ZTE Axon 30 5G: Next smartphone with front camera UNDER the display for $500

ZTE launched the Axon 20 5G, the first smartphone with an under-display camera, in 2020. The ZTE Axon 30 5G will be released on September 9: currently the most affordable phone with an under-display camera of the new generation.

Technical specifications of the ZTE Axon 30 5G

ZTE Axon 30 5G
Display6,92 inch 20,5:9 Full-HD+ (2460 x 1080p) 120 Hz AMOLED
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 870
Graphics chipQualcomm Adreno 650
RAM8/12 GB
Internal memory128/256 GB
Camera64 MP Sony IMX682 Sensor, ƒ/1.8
8 MP Ultra wide angle, 120°
5 MP Macro with 3 cm Close-up limit
2MP Depth sensor
Front camera16 MP Under-display-camera
Battery4.200 mAh 65W SuperDart Charge
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth 5.2,USB Type-C, GPS/GLONASS/BDS, Dual-SIM, NFC, SA/NSA 5G, LTE Band 20
FeaturesFingerprint sensor in the display
Operating systemMyOS11 Android 11 base
Dimensions / Weight170,2 x 77,8 x 7,8 mm / 185g

Improved front camera UNDER the display

With a screen diagonal of 6.92 inches, the Axon 30 5G turns out to be above average even by current standards. The dimensions even break the 170 mm limits, but it is only 7.8 mm thick. The screen is an AMOLED display with a FullHD+ resolution of 2460 x 1080 pixels. The sharpness is specified with 400 ppi, but it is interesting that the Mi Mix 4 with an under-display camera also only relies on a FHD+ resolution. The refresh rate is 120 Hz and the touch sampling rate is 360 Hz, which results in a smooth operation. The panel is protected by Gorilla Glass.

However, the highlight is of course the front-facing camera underneath the display. Unlike the first generation, the sharpness in the display area is 400 ppi instead of 200 ppi. This screen area consists of seven layers, such as glass, a special OLED panel and a transparent cathode. It also requires an improved chip that controls the image areas and improves the pixel smart. Below that is a 16 MP front camera with 2.24 µm pixels. Thanks to pixel binning technology, you get a 4 MP equivalent.

From the back, the ZTE Axon 30 5G is almost reminiscent of Huawei’s current models. The camera module consists of two large circles, with the main camera on top and three other cameras underneath. In terms of color, you have a choice between classic black and a neon green shade. The manufacturer decorates the plastic back with additional lines that almost remind of a gaming smartphone.

Not quite on top level

Probably to save costs, the ZTE Axon 30 5G is not equipped with the Snapdragon 888, but with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor. The former is available in the ultra version of the phone. However, the 870 also brings the Axon 30 5G almost to flagship level, which is not least supported by 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 working memory. You can choose between 128 GB or 256 GB UFS 3.1 mass storage.

The battery’s capacity of 4,200 mAh is a bit below average, but the 65W USB-C charger compensates for that. This charges the Axon 30 5G completely in just under 40 minutes! Wireless charging is not possible, so the USB 3.0 Type-C port has to be used. The camera setup consists of a 64 MP Sony IMX682 main sensor, an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5 MP macro camera and a 2 MP portrait sensor. The ultra-wide angle is 120°, but there is unfortunately no optical zoom.

Besides the USB-C port, there is only one dual-Nano-SIM slot, a memory expansion is not possible. 5G is also available thanks to the CPU, and all important bands have been implemented. Those who can live without 5G can be happy about LTE. In addition, there is the latest Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and of course NFC. The phone itself runs MyOS 11, which is based on Android 11. All important Google services are preinstalled in the global version.

Assessment

The price makes the difference. Otherwise, only the predecessor can keep up for $499, a Mi Mix 4 will go for about $1,000, and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold3 with an under-display camera is more likely to go for $2,000. However, the ZTE Axon 30 5G can also convince apart from that on the spec sheet, Snapdragon 870, 65W charging and 120 Hz OLED can almost be found in a POCO F3 or Realme GT Master Explorer in this price range. To keep up with a Mi Mix 4 or Samsung, it still lacks special features like an IP rating, better speakers and a better camera setup.

Have you been waiting for the front-facing camera under the display or do you not really care about the feature?

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Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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