The phone is 70mm wide and 7.9mm thin. The bezels come in at 0.85mm.
The AXON Mini is launching in China but gradually making its way to Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey in the coming months. It will be available in silver and two shades of gold: ion and rose.
The phone will go for 379 USD in the Asia Pacific and 329 EUR in Europe. The Rose Gold model will go for 399 USD and 349 EUR respectively.
The announcement doesn't say much about the AXON Max, aside from having a larger screen and a bigger battery. Expect concrete details to roll out at a future date.
The AXON Watch has a 1.4" screen, a 300mAh battery, and half a gig of RAM. Instead of Android Wear, it runs Tencent OS. Tencent licenses the mobile operating system to smart gadget makers as an alternative to Google's software, and ZTE makes no mention of the watch coming to the States.
ZTE launches new AXON devices, announces flagship product strategy
11 October 2015, Shenzhen – ZTE, a leading global mobile device maker, today held a conference for its AXON flagship device series, during which the company talked about its flagship device strategy for the first time. At the same event, ZTE confirmed the global availability of the AXON mini, including the pressure-sensitive touch and NBA versions, and the AXON Watch for China.
“Devices in our ZTE AXON product lines are designed entirely with consumers in mind and to be the nerve center of everything they do,” said Adam Zeng, CEO, ZTE Mobile Devices. “Our high-end flagship strategy is now in full swing and we believe we have all of the ingredients to become a leading consumer electronics brand globally.”
For the first time, ZTE discussed its AXON flagship device product line-up, which consists of: AXON, AXON mini, AXON MAX, and the AXON Watch.
In addition to availability announcements for the AXON mini versions and the AXON Watch, ZTE also unveiled the AXON MAX – a larger-screen smartphone device with a bigger battery.
ZTE AXON mini
First unveiled in July 2015, ZTE’s AXON mini became the world’s first smartphone to come with a pressure-sensitive touch screen that recognizes different levels of touch pressure for enhanced functions and experience, such as interactive gaming, passwords and more.
ZTE’s AXON mini boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor and Adreno 405 GPU, a 2800mAh battery, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, and support for up to 128GB SD card expansion. AXON mini sports a 13 megapixel camera at the back with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) that offers a focus time of just 0.1 seconds. At the front, AXON mini features an 8 megapixel camera with a 5P aspherical lens. AXON mini’s dual microphones are supported by an AKM4961 Hi-Fi audio chipset, delivering 32 bit high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio playback, as well as high quality sound recording.
With a body made from Boeing 787 aircraft-grade aluminum-titanium alloy, the AXON mini has both a premium look and feel and is just 3.5mm thin. At just 70mm wide, the AXON mini’s 0.85mm thin bezels allow the device to feature a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED FHD 2.5D curved-edge screen.
AXON mini’s voice search function can be activated within 1.2 seconds. It also comes with voice translation support for English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, offering real-time voice translation. In addition, the AXON mini supports voice messaging and chat functions.
AXON mini supports three different biometric authentication options: fingerprint, voice control and eye-scan.
The ZTE AXON mini NBA version comes in a number of design options, featuring NBA images, and are loaded with a number of NBA services. The AXON mini NBA version is a result of a partnership between ZTE, the NBA and Tencent.
All versions of the ZTE AXON mini will be available to purchase in China online from ZTE’s own MyZTE store and JD.com, as well as offline from major retail outlets. In the coming months, the ZTE AXON mini will also be made available in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, Japan, India, Australia, France, Germany, Turkey, Spain and Italy.
AXON mini will be available in three color options: Ion Gold, Chromium Silver and Rose Gold.
AXON mini (Premium Edition)
China: 2699 CNY
Asia-Pacific: 439 USD
Europe: 389 EUR
China: 2299 CNY (Ion Gold and Chromium Silver); 2399 CNY (Rose Gold)
Asia-Pacific: 379 USD (Ion Gold and Chromium Silver); 399 USD (Rose Gold)
Europe: 329 EUR (Ion Gold and Chromium Silver); 349 EUR (Rose Gold)
ZTE AXON Watch
Unveiled in July 2015, the ZTE AXON Watch features a 1.4-inch Gorilla Glass screen with sapphire coating and is IP67 certified. It comes with a 300 mAh battery, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB storage and Bluetooth 4.1. Developed by ZTE and Tencent, the smart watch runs on Tencent OS and supports both voice and gesture control.
The ZTE AXON Watch can be used for both fitness and health monitoring, and supports a range of other applications, from phone calls to messaging, including the popular instant messaging and social media platforms WeChat and QQ.
The ZTE AXON Watch will be available for purchase in China via ZTE’s own MyZTE store from 27 October.