Is a key point of consideration for your next smartphone whether or not it has been endorsed by a world-renowned pianist? Great! The all-new ZTE Axon 7 is, in fact, endorsed by world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. This apparently has some sort of value. The Axon 7 also received design input from BMW's Designworks (yes, that BMW, the one that makes cars), audio consulting from a team of music conservatory professors (I am not making this up), and Dolby's Atmos surround sound. This phone is a veritable partnership tour de farce.


Oh, and yes, it's an actual phone, too - I almost forgot about that. The Axon 7's specs, which are quite impressive on paper, are below.

  • 5.5" QHD Super AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM (depends on model)
  • 64 or 128GB storage
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • "Force touch" (available only on "premium" model)
  • 20MP rear camera with OIS and f/1.8 aperture
  • 8MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 (no OIS)
  • 3250mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
  • USB-C
  • Android 6.0 (ZTE's MiFavor UI 4.0 on top)
  • NFC

The phone comes in three flavors: basic, standard, and premium. Premium appears to be the only version with ZTE's "force touch" display, which to be honest is basically useless anyway because no third party apps will ever support it and Android has no native API specifically for this sort of functionality (the proto-form of such a feature was even removed from the N preview). Prices range considerably and are in Chinese Yuan for now (i.e., don't expect this to translate directly to US pricing): 2899 RMB for basic [$442], 3299 RMB for standard [$503], and 4099 RMB for the premium [$625]. Aside from the force touch mode, it's unclear what makes the premium stand apart from the basic and standard models based on ZTE's press release.

No US pricing or availability has yet been announced.

Press Release

BEIJING--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ZTE, a leading global mobile device maker, officially unveiled its latest flagship device, the AXON 7, at the Park Hyatt in Beijing today. During the launch, it was also announced that Lang Lang, a world renowned pianist, will be the brand ambassador to ZTE’s high-end flagship AXON smartphone series. The device will first be launched in China, with international launches including the United States, Europe, and other regions to follow shortly after.

ZTE officially unveiled its latest flagship device, the AXON 7, at the Park Hyatt in Beijing today.

Tweet this

The AXON 7 was designed for people to enjoy a smart lifestyle enhanced by technology, focusing on what matters most to users today; immersive theater-like sound, eye catching design, and a high quality camera, all in the palm of one’s hand.

World-Renowned Pianist as Brand Ambassador

“We’re proud to have Lang Lang endorsing AXON 7. He is highly popular and influential both at home and abroad, and has become China’s cultural and musical icon to many countries around the world. These are similarities we share when it comes to ZTE’s global market success,” said Adam Zeng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices. “Not only does the AXON 7 mirror Lang Lang’s urban and sophisticated style, we’ve also designed the smartphone especially for music and audio lovers. We’ve consulted music professors, and set up a dedicated sound design lab to achieve the best sound possible. We’re confident that the AXON 7 will become the smartphone of choice for business as well as ordinary people that appreciate exceptional sound quality anywhere, anytime with our AXON 7.”

Design Inspired by Luxury Cars

To design for a world where the demand for sophisticated and integrative devices is rapidly increasing, ZTE Mobile Devices has partnered with Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW Group. This partnership resulted in the flawless fusion where aesthetics meets functionality.

With a focus to enhance the human aspects of the user interaction with AXON, a highly intuitive user experience was offered. Designworks optimized the authentication process on the AXON 7, where it is more intuitive and easy. Users simply need to tap an index finger on the back of the phone where the user’s index finger naturally grips it. The AXON 7’s fingerprint placement minimizes the risk of dropping the smartphone and that of smudging the camera during intuitive use.

With a design that is sleek, smooth, easy to carry and offers an exterior that is both stylish and user friendly, the AXON 7 is a smartphone that is timely and timeless in its appeal.

Power of Sound from Within

In order to create the ultimate audio experience for the AXON 7, ZTE invited a team of music conservatory professors to provide the company with counsel. In audio technology, the AXON 7 incorporates dual-speaker, Hi-Fi quality sound coming from two dedicated audio chips AK4961 and AK4490 from AKM, Dolby Atmos surround sound, as well as top of the line configuration to enable exceptional sound quality experiences. This results in resonating vocals and clearly spoken automated voices, such as in maps navigation. Therefore, the AXON 7 sports leading audio not just for playback but also for recording, and it is able to clearly pick up voices up to eight meters from the device.

Camera Function Comparable to a Single-Lens Reflex Camera

A smartphone with the ability to take high quality photographs is one of the key features that users are asking for and the AXON 7 fulfils that need. With a camera function that is similar to a SLR professional-quality camera, ZTE achieved fast and accurate photography by reducing visual noise that normally impedes photos taken from a smartphone. Its 20-megapixel rear camera uses dual image stabilization technology, advanced auto focus, exposure, scene selection and white balance to automatically detect ambient light changes. The combination of these technologies enable users to take great photographs effortlessly.

At the launch, ZTE also revealed a new VR device, named ZTE VR. The VR device will complement AXON 7's stunning 2k WQHD AMOLED display, Hi-Fi / Dolby Atmos surround sound, and dual built-in speakers. In addition, ZTE is also among the first companies to support Daydream, Google's platform for high performance mobile VR with AXON 7.

The AXON 7 comes in three versions: basic, standard and premium. The AXON 7 can be pre-ordered starting May 26 via Starting June 2, the AXON 7 will be fully available for purchase online and in person at stores.

Pricing for the AXON 7:

Basic edition: 2,899 RMB
Standard edition: 3,299 RMB
Premium edition: 4,099 RMB

ZTE VR is priced at 518 RMB.