ZTE Axon 30 Extremely 5G assessment: an surprising however welcome shock

RRP $ 749.00

“ZTE has not had a maintain within the US for some time, however the Axon 30 Extremely is proof that ought to change. It is a large, quick, and highly effective phone for $ 750. ”


  • Massive display with excessive refresh price

  • Lengthy battery life

  • Lots of efficiency

  • Cheap value


  • No wi-fi charging

  • No watertightness

  • No 5G assist within the US

It has been years since I’ve used a ZTE phone and after I was provided the chance to check out the brand new ZTE Axon 30 Extremely 5G, I used to be enthusiastic about it. Why has ZTE been absent currently? A number of years in the past, ZTE confronted the wrath of the US authorities when discovered responsible of violating sanctions in opposition to Iran and suffered the identical restrictions as Huawei does as we speak. The ban has lengthy been lifted, and ZTE has slowly began releasing phones once more in the US.

I used to be a bit of involved about how all this turbulence would have an effect on the phone. How about? I inserted my SIM card with the thought that it will come out once more after just a few days. Now, two weeks later, it is nonetheless in there, and it is proof that ZTE is extra than simply $ 749 for the Axon 30 Extremely.

Design and display

Made from aluminum and glass, the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely 5G has the acquainted form that has been seen on many high-end phones lately. The perimeters taper to some extent, the display curves with it and the flat glass again has a matt end and a strong digicam module. Whereas the design is nothing new, it nonetheless appears to be like nice, and at 188 grams (6.6 ounces), it is nowhere close to as heavy as some massive phones.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra in handAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

Sure, the Axon 30 Extremely is large. The display is a 6.67-inch AMOLED with an adaptive refresh price as much as a most of 144Hz, and it is onerous to stretch your thumb back and forth, however the display’s efficiency is excellent. It may not be fairly as noticeable because the Galaxy S21 Extremely within the default settings, missing a little bit of the distinction and saturation of the Samsung phone’s display, however tweaking the setting makes it come alive. Sadly, the audio system do not fairly sustain with the show, are tinny and might distort at excessive volumes, whereas the setting will not be nice sufficient at low quantity.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra screen from aboveAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

The phone is a bit high heavy as a result of many cameras within the module on the again, and I discovered it a bit tiresome to carry it in portrait orientation after some time, just like the Galaxy S21 Extremely. The sharp sides add to this, and I’d generally attain for the smaller, extra comfortably-held iPhone 12 Professional after I anticipated to browse for various minutes. All of this, nonetheless, is life with an enormous phone, and if you would like a giant display you must settle for the plain draw back that it lives in a giant physique.


On the again of the Axon 30 Extremely there are three 64 megapixel cameras and a single 8 MP digicam. The 64 MP cameras cowl the usual, vast angle and extremely vast angle cameras, whereas the 8MP is a periscope digicam with 5x optical zoom. The phone has optical picture stabilization, part detection autofocus, laser autofocus and HDR10 and digital picture stabilization for movies, the place the decision can attain 8K at 30 frames per second or 4K at 60 or 30 fps.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra camera moduleAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

The cameras take good pictures, however it’s all very inconsistent. Typically occasions you’re taking an image that you’re actually pleased with, just like the one I took of the bee on a flower. It is razor sharp, colourful, and filled with element. The picture of the black and white Mini Countryman exhibits white steadiness and quite a lot of ambiance. Then you definately take pictures that do not look good in any respect, such because the wide-angle shot of the black Jaguar car, which obscures particulars with shadows in comparison with the usual shot and has an excessive amount of edge distortion. Typically pictures could be oversaturated, like the image of pink flowers.

There may be actually no proof of the consistency of the Oppo Discover X3 Professional right here, regardless of the a number of 64 MP cameras. Nonetheless, below most conventional situations, the principle digicam takes good pictures, the portrait mode is efficient, and the periscope zoom provides degree of element and a welcome versatility. The Axon 30 Extremely has obtained a software program replace since I used to be utilizing it, and extra could also be added to enhance the digicam’s consistency over time.

When asserting the Axon 30 Extremely, ZTE spoke of a particular characteristic that makes use of all 4 cameras on the identical time. The outline was ambiguous on the time and turned out to be of little assist. The operate referred to as Multi Digital camera exhibits a preview of all cameras in a picture-in-picture view. You may faucet any preview to change to the principle view, however the digicam will nonetheless solely take one picture at a time. I could not discover a cut-off date after I actually wished to make use of it.

Side view of the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra camera moduleAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

It could’t compete with the digicam of the Google Pixel 5, OnePlus 9 Professional, or Samsung Galaxy S21 +, however the ZTE Axon 30 Extremely’s digicam nonetheless takes good pictures below the best situations, particularly for the worth.

Efficiency and battery

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor and 8GB of RAM, it is a flagship phone that provides flagship phone efficiency. Taking part in Asphalt 9: Legends will not be an issue, browsing the Web, enjoying movies and multitasking by way of messaging apps, Twitter and streaming on Chromecast didn’t fear the Axon 30 Extremely both. The Snapdragon 888 provides a lot energy that it’s onerous to think about when it will begin combating. I actually have not discovered this level in my time with the Axon 30 Extremely.

The charging port of the ZTE Axon 30 UltraAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

The 4,600 mAh battery has greater than sufficient guts to maintain all the things operating, and a 65 W fast charger is included for emergencies. Nonetheless, with average use, the phone will simply final just a few days or extra on a single cost. Even with heavy use, it didn’t drop under 40% on a day with the automated display refresh price energetic.

software program

I used to be anticipating the software program to be the rationale I’d take my SIM card out of the Axon 30 Extremely, and whereas it isn’t excellent, it is so much higher than I believed it will be. It is overdone Android 11 with ZTE’s MyOS 11 person interface, however the modifications to Android’s primary look are minimal.

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely is a really nice shock

The short settings within the notification shade have been redesigned, there are just a few totally different icon shapes and totally different colours, however that is about it. There are some video games and apps pre-installed, however nothing you would not discover elsewhere. It is fast and fluid, by no means bought too annoying, and hasn’t suffered from unreliability.

The app display of the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra

Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

ZTE Axon 30 UItra shows Google Chrome

Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra settings

Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra Selfie Camera

Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Nonetheless, there are some issues. Notification assist is patchy, some messages do not arrive till I’ve unlocked the phone, and peculiar bugs just like the sound of the digicam shutter staying loud and proud even after I turned it off. Nonetheless, these issues might be resolved with a software program replace.

Worth and availability

The 8GB / 128GB ZTE Axon 30 Extremely is offered now from ZTE for $ 750 or £ 650 within the UK. A model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage prices $ 850 or $ 750, however we suggest the cheaper than it’s a higher worth. It’s value noting that ZTE USA has confirmed that the phone solely has the 5G modem Has a 5G liner that connects to T-Cell and none for AT&T. With 4G LTE, nonetheless, it really works nice for each.

Our opinion

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely is a really nice shock. The phone has fascinating specs, a principally respectable digicam, lengthy battery life, and an inexpensive value. It is easy to stay with on a day-to-day foundation offered you forgive the software program bugs and inconsistent digicam efficiency, which is straightforward to do because it would not value $ 1,000.

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra in hand from the sideAndy Boxall / Digital Developments

Nonetheless, the worth does imply you will must forego among the options we have come to count on from flagship phones. The Axon 30 Extremely would not have wi-fi charging, and it would not have an IP score for water resistance. It is all very harking back to the pre-OnePlus 8 fashions from OnePlus – an inexpensive phone with some limitations.

Now OnePlus’s major phones do not actually take up that house anymore and firms like Xiaomi do not promote their phones within the US, so there’s positively room for the ZTE and the Axon 30 Extremely. The excellent news is, when you’re able to hunt to your subsequent phone exterior of the same old suspects, you will be happy. Nonetheless, bear in mind that this isn’t the phone for you in case you are determined for 5G now or sooner or later.

Is there a greater various?

The ZTE Axon 30 Extremely 5G’s $ 750 value level sits alongside the $ 699 Google Pixel 5, which has a greater digicam however a smaller display, and the $ 800 Samsung Galaxy S21 and its stunning display. Alternatively, the Apple iPhone 12 is priced at $ 799, with nice digicam, efficiency, and battery life. Considering exterior the field could lead on you to the $ 600 Asus Zenfone 8, which provides related efficiency and software program in a a lot smaller physique, and the $ 730 OnePlus 9. It is inferior to the dearer OnePlus 9 Professional, however it’s nonetheless value contemplating.

How lengthy it should take?

Because it lacks water resistance and has a glass case, you should deal with the Axon 30 Extremely 5G effectively if you would like it to final a very long time. ZTE guarantees the phone can be up to date to Android 12 by the top of this yr or early 2022, however doesn’t affirm any plans for additional updates. Technically, the phone will simply final two years, but when your digicam wants or your want for 5G change throughout that point, the shortcomings can get irritating.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, it has all the main specs for an inexpensive value. Be aware, nonetheless, that 5G is unlikely to ship within the US.

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