One of the complicated factors when it comes to writing about a Chinese smartphone company putting out product into the United States these days is that trans-Pacific trade isn't exactly in great shape. But ZTE — which had a couple of good phones come to the states in the past — went through its deleterious sanctions-skirting saga with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has come out billions of dollars poorer for it, but is ready and willing to try again in America. The company skipped out on the country for last year's uninspired Axon 9 Pro, though it did notch a budget phone with a Verizon subsidiary earlier this year. Now, ZTE's back again with the somewhat more exciting Axon 10 Pro as sales are starting today.

Specs

Display 6.47" 2340 x 1080 AMOLED curved display
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage 256GB + microSD up to 2TB
RAM 8GB or 12GB
Power 4,000mAh battery w/ 18W wired, Qi wireless charging
Rear cameras 48MP wide + 20MP super-wide + 8MP 3x zoom
Front camera 20MP
Software Android 9 Pie
Headphone jack? Nope
IP rating IP53

We had a first look at the phone back in May and found it driving a hard bargain with premium internals, a mostly "stock" experience with its lightly-modified Android software, and corners cut in the right places. No, we're not getting the 5G version as Europe did this summer, but on paper, we're quite pleased with the proposition the Axon 10 Pro brings. Tellingly, the company pulled a quote from its USA division CEO, Brad Li, calling it "the successor to the Axon 7 for us in the United States."

Aforementioned 5G version of the ZTE Axon 10 Pro

The device uses the F2FS file system for faster access, has DTS:X Ultra 3D in-line sound, dual speakers, an in-display fingerprint sensor, four cameras — on the back, there's a 48MP all-purpose unit, a 20MP super-wide (125°), and an 8MP zoomer at 3x the regular focal length; the front camera, hitched into a notch, is 20MP — all wrapped into molded, curvy glass around an aluminum alloy frame.

In the U.S., internal storage is locked to 256GB standard, so you'll only be paying for the difference in RAM: the 8GB model is $549 while the 12GB version is $599 — the most obvious competition out there is the OnePlus 7 Pro starting at $669. You can buy the Axon 10 Pro at B&H, Newegg, other retailers, and direct from ZTE starting today. It can be activated on carriers backed by the AT&T and T-Mobile networks — that includes LTE Bands 66 and 71 for T-Mo.

Press Release

ZTE Launches its Latest Flagship Smartphone, the Axon 10 Pro, in U.S. Market

Next-generation device features a remium design, top-end specs, and an overall performance that gives consumers the best value of any "flagship" smartphone

RICHARDSON, Texas, August 28, 2019 - ZTE Corporation, a leading global provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile Internet, today announced the launch of the new Axon 10 Pro in the U.S., bringing the latest, next-generation addition to ZTE’s flagship Axon portfolio to U.S. consumers.

The Axon 10 Pro features a sleek, elegant design and a brilliant display. Luxurious materials combined with a 3D curved glass front display and back cover give the Axon 10 Pro a fashionable look and ‘top-shelf’ feel. Beautifully designed inside and out, the device is packed with all the specs consumers expect in a flagship device, while maintaining an affordable price point. The new device provides ultra-fast, seamless performance and starts at only $549—a fraction of the cost of other devices in its category.

“We are thrilled to bring the Axon 10 Pro to the U.S. market, the next-generation of the ZTE Axon flagship brand and the successor to the Axon 7 for us in the United States,” said Brad Li, CEO of ZTE USA. “Smartphones are getting more expensive—it’s a universal trend—and at ZTE we remain committed to providing consumers with cutting-edge innovation and the features they want most, while remaining extremely affordable. Making the Axon 10 Pro available to our U.S. consumers delivers on that brand promise and commitment.”

Fast, with Massive Memory and a Battery to Keep You Going
Equipped with performance of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 octa-core processor, large memory (8 or 12 GB), ample storage 256 GB on device, and up to 2 TB of additional storage with an SD card, the Axon 10 Pro provides not only a faster smartphone experience, but it gives you space to grow. Plus, with a large 4,000 mAh battery and uniquely customizable battery software, the Axon 10 Pro enables consumers to truly experience life without having to stop for a charge even with heavy use, all day, and all night.

The Axon 10 Pro is the ideal device for consumers who are increasingly frustrated by the rising cost of today's flagship smartphones that feature only minor performance enhancements. Supporting the F2FS file system, combined with the smarts to learn your behaviors, this highly intelligent device performs even better over time. Also, the Axon 10 Pro’s software is one of the purest executions of Google’s Android OS on any smartphone available. It will launch with Android P and the company will provide an update to the next major release of Android before the end of the calendar year.

Have More Fun with the AI Triple Rear Camera and Stunning Sound 
The Axon 10 Pro features a large 6.47-inch screen that is the first to ever bring on-cell display technology to AMOLED with touchscreen onto a quad-curved display. This ensures a thin, easy to hold smartphone with more screen. With AI Portrait Lighting Adjustment, AI Motion Capture and AI scene recognition, the Axon 10 Pro brings all the benefits of AI to picture-taking.This makes it the ideal canvas to show off the perfect selfies and videos captured on your Axon 10 with optical and digital zoom, 20x, smart tracking, new portrait types, and other modes all optimized by artificial intelligence.

The Axon 10 Pro also features DTS:X® Ultra 3D sound, which provides a stunning on-the-go concert experience through the in-ear headphones included in-box. Alternatively, you can hear and optimize the sound through its dual speakers, for a center-stage experience in the comfort of your own home. Either way the Axon 10 Pro offers exceptional sound quality for videos and music. Your Axon 10 Pro has also been optimized to enhance the gaming experience, ensuring games load quickly and play smoothly.

Pricing and Availability
The Axon 10 Pro will be available to pre-order in the U.S. starting August 28 through participating retailers such as Newegg Inc. and B&H Photo, as well as directly from ZTE (USA) via its online store at zteusa.com.

The device is available with 256GB of storage and an option to select 8GB or 12GB of RAM. The devices will be MSRP of $549 and $599 US, respectively. Devices are packaged with a TPU case, in-ear headphones, 3.5mm to USB-C adapter, and charger.