ZTE Axon 40 Ultra full review
This is the new zte axon 40 ultra and its claim to fame is that its selfie cam hides under the display and is practically invisible. The phone also comes at a significantly lower price than other top flagships. So is this as great of a deal as it seems im will for gsm marina and lets find out in our zte axon 40 ultra review Music, the zte axon 40 ultra is a 2022 flagship, and that means you should expect the best specs and cutting edge Tech and thats, more or less true, especially for the latter part. The phone is large with a squared off minimalistic design. The curved matte back is made of glass and it has a soft, almost fuzzy texture. You also get a solid aluminum frame and the axon 40 ultra feels a bit on the heftier side. Unfortunately, even though this is a flagship, theres, no official ip rating here on the front of the phone is a 6.8 inch amoled with an 11 16 by 2480 resolution, thats 400 ppi and a fast 120hz refresh rate like last years model. This display is curved at the edges, its a neat but polarizing feature, but one thing pretty much everyone agrees on is that notches and cutouts in the screen, arent ideal and thats. What makes the axon 40 ultras hidden selfie cam such a standout feature. This is the third generation of this tech and its improved enough for zte to include it in its top flagship, now theres, a new, more seamless, sub pixel arrangement of the camera sensor, as well as a higher pixel density of the screen.
Above it, the selfie cam is pretty hard to spot, while youre enjoying your media, and it enables a more immersive experience, since this is an amoled. Blacks are quite deep here and you also get support for 10 bit color and hdr 10, but not hdr 10 plus the color accuracy here is unimpressive too, generally trailing the competition. When it comes to brightness, we were able to measure 540 nits maximum with the manual slider and that boosts up to 680 nits in auto mode in bright sun. Most other flagships can do better, but is still quite usable outdoors. We are happy with the 120 hertz refresh rate and that it smooths out our swiping and scrolling on screen last years. Refresh rate was higher, though, and while it does dial down here when idling to save power, it wont go lower than 60 hertz theres. Also, no support for high frame rate gaming here either for audio the axon 40 ultra has a stereo setup with the second speaker, both acting as the earpiece and having a grill on the top. The speakers earned a score very good in our loudness test, but there isnt much for low end here: Music, the axon 40 ultra doesnt support expandable storage, but there are plenty of storage options to choose from from 128 gigs to a whole terabyte. You can wake up and unlock the phone with an optical under display fingerprint reader, its quite responsive. You can also hold down on the fingerprint reader to open a set of shortcuts.
As soon as you hit the home screen, the interface itself is ztes. My os 12 on top of android 12. in many ways its very similar to stock android. You get the google feed on the home screen and most of the phones functions are provided by googles, apps as well theres also the privacy dashboard, which is a standard android 12 feature. It organizes your privacy and permissions options into one convenient spot. You will notice some cosmetic changes in comparison to stock android, such as the icons in the settings menu. There are also a bunch of personalization options. You can use to customize the looks of the ui, and there are a few zte only features like special shortcuts and gestures, which you can find in the features menu powering. All of these features is this years high end android chipset, the snapdragon 8 gen1 performance is, of course, very good, but for some reason, compared to other flagships running on the same hardware, the axon 40 ultra falls behind in the benchmark scores. The snapdragon 8gen1 is notorious for running hot, but here theres an advanced passive cooling system. Sustained performance was pretty stable in our stress test, better than many of the other flagships. This means the hardware is staying cool, but on the outside of the phone, the heat became unbearable during these tests. Thankfully, during a normal gaming session, the effects were not so extreme. The axon 40 ultra is powered by a 5 000 milliamp hour battery, which is a larger capacity than what we saw on last years.
Model battery life has improved too and its decent for a flagship. The phone was able to score an endurance rating of 104 hours in our proprietary tests, theres 65 watt fast charging too, and with that bundled adapter, we were able to charge from zero to eighty percent in half an hour. Theres no support for wireless charging. Here, though, moving on to the cameras and lets start off with the selfie quality since thats, one of the big questions about this phone, because the 16 megapixel camera sits under the display, theres gon na be distortion and the phone needs to use ai. To compensate for that honestly, the results arent great the photos are soft, with inconsistent colors and limited dynamic range. This solution isnt for selfie enthusiasts, but its okay, if you just need it for something practical, like a video call on the back, the axon 40 ultra brings a triple camera setup. All with a 64 megapixel resolution theres a main cam with ois a 5.7 times, periscope telephoto with ois and an ultra wide cam with autofocus that can take macro shots. The main cam is special in that it has a 35 millimeter equivalent focal length, thats, pretty rare in the smartphone world. Zte even has a special name for it. The humanity camera its a bit strange because the camera is not only for photographing people. Another quirk of this setup is that the 5.7 times telephoto zoom is actually compared to the ultra wide cam compared to a regular 26 millimeter main cam youd, see on most camera phones, its more like a 3.
5 time zip. There are plenty of camera modes and features, including one which lets you shoot with all three cameras. At the same time, with a single click, 16 megapixel photos from the humanity camera are, for the most part, excellent theres, a lot of detail and its rendered. Naturally, without excess, sharpening noise is low and the colors look true to life, though some people might prefer a more vibrant look. The dynamic range is good here too. The longer focal length feels good and it allows you to get a natural bokeh effect behind a closed subject, and this looks really nice. It works great on human subjects too, for a natural looking portrait. If you want an even stronger effect, you can turn on the portrait mode, which adds some extra blur to the background. It works well. The subject separation is pretty accurate. The telephoto cam lives up to the high standards producing nicely detailed, sharp and noise free photos. The colors and dynamic range are good too. The ultrawide camera captures equally great photos its among the best ultra wides weve, seen for daylight, shooting it has the same sensor as the main cam, so its a perfect match in color reproduction. The detail is excellent and theres. No drop in sharpness towards the corners, the ultra wide has autofocus and its the camera. The axon 40 ultra uses in its macro mode. There is some upscaling involved here which causes some loss in detail, but the tight framing looks good in the dark.
The main cam applies some night mode. Processing automatically colors, look great and highlights are preserved, but the photos are generally darker than wed like, especially in contrasty scenes. In some cases, the noise reduction and sharpening result in an over processed look. The dedicated night mode provides a much nicer looking exposure with lifted shadows and midtones. The effect is pretty good, but some scenes, like the lit grass, seem overdone. The telephoto does a decent job. It captures plenty of detail and manages to preserve the highlights night mode lifts up the shadows, noticeably and attempts to bring down highlights further. The ultra wide does an admirable job in low light for this sort of camera. Shadows can come out less than ideal, but if the lighting is enough, the shots have good enough sharpness and detail the effect of night mode, isnt that dramatic on the ultra wide but theres better development in the tonal extremes and thats good. When it comes to video recording on the axon 40 ultra, what we have going on here at the time of this review is what youd call a work in progress. Zte has promoted the neat feature that all three cameras can record in 8k resolution, but when we first got the phone that wasnt the case and the frame rates were off now, several software updates later the frame rates are fixed, but you cant record an 8k at All zte will hopefully sort everything out pretty soon.
Well, show you what we managed to record in 4k. Footage from the main cam is pretty nice with good, looking colors plenty of detail and wide dynamic range. Our biggest concern is a wobble that persists on a tripod. Even with electronic stabilization off 4k footage from the telephoto is also shaky, but, to a lesser extent, quality is great. With similar colors and dynamic range and excellent detail. 4K, video from the ultra wide is quite steady and again the quality is superb, so there you have it guys: the zte axon 40 ultra. It provides an unbroken front screen decent battery life and fast charging and a pretty unique camera setup on the back. It does fall behind other high end phones when it comes to things like the adaptive, refresh rate and brightness of the screen.