ZTE Axon 7 Review: Incredible Hardware, But Bad Software

ZTE Axon 7 Review: Incredible Hardware, But Bad Software


ZTE Axon 7 Review: Incredible Hardware, But Bad Software


Model ZTE Axon 7
Band 2G: 1800, 1900, 850, 900 MHz
3G: 800, 1900, 2100, 850, 900 MHz
4G LTE: 1800, 1900, 2100, 2300, 2500, 2600, 800 MHz
Sim Card Dual Sim Card,Dual Standby(Nano SIM + Nano SIM)
Service Provide Unlocked
Style Bar
OS Android 6.0
CPU/GPU CPU: Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 2.15 GHz
GPU: Adreno 530 624MHz
Display Size 5.5 Inch
Type IPS, capacitive touch screen
Resolution 1440 x 2560 px
FM Radio Yes, earphone needed
Speaker Box Speaker
Earphone Port 3.5mm
Card Extend Support TF Card up to 128G
Data transfer USB/Bluetooth
Mobile internet WAP/WiFi
Camera/Picture Resolution Dual Cameras,8.0MP front camera,20.0MP back camera
Language Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Dutch, Czech, Danish, English, French, Finnish, Filipino, Greek, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovenscina, Spanish, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Bahasa Melayu, Chinese
Phonebook 500
Message SMS/MMS
Input Handwrite/Keypad
WIFI IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes,V4.1
Sensors Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor
Multi-Touch Yes
Net Weight(Including battery)
Charger INPUT :100-240V, OUTPUT: 3.7V-2A
Battery capacity No-removable Li-ion 3250mAh battery
Standby Time About 2~3 days
Other Feature Calculators, alarm clock, calendar, recorder, GPS, OTG, Fingerprint, etc.
Package Contents 1x Cell phone
1x Charger1x USB Cable(Type C)
1x User Manual


– Relatively affordable.
– Sleek metal design.
– Crisp Quad HD display.
– Booming speakers.
– Expandable storage.
– Fingerprint sensor, NFC, and dual-band Wi-Fi.

Design, build and controls

Premium is definitely the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Axon 7’s design and build. It is made of high-quality aluminum by using a CNC process ZTE Axon 7 Review, which allows utmost precision in creating perfect edges and corners. Actually, ZTE has collaborated with Designworks – a subsidiary of ZTE Axon 7 Review BMW Group, with which it has achieved to create the G3 curve of the back for optimum grip and comfort. The metal unibody finishes in diamond-cut chamfered edges, rimming the display. They are glossy and reflect light in contrast with ZTE Axon 7 Review the matte finish of the body. The edges beautifully blend with the 2.5D glass for seamless touch experience. All ports and holes are carved with precision and provide a perfect fit. All lines and curves are soft, which somehow contradicts in a very nice ZTE Axon 7 Review way with the hard and cold feel of aluminum. The end result is like a piece of art, in which form and function blend harmoniously. There’s one thing though that might bother some of you – the device can be slippery due to its ultra-smooth ZTE Axon 7 Review finish. It is very comfortable to hold with one hand, but if your skin tends to by dryer than average, you will feel that the handset can slip very easily. With a height of 151.8 mm and a width of 75 mm, the Axon 7 is more compact than an average smartphone with a 5.5-inch display. A waistline of 8.7 mm might sound a lot, but ZTE Axon 7 Review actually the device looks much thinner. It is not very light, but is not scary-heavy, too, as it weighs 175 grams. The model is available in quartz silver (grey) and ion gold color. We are reviewing an ion gold version. Actually, some ZTE Axon 7 Review promotional materials do not do good to the gold variant as they twist the color. In reality, it looks very soft – in jewellery it would match white gold. ZTE has opted in for a very clean front of the Axon 7. Above and below the screen are the two stereo speakers with the company’s signature grille design. Only the top grille has made some room for the front-facing camera. The navigation bar is capacitive – the home button is a circle and the recents and back button are dots. From the Settings you can switch their ZTE Axon 7 Review places. On the left hand side of the device is the hybrid dual-SIM tray and on the opposite side are the volume and power buttons. On the top frame are placed the 3.5 mm jack and a mic, while at the bottom are the USB Type-C port and the second mic. On the back you’ll see the antenna bands at the top and bottom as well as ZTE Axon 7 Review the rear camera, dual-LED flash and fingerprint sensor, placed in a centrally positioned column. The camera and fingerprint sensor are rimmed with a glossy metal ring. The shooter looks embossed, while the sensor is debossed. It is even placed in an area that etches slightly into the body for easier discovering of the sensor and more comfortable operation with it.

The overall feel of the Axon 7 is good—the bezels are small all the way around and the rolled edge doesn’t dig into your hand. The phone is slightly heavier than I’d like, though. It’s 175g, which is substantially heavier than the OnePlus 3 (158g), Idol 4S (149g), and Galaxy S7 (152g).


The front of the phone isn’t all bad news. The Axon 7 has front-facing stereo speakers, and they’re really good. The volume ZTE Axon 7 Review is excellent and the overall quality is there, as long as you engage the Dolby Atmos setting. This is basically a built-in EQ that makes the audio sound less tinny and controls distortion at high volume. Compared to the OnePlus 3 (sorry, we’re going to be ZTE Axon 7 Review doing this a lot), the Axon 7 is the clear winner in audio quality.

The Axon 7 also has Hi-Fi audio over headphones. I’m by no means an audiophile, so perhaps I’m simply not able to fully appreciate ZTE Axon 7 Review the nuances of Hi-Fi audio. Headphones on the Axon 7 sound nice, maybe a little louder than other devices.

AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic LED. This technology provides more power efficiency and faster pixel switching response times, while having several specifics. One of them is that the white value at one and the same ZTE Axon 7 Review brightness percentage changes depending on the portion of the display that is lit up. The white value, if the whole display shows white, differs from the white value measured on a small part of the screen that displays white. This happens because AMOLED displays transfer more power to each pixel, when the white portion is smaller. A full white image requires every pixel to be lit, so the supplied power is less. That’s why ZTE Axon 7 Review for such displays it is very useful to make measurements at different in size portions of the screen that display white color. For this purpose Average Picture Level (APL) is used. This is the percentage of the display that is lit up compared to a full white display. Below you see the APL graph for the Axon 7, which shows how the white value drops when measured on a 1/10 of the display to a full white image (100% APL).

AMOLED is also widely associated with infinite black levels. In Axon 7’s case the “infinite” black levels result in a contrast ratio of 20000:1 (as provided by the manufacturer). “Infinite” has been established as a valid term ZTE Axon 7 Review for the black levels of AMOLED displays, because their technology is such that in order to show the black color, it simply switches the corresponding pixels off. Thus, the actual black levels cannot be measured by regular tools and, logically, the contrast ratio cannot be mathematically derived. The temperature of the white point is average for ZTE Axon 7 Review a display of a mobile device and is within the 7800-7900K range. The Display settings allow you to tweak the color saturation and color temperature to your taste. When the latter is set to Warm, the temperature of the white point is 7000K. In Normal mode, it measures 7800K, while in Cold mode, it jumps to 8700K. The display is not super bright with a peak brightness at 100% of 350 nits.

Brightness White luminance Black luminance Contrast Color temperature
100 % 350.421 cd/m2 0.00 cd/m2 7788 K
75 % 210.217 cd/m2 0.00 cd/m2 7802 K
50 % 146.426 cd/m2 0.00 cd/m2 7925 K
25 % 80.089 cd/m2 0.00 cd/m2 7854 K
0 % 11.761 cd/m2 0.00 cd/m2 7900 K


Axon 7’s hardware is based on the current top chipset for mobile devices in the market – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996. Its architecture ZTE Axon 7 Review includes four custom Kryo CPU cores – two clocked at 2.15GHz and two – at 1.6GHz, while a 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU is responsible for the graphics. With an AnTuTu score of 130536 our unit is listed among the most powerful smartphones at present. It yields to OnePlus 3 and LeEco Le Max 2, but scores higher than the Xiaomi Mi 5. According to the Geekbench result, Axon 7 comes second after OP3. The PCMark work performance score is in favor of the Axon 7 over OnePlus 3. One thing is sure, you will definitely ZTE Axon 7 Review enjoy smooth gameplay even with games that are highly demanding in terms of graphics. We couldn’t help but notice that the smartphone tends to warm up, when it performs tasks involving handling of heavy graphics.

4GB of dual-channel, LPDDR4 RAM clocked at 1866MHz aids the handset’s performance and you really don’t notice when there are many apps running in the background. The built-in memory is a UFS 2.0 type, which ensures ZTE Axon 7 Review fast reading and writing speeds and the smartphone scores excellently in this. Its memory measures 64GB and can be expanded with up to 128GB. There is also a second version of the device with 128GB on board. The smartphone packs a plethora of sensors, including a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor 3.0. It ensures 360-degree recognition ZTE Axon 7 Review and unlocks in mere 0.25 seconds. You can add up to 5 fingerprint IDs and assign a specific task to each. Setting up an ID is very quick and easy, and unlocking from a switched-off screen is really fast.

OS, UI and software

ZTE Axon 7 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with ZTE’s own MiFavor 4.0 on top. The manufacturer promised an update to the upcoming Android 7.0 Nougat soon after the new OS is released officially. You get a typical lock ZTE Axon 7 Review screen with shortcuts to the Dialer and Camera app. The Home screen contains the usual docked apps and a Google search one on the upper end. A scroll to the left and another to the right opens two screens with pre-installed apps. The right one also has a shortcut to a Dolby Atmos promo video. Long-pressing on an empty area on the home screen opens the Widgets menu, which in Axon 7’s case provides more options than usual. For starters, you can Customize the launcher by choosing a new theme, wallpaper, changing the leading color of the icons, and the effect with which new windows open and close. There’s an Organize apps section, via which you can remove, add and change ZTE Axon 7 Review the places of the apps that appear on the home screen and the ones accompanying it. There’s the standard Widgets function and the fourth one is a Backup and restore one for backing the layout of the home screen.

Axon 7’s UI is very intuitive and you can easily find your way around it with all the basic functions such as bringing up notifications, quick settings, list of running apps. All of them are accessed in the standard way. A single swipe from the top of the ZTE Axon 7 Review display opens the Notifications, a second one brings up the Quick Menu. It actually includes more toggles than usual – for the various power saving modes, NFC, Mi-POP, data synchronization, Dolby. You can also edit the list by removing/adding and changing places of the shortcuts. This edit mode also provides the option to show or not the battery percentage and the number of notifications in the status bar. Tapping the recents button opens the list with running apps, which you can remove one by one or all at once. It displays information about the RAM that is ZTE Axon 7 Review currently in use and how much RAM has been freed after closing one, several or all apps. You can also customize the UI’s themes, but the only change a theme brings is in the basic color, not a design overhaul of icons, backgrounds, and so on. There’s a good choice of beautiful wallpapers as well.
The Settings area is very rich and well thought out. The most frequently used settings have shortcuts to them in a separate section and then there’s the full list of them. The first main section of options is the Wireless & networks ZTE Axon 7 Review one as per standard. It is rather extended and includes the NFC and Android Beam toggles, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection management, SIM cards and Data usage monitoring as well as all other connectivity options of the device – Singal Boost, VPN, VoLTE voicemail, and others. The second section is called Customized features and from here you can choose themes and wallpapers for your handset, set up and manage your fingerprint IDs, and other special features described in detail below. Probably Mi-POP will attract the attention with its name. This is very much like a floating dot in other UIs we have seen, but has different functions. Appears as an arrow inside a circle over the content of the display. When tapped, it serves as a back button, but you ZTE Axon 7 Review change that to home key. When dragged, it can be used as a navigation as you can choose to go to the home screen, open the list of running apps or the Widgets menu. If you press and hold it, it opens up a menu that includes Restart, Power off, Lock screen, Screenshot, Full volume and Mute functions. The third major section is the Device one ZTE Axon 7 Review and has all the standard settings, including the Power management ones, Scheduled power on & off, and Connect to a PC, which is basically the menu of connection types, when you hook the smartphone with the USB cable to your computer/laptop.
There’s no need to dig up deep into the Settings in order to adjust and manage main functions such as fingerprint ID setup, display ZTE Axon 7 Review tweaking and so on. However, there are small details that might be omitted and they do bring some interesting options as well. For example, besides fingerprint locking, you can also use Voice unlock. It unlocks the device by a combination of recognizing your voice and a secret audio password. Even if someone else says the same words, the device won’t unlock. You can also opt in for using the handset with a glove (Glove mode) – all you need to do is toggle the corresponding option. There’s also a Gesture & motion section with toggles for a Pocket mode, Flip to mute, Three fingers pinch to make s screenshot, Double tap to wake, Snooze/stop an alarm, Auto ZTE Axon 7 Review call/answer, Shake to turn on flashlight, and so on. Each of these is explained by a picture and has an option to try it, before activating it. You can switch the places of the back and recents buttons on the navigation bar. By default the back button is the left one. Under Display you get the usual set of options, but also Qualcomm’s Assertive Display function. When turned on, it adapts the screen to variable lighting conditions by adjusting the gamma or color curve for each pixel on the screen by taking into account the content and the ambient light. It is under Display where you can adjust the Breathing Light’s behaviour (LED notification one) as well as turn on/off Holster mode. If the latter sounds unfamiliar to you, here it is explained simply. This is a sleep mode, invoked by ZTE Axon 7 Review a magnet in the holster of your device and is activated automatically, when you place the smartphone in it. Of course, you have options for making the screen colors more saturated or de-saturated as well as colder or warmer. The Sound & vibration settings include toggles for Dolby Atmos and Headset HiFi, a DND mode and all other standard options you’re used to.
The Notification settings hold no surprises. You can choose which apps to show notifications and which not to show them. There’s an option for them to appear on the lock screen or not. You may also switch on/off the ZTE Axon 7 Review showing of badges on the Dialer, Messenger, Calendar and Settings apps. The Security settings are rich as usual, but Axon 7 ones include a Smart Lock function, which allows your device to remain unlocked in case it is near trusted devices and places or when it detects your voice or body. There’s a Screen pinning function as well. With it you can pin an app, so it stays always on, so someone else can use it without being able ZTE Axon 7 Review to access other apps/content on your phone. The Language settings allow you to choose from three different keyboards, include a spell checker and a personal dictionary. The Accessibility options are standard, the only difference here is that ZTE Axon 7 Review you can switch on the WeShare Auto function – it makes installing apps from an old phone easier, but it “observes your actions” and “retrieves window content” – so you must confirm you agree on this, before switching it on.
There isn’t an app tray and actually the whole layout of the apps does not resemble Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but looks more like an Android 5.1 Lollipop one. There are three screens with apps in two rows per screen by ZTE Axon 7 Review default. There are plenty of apps pre-installed, but most of them are grouped in corresponding folders such as the Google apps, System Management and the Tools ones. The first folder, logically, contains the Google services such as Search, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Drive, Play Music, Hangouts, Photos, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Voice Search. The System Management folder includes a User Guide, a ZTE Cares app, Download Manager, and File Manager. The default and most used apps like the ZTE Axon 7 Review Dialer, Contacts and Messenger are standard in appearance, but offer additional functionalities and settings. For example, you can decrease the size of the dial ZTE Axon 7 Review pad to the left or the right of the screen, so it becomes more comfortable for one-handed use. There are also extensive Messenger settings, which include font size adjustment by gestures, adding and editing signature, etc.
The Tools folder contains useful apps such as Compass, Flashlight, Calculator, Noise tester, Ruler, Protractor, Level and Plumb line. Of course you have the standard Clock, Calendar, default Browser and Gallery. The latter allows you to make animated GIFs by selecting several images. WPS is a well-known ZTE Axon 7 Review app for text previewing and editing. It works with .doc, .ppt, .xls, .pdf, .txt, and other file formats. Among the non-standard applications, which arrive pre-installed are the ZTE Cares one and WeShare. The latter is an application created to ZTE Axon 7 Review make transferring data from an old to a new phone easier. It also allows direct phone-to-phone file transfer, backup and restore. An AccuWeather app is on board as well.


The Axon does beat the OnePlus 3 when it comes to battery life, but not by a wide margin. Its battery is a little larger—3,250 vs. 3,000mAh. The Axon 7 ZTE Axon 7 Review with heavy use including frequent messaging, some phone calls, games, and web browsing has been getting me a little over five hours of screen time (the OP3 gets just shy of five hours) over the course of 17-18 hours. It’s ZTE Axon 7 Review actually a little hard to track screen time on this phone because ZTE chose to hide the standard battery use screen in the settings. I had to use third-party apps to measure this, so your mileage may vary.

The battery arrives with a 5V/3A; 9V/2A; 12V/1.5A fast charger and the Quick Charge 3.0 technology ensures that you can charge the ZTE Axon 7 Review battery from 0% to 50% for 30 minutes! Our test confirmed this as our unit needed 32 minutes to reach half of its battery’s charge. 70% are reached in 1 hour. The full charge needed a total of 1 hour and 17 minutes, which is quite fast. We have ZTE Axon 7 Review also made the PCMark Work battery life test with the display brightness calibrated at 200 nits as per Futuremark’s recommendations. The test result of 7 hours and 19 minutes is more than good for a device with a QHD 5.5-inch display, a powerful chipset and rich UI.

Networks, calls and connectivity

ZTE Axon 7 provides you with various connectivity tools. It supports NFC and Android Beam along with USB OTG and various USB connection options. It has Miracast, which is a Wi-Fi Display technology for casting content from ZTE Axon 7 Review the smartphone to another display (suffice it has a compatible adapter). A Signal Boost option is present as well. With it you can improve the call quality and connectivity if needed. The smartphone supports dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi HotSpot, and Bluletooth 4.2. It also has a USB Type-C 3.0 port with OTG support and a 3.5 mm jack. All function properly. In terms of networks support, Axon 7 has two variants. Our review unit is the ZTE A2017G one made for the European market. It ZTE Axon 7 Review supports 2G GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 3G UMTS (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz), 4G TDD-LTE (2300, 2500, 2600 MHz), and 4G FDD-LTE (700, 800, 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2600 MHz). The other version is dubbed ZTE A2017U and supports the same GSM bands, the above mentioned UMTS ones except for (4) – 1700 MHz, an additional TDD-LTE band (39) – 1900 MHz as well as TD-SCDMA (34/39) and CDMA1X/EVDO (BC0). The device works with the ZTE Axon 7 Review three main satellite navigation systems – GPS, Glonass and Beidou. It managed to quickly locate satellites from all three with a fair amount of accuracy.

Comparison: Default / Headset HiFi / DOLBY ATMOS

Axon 7 has several software tweaks, which intend to provide better audio experience. We were curious to see how the smartphone would perform without the additional features and with them switched on. The test has been performed ZTE Axon 7 Review for every single feature, while the others are turned off. The graphs below show the values of some of the main audio features of the device when all software tweaks are turned off (white line), with the Headset HiFi turned on (green line), and with the Dolby Atmos switched on (blue line).

Test Default Headset HiFi DOLBY ATMOS
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB +0.07, -0.04 -0.01, -0.12 +3.12, -2.33
Noise level, dB (A) -93.7 -93.9 -93.9
Dynamic range, dB (A) 93.6 93.8 92.8
THD, % 0.0022 0.0056 0.0059
IMD + Noise, % 0.0065 0.0082 0.026
Stereo crosstalk, dB -82.4 -82.9 -70.6


ZTE Axon 7 has a high-end camera setup in accordance with all other high-end features it packs. Its Camera app is quite advanced and besides all standard settings has a Manual mode, via which you can tweak the exposure, white balance, ISO, shutter speed, align the horizon and so on. In case you don’t want to fidget with the camera settings, just set the phone at its Super Auto Mode, which contains Night Shot, Auto HDR, and Automatic Scene Optimization. The software also includes a Beauty Selfie function, an option for refocus, live photo, multi exposure, and long exposure. As long as it concerns making videos, the primary camera of Axon 7 makes 4K and slow motion videos. It is the first device we’ve seen, which lets you choose the compression format, in which you want to save the video – either H265, or H264.

Primary camera

The primary shooter includes a 20-megapixel Samsung S5K2T8 ISOCELL sensor, which is not very widely used, actually. It is coupled with a five-element lens with an f/1.8 aperture and sapphire glass for protection. The rear ZTE Axon 7 Review camera’s performance is aided by both optical and electronic image stabilization (OIS+EIS), dual-LED flash, phase-detection AF and closed loop VCM for better autofocus. The shooter can record 4K videos at 30 fps, HD slow motion videos at 240 fps and 480p slow motion videos at 300 fps.

The front-facing camera is equipped with an 8-megapixel OmniVision OV8856 sensor and an 88-degree wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. It makes one of the best selfies we’ve seen on devices we’ve tested so far. Make sure you click on the images, so you can see them in their original size.


ZTE has really gone a step further to make sure Axon 7 can rival top flagship devices. The smartphone has an advanced audio setup as per current standards for mobile devices. Its hardware includes two AsahiKasei chipsets – an AKM 4961 HiFi Recording Processor for recording and an AKM 4490 HiFi Audio Amplifier for playing. They are coupled with an RF Chip, two noise-cancelling mics, and dual front-facing stereo speakers. Moreover, there are two sound playback codecs – the Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus (7+1 Surround Sound). The device can make dimensional and omni directional HD voice recording from a distance of up to 8 meters. It also lets you chose the file format for your HD stereo recording – M4A or WAV. While recording, it utilizes four ZTE Axon 7 Review channels – 3 channel (hi-fi), 1 channel (VAD). All audio related apps have a Dolby setting related to them and you can tweak the sound from the Sound & notifications set of options.

For the audio measurements of all devices we use the RightMark Audio Analyzer software and the TASCAM US-2×2 audio interface. The Axon 7 ZTE Axon 7 Review did not disappoint in terms of expectations. It showed one of the best results of all devices we have tested and excels in several important features such as total harmonic distortion (THD) and IMD + Noise. It scores Good in THD + Noise, in which other devices score Average. Frequency response is excellent as well, while the ZTE Axon 7 Review rest of the scores are Very Good, resulting in the same overall result. Our personal subjective opinion is that even an untrained ear can spot the difference in audio quality between the Axon 7 and any other average smartphone. A big plus are the two front-mounted stereo speakers, which sound really, really well and provide a better sound depth and reproduce low frequency sounds much better than average devices.

Test Value RMAA rating
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB +0.07, -0.04 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A) -93.7 Very good
Dynamic range, dB (A) 93.6 Very good
THD, % 0.0022 Excellent
THD + Noise, dB (A) -85.7 Good
IMD + Noise, % 0.0065 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB -82.4 Very good
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.015 Very good
General performance Very good


Looking at the ZTE Axon 7 on paper, it seems great. The specs are high-end, it’s running Marshmallow, and it looks quite nice. In practice, it wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be. This isn’t a bad phone—there’s no single deal breaker for me, but there are a lot of little things that make it a frustrating experience.

I definitely like the overall design of the phone and the location of the fingerprint sensor. It’s a very comfortable phone, and the ZTE Axon 7 Review bezels are thin for something with a 5.5-inch display. However, the fingerprint sensor isn’t accurate enough for me, and it isn’t disabled by the proximity sensor. Thus, I hate making phone ZTE Axon 7 Review calls on the Axon 7 even more than I hate making phone calls in general. Oh, and the nav buttons. A $400 phone should not have non-backlit buttons. It’s even worse when they’re as small as these.

ZTE Axon 7 Price Compare

We have found this phone in Fastcardtech, sale Only US$480.19 Free Shipping. We also found it in gearbest.com costs $499.00. It is more expensive.