ZTE isn't exactly a household name for US smartphone buyers. Part of that is because very few of the Chinese company's phones make the journey here, and part of it is because those that do tend to be low-cost budget models given away by carriers. (Also, you know, some other things.) But ZTE is trying to buck the trend: it's bringing its 2020 flagship, the Axon 30 Ultra, to America and everywhere else.
When it comes to smartphone design, the ultimate goal of minimalists seems to lie with a slab containing no protrusions, no ports, just a constant surface with a large, fascia-filling display. ZTE has done some grunt work in bringing a few user-facing features beneath the surface and is showing off some of it at the in-person MWC in Shanghai.
5G was the leading factor making phones more expensive over the last year or two, but now that the new standard is starting to mature and becoming more widely available, 5G phones are finally getting cheaper. The TCL 10 5G UW is an example, packing a Snapdragon 765G processor and mmWave support for just $400, but now ZTE has undercut its competitor with an even more affordable 765G phone: The Blade X1 5G, costing just $384.
We've got one serious love-hate relationship with front-facing cameras on our phones. Sure, everyone likes to take selfies, and their popularity has helped drive multiple social media sites into the stratosphere. But the cameras themselves are just so darn inconvenient, taking up precious phone real estate, and increasingly stealing space from the screen itself. One novel solution involves tucking the front-facer under the display, like we see on the brand-new ZTE Axon 20 5G. Now Zack from JerryRigEverything is putting this model to the test, seeing how it holds up to abuse and also giving us a better look at how this weird camera works.
The world's first commercially available smartphone with an under-display camera is now on sale. The ZTE Axon 20 5G, announced back in September, costs €449/£419/$449 and comes in black. Aside from the fancy camera/display tech, the phone's specs put it in the upper mid-range segment — it's powered by a Snapdragon 765G chip and offers 30W fast charging.
Although we've seen plenty of concepts and prototypes over the last year or so, ZTE is now technically "first" to reveal a phone with an under-display camera. That's right, the Axon 20 5G has no notch, no camera cutout, and almost no bezel. The front-facing camera can work right through the screen.
Remember when Yahoo became a carrier? Well, it still is a carrier — we have parent company Verizon to thank for that. Yahoo Mobile offers a $40/mo. unlimited plan (with caveats)and, now, it can sell you a phone to go with that Big Red cell service. That phone is the ZTE Blade A3Y.
Chinese telecom gear manufacturer ZTE hasn’t had a particularly good run in the US smartphone market. But every once in a while, its eccentric phones manage to catch our eye, and frankly, they don't give us much to complain about. ZTE is now coming out with a handset that uses an under-display selfie camera — a first for any mass-produced phone on the market. The Axon 20 5G, succeeding last year’s Axon 10 Pro 5G, is set to debut as soon as early next month.
If you're looking for a phone off the beaten path to play around with, there aren't many options quite like the ZTE Axon 10 Pro. This Snapdragon 855 phone is still on sale in the U.S. unlocked market at B&H, and, for just today only, it's on sale for as low as $300.
In the past few years, the FCC has made overtures against Huawei and ZTE, characterizing them as national security threats. Well, now it's official: the commission has passed an order officially declaring the two Chinese tech giants as national security threats to the United States.