Axon 30 review: ZTE nails the under-screen camera
Last years. Axon 20 was the first phone to feature an under display camera. Then it was followed up by the axon 30 pro and the 30 ultra. However, we didnt actually see an axon 30. You know just the plain vanilla name version thats, because its the next phone with and much improved under display camera Music, so weirdly. The last phone in the axon 30 family to appear is uh, the axon 30 and its substantially cheaper than those other two phones. This phone rings in at 500 and thats dollars without me trying to put a price into pounds because, yes, this phone is coming to the us. So the headline feature on the axon 30 is the under display camera and its pretty much imperceptible imperceptible. However, you say that word its that to the eye, unless you really go hunting for it, its not perfect, but its pretty darn close, even if i kind of bring it up to the screen here, you can see stadia running there and if i can tilt the Light around yep, the camera is actually right at the top of that edge. You just wont really be able to see it. So why all the fuss well, this under display camera kind of puts the competition to shame whether thats, zts old phones or samsungs galaxy fold. 3, which also has an under display camera, which really isnt as good as this one theres, no weird patchy, pixelation and, however zt has done it its really kind of smooth the effect of having that camera hidden away according to zte.
The reason for this is twofold. First of all, pixel density compared to last years, axon 20. The x130 has a 400 pixel per inch chunk of display dedicated to the camera and then theres the pixel matrix itself, which ct is apparently tinkered to make sure it kind of blends in a little bit more smoother with the rest of the screen around it see It for yourself i actually have oppos find x3 pro, which has a microscope camera, and you can actually kind of see the sub pixels through this camera alone. So, taking a much closer look, you can see that the pixels are a little bit different around the area of the camera, but yet substantially better than the phones weve seen up until now. A hidden camera also perfectly complements this giant screen that this phone has its a 6.92 inch amoled display. It also features up to 120 hertz refresh rates, with even higher rates for touch sensitivity. You can even tinker with that either leaving it on automatic or putting it into manual to either burn through your battery more, i guess or conserve energy and go for rates like 60 hertz, even if things scroll a little choppier and while thats great there are some Compromises zt have had to make with this phone first on the chopping block was wireless charging love, it hate it its not. Here you also get no certified protection from dust or water, so thats important to know if you go jogging with your phone or i dont know – are in sandstorms anyway.
This phone might not have enough protection with a screen that size. Of course, the phone itself is pretty big: it has a plastic backing which is pretty solid and it has this lovely translucent reflective effect on the back, which is kind of nice to see when you kind of know, this is plastic. Im less enamored, however, with this giant chunky, camera module, which is on a lot of phones but again its another thing to scrape another thing to ding and yeah. Fortunately, zte do pack in a see through case with the phone, so that went straight on and that kind of ameliorates at least part of the problem, more compromises. Well, the processor. This phone has a snapdragon 870, so its not really flagship leading power. That said, it is perfectly capable of dealing with everything ive thrown at it. So far, whether thats 4k, video gaming stadia and everything else, you might be doing with your phone to really make it heat up. Then again. At the same time, zte put a far more potent processor in the axon 30 ultra. I guess thats why they call it the ultra. Now i mentioned at the start that while this phone is coming to the us, it doesnt have quite the range of 5g support. You might hope it is supported by t mobiles 5g spectrum, the part it got when it bought sprint, but thats about it. I mean obviously im based in the uk.
So all my 5g tests are about r5g networks, but when it comes to support for it, yes, you have plenty of 4g lte love, but if youre thinking about the future in the next few years of using your phone yeah, the 5g radios, they might be a Little lacking, but back to the good news, the phone has a 4200 milliamp battery, which is pretty big and it also features ztes fast charge tech, and that means you can probably charge up the entire phone in under an hour. I managed to get to about 50 charge from xero in under 25 minutes, its pretty impressive and pretty useful cts android experience leans mostly towards the stock one and thats good, because this company used to really meddle with android theyve, taken a more hands off approach here And thats great, it mostly feels like a pixel. It feels like that stock android experience with a few little quirks on top, for example, on the phone. You can shake the phone to activate the flashlight theres, also a new z, pop widget, which might look familiar to anyone thats owned a samsung phone. This is a little pop out bar that can offer four different shortcuts to phone functions or app shortcuts. You can also just not enable it whatsoever and it will stay out of your way, the front facing camera technical marvel, but actually its a pretty terrible, selfie camera. While the sensor is 16 megapixel, it kind of bends some of those pixels and manipulates it just to get an image when its capturing it through that amoled display and the results.
Just look bad now. Dont get me wrong. It takes the best udc selfies weve, seen so far compared to the fold three or last years, axe and 20, but this still isnt good enough. When i look at these selfie pictures, it feels a bit like a time warp. This is the kind of selfie pics we got on low resolution cameras. You know five years ago, eight years ago, with smartphones, this isnt, a selfie of a phone from 2021, or at least it shouldnt, be details, are fuzzy and theres, always some lens flare or some washed out color, whenever theres backlighting or any kind of strong light source Around you, the camera does capture enough detail to offer face unlock functionality. If you want that besides fingerprint unlock and yes, the sensor is built into the display again onto the rest of the cameras and on the back of the zte axon 30. There are no fewer than four sensors led by a 64 megapixel sony sensor. Well, youll be mostly taking photos with a lot of these pixels fused together for better performance in low light and less noise. You are able to take full fat 64 megapixel stills, if you so choose to. This is very good if you have a tripod and you want to capture lots of detail all at once. Alongside that theres an ultra wide angle, 8, megapixel sensor and then sensors for macro photography, just ignore it use the main sensor and then a depth sensor as well.
On that main sensor, you get up to two times optical zoom, which is par for the course. At this price point. When i had lighting on my sides, images came out really well. I actually took the phone along to a family event and i found a lot of the photos of people came out really nicely lots of detail great skin tone. There is a softness to some shots, probably due to that pixel binning issue, but otherwise this is a really solid, mid range, camera phone, theres, a night mode of course, but generally you can use the standard center in the standard shooting mode to get pretty decent photos. Even in low light, but most of the time you can probably just lean on the typical camera mode without having to go into night mode, theres a pretty heavy handed ai mode as well and id advise you to take photos both with it on and with it Off because a lot of the time, i didnt really like how the a mai mode was processing my photos. Obviously your mileage may vary, but its worth, bearing in mind that it can be a little bit aggressive. Video capture is where the axon 30 starts to let itself down video modes on smartphones, these days, theyve all kind of solidified around the same usual modes. However, the phone does offer the ability to capture from two sensors at once, and then you can edit, together to different video perspectives.
The phone can handle up to 4k at 60 frames per second, but the autofocus is so bad. Most of the time you might not want to if youve got a stable subject and the light yet again is on your side. Youll get some decent footage but lower that lighting or try to capture a toddler running across the room and youre going to struggle in night, shooting its even worse and yeah. Again, youre not going to use any video you capture when lighting is bad with the axon 30., the focus just can barely lock onto anything with the axon 30 zt has proven it can truly hide its under display camera, but that doesnt mean it should have image Quality from the secretive, selfie camera really isnt good enough, even if it is a technical marvel. Fortunately, the cameras on the other side of the phone are pretty good. But aside from that, the x13 has a gorgeous huge screen, a pretty capable camera and was able to deal with pretty much everything i threw it. The lack of wider 5g support on this phone is another frustration, but theres still a lot of phone here for 500.. The only problem for zte is the amount of competition in this mid range phone area, even googles. Own pixel 5a has appeared on the scene at 449 and thats cheaper than the axon 30. between the two. The decision might boil down to great selfies or great screen.
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