The $500 Invisible Camera Smartphone | ZTE Axon 30 Review
So, im really excited to see how it is because i use the uh one on the samsung galaxy z fold three and while its interesting definitely needed some improvement, so im interested to see how this 500 version of a under display camera compares to an 1800 version. On the z fold, three so anyway, this phone right here it comes in a couple of different variations, so you can get it from eight gigabytes of ram and 128 gigabytes of storage to 12 gigabytes of ram and 256 gigabytes of storage and so im going to Split this video up in two parts first part just going to be an unboxing to see what we get and talking about some of the specs and then im going to use this for a few days and come back and give you kind of my final review Over this phone, so anyway inside of the box, we do get uh im gon na get probably just like a case inside of here im assuming and yeah. I was right, so i know zte likes to include cases with their phone, so we have this little clear case right here automatically, so you can go ahead and keep your phone protected and inside of here looks like were going to have this mystery. Unicorn of an item these days, yes, a wall charger inside of the box, so this phone does support 65 watts, fast wire charging and inside of here im assuming its going to be the usbc cable yep.
There we go okay, so one last thing before we get this thing naked is to take this plastic wrapping off and voila. Here it is so the phone comes in two different colors black and also blue, and the phone is pretty lightweight. It weighs about 189 grams, and if you compare that to like the pixel 5a that weighs 183 grams, this isnt a really good ballpark for this price range. As far as how good it feels in my hand. So far, it is a glossy finish here. So definitely your fingerprints and stuff are going to show up over time again. I am in the matte club right now, so i want all phones to come in the matte finish, but as far as it looks i like it, i might get rid of like like the 5g right here and maybe the zte and just leave the axe on Right there, but i think its a pretty good looking phone and ooh look what i spy already. There is the front facing under display camera right here, and you can really see these type of cameras when the screen is completely off. But the whole kind of thing about them is when you are using them and the screen is on, if youre not really looking for them. Hopefully, you cant, really kind of like see them so anyway, let me go ahead and turn the screen on. For the first time – and so this has a pretty decent size – 6.
92 inch, full hd, plus amoled display that also runs at 120 hertz, so thats good to see at this price range so around the phone on the bottom. We do find the usb c port there and also one single speaker, so you just have one speaker on this: no stereo speakers and then also we do have a dual sim card slot right here and you know what, since i got the screen on right now, Im looking for the front facing camera and i can see it its a little box right there, but when you move it around a little bit, i mean its not that noticeable. But i do have my z fold three right here and i want to go side by side with these now to kind of see, and definitely just at this angle, for me looking down right now, i can see the front facing camera way easier on the z Fold three than i can see on this axon 30 here and let me pick them up here and go at a little bit of an angle here. Yeah. It looks like at every angle. I can see the front facing camera on the fold a lot easier than i can on this axon 30, so thats. Actually, a really good, really good thing about this. Cheaper phone definitely hides the camera a little bit better. But what im about to do right now is go ahead and get this phone all set up and im gon na use it for a few days and come back and give you my final thoughts about this phone, so ill, see you in the future and boom.
So we have fast forwarded a few days in the future right now, but yeah so for 500 theres, a lot of stiff competition for this axon 30 and i think zte has done a good job. But there are a couple of things that might keep you from liking this phone and maybe a couple of things that might make you even more interested so lets talk about it. So the first thing i like is this 6.9 inch screen. I think this is a really big canvas for consuming content, watching videos on it and the colors of the screen is really nice. The brightness is pretty decent, but there were a couple of times when i was outside taking photos in direct sunlight that i wish that the screen was a little bit brighter, but that wasnt a big concern for me but yeah the screen does really look nice. I really do appreciate that 120 hertz, which we kind of expect most phones to come with these days, and you can go into the settings, though. If you are concerned about battery life and you can adjust the screen refresh rate, you can turn it all the way down to run at a constant 60. You can have it run at a constant 120 hertz or you can leave it in auto mode and that will adjust the refresh rate depending on what youre doing on your phone and you throw in an always on display that has some nice animations like this and A few different layouts to choose from and also this phone does have an under display fingerprint scanner that was really snappy and responsive.
I really didnt have any misfires throughout my testing. You have a screen that looks really good, but of course the main thing about this is that that front facing camera is hidden underneath the display – and there is some interesting tech in this small little space to make this all happen. There are seven transparent layers stacked on top of each other theres, also a chip inside of it to help with processing, but at the end of the day, how do the photos and videos look well um? They look very processed, so this type of technology needs a lot of work done in the back end. To make these photos look good, and you can see that i mean look if youre scrolling on social media. The photo might look fine, but once you crop in or zoom in youll see that the photo definitely has added sharpening and different effects to really trying to bring the photo together. So the quality again for this type of technology is good, but compared to other normal front facing cameras, youre going to see a step back, and you especially see this with portrait mode photos that have this glowing hazing effect to them and so heres. Some video using this front facing camera, so you can see it still has that hazy. Look that we got with the photos and im also using the built in microphone by the way. So look. This would be good for like video tracks from your friends and family, when you know the quality of the video doesnt really matter that much, and so, if you are someone that takes a lot of selfies and you like to post them on social media, this aint, The camera for you, but i think some people dont, really take a lot of selfies and they dont mind that drop in quality and youre going to benefit from having this full screen experience.
So it definitely draws the line down the sand because i think some people who like to take selfies just arent, going to be interested in this phone, even if they like everything else about it. But people who dont take a lot of selfies. This might be the one feature that really sells this phone to you, but let me lay off of the front facing camera here for a second and lets talk about the cameras on the back, so you have that quad camera set up on the back and the Main wide angle camera i actually like the photos coming from it. I think the photos look good. They had good colors good sharpness, but when you went to the ultra wide that quality stepped down just a little bit, it wasnt anything bad, but it stepped down. Um and also this phone can take up to 4k video at 60 frames per second, so thats good to see. So, if you do like to take video and slow it down in posts, you can do that and the quality of the video was good. I did find that the focusing was hunting a little bit more than i would want it, but the videos were definitely also passable when it comes to this department. So for social media things, this is going to be good, whether or not im going to use this phone for recording b roll for some of my youtube videos, thats not going to be the case now.
The camera app does have a bunch of little tweaks and features that you can do to kind of spice up your videos. So they have this multi camera mode. That will allow you to get a preview of all of the cameras on the phone and then now you can choose to show two of them at the same time, on the screen and also while youre recording the video and you can swap them back and forth. And and change the different lenses as you go, so that one looks kind of cool and they thrown in a bunch of little different, like shooting techniques that you can do with the video cameras. So they have different ones where you can combine multiple clips together with some music automatically, but also they have this cool, dolly zoom feature where you see a lot in movies, but basically you just hit that record button and then youre walking backwards as the camera is Zooming in and it creates this really kind of cool effect, so this phone does have that one single speaker which gets loud, but i do miss having that stereo audio experience and this phone does not have wireless charging. So if you do put it on a wireless charger, youre gon na get a no go with that and this phone does not have an ip rating. So you want to keep this away from water as much as possible. So this brings us to one point about whether or not it was worth it going to that under display front facing camera and missing out on some features like wireless charging and an ip rating and different things that people really do like so um.
That decision is going to be up to you whether or not zte made the right one, but i do wish that i had at least one of those things here on this phone, but all is not gloom for this phone. It does have 65 watt wire charging and you dont see that in every phone. So when you do need to go from zero to 100, it can get you there pretty quickly and lets talk about battery life. So it does have a 4200 milliamp hour battery. Inside of it and im not going to call this a battery champ, because there are other phones that have like 5 000 milliamp hour batteries around this same price range, but i will say that when i did get to around like 4 p.m, 5 p.m. Um! I was able to see that i was around like 35 to 40, and so that makes me pretty confident that i can get through most stage with no issues, and you know something else. I dont have an issue with and thats the software running on this phone. So it does run android 11 and they have their own custom. Software called my os running on top of that and my os sounds very similar to ios, but i think thats just a coincidence, wink wink but yeah. I like the fact that they didnt take away too much from stock android, but they did make some changes like with the quick toggles here, which i just love the way this looks and the gradient and the colors here everything looks really good from the notifications to Just navigating around on this software, it does, you know again remind you of stock android with just some little subtle enhancements, especially to things like the settings menu here.
But one thing i would say is that the overall experience was really good running. On top of that qualcomm, snapdragon, 870, processor and so yeah, i think thats about it for this phone look, it all comes down to that front, facing camera and whether you like it or not, but if you do like it, this is one of your only few Options that you have for this type of technology to be able to use this full screen. Experience like this, but again, if you like, selfies youre, going to stay away from this phone, because the selfies just dont, look that good, but all around for a mid range phone battery life. The screen quality the software, its really good, and it checks a lot of boxes for me, but for 500 there is some stiff competition when it comes to the camera department on other phones. That might draw you away, but there are some things in this phone that do make it a good option, depending on what youre looking for in a smartphone these days. And if you want to see more details about it, ill drop a link down below to ztes website, but also to you drop. That comment down below and let me know what you think about this: under display camera technology and just the phone in general um. But like always, i do want to thank you for watching this video hit that sub button.