ZTE Axon 9 Pro
IFA is Europe's big consumer tech show. Every year we head over to Berlin to check out everything in person, and honor the standouts with our Best of IFA award. This year, five products really caught our eye.
ZTE is back! After facing a hard-hitting ban on parts and software, the China-based phone maker is up and running full steam once more. ZTE decided the IFA trade show was a suitable place to launch its first true flagship since 2016, the new Axon 9 Pro. Here are our first impressions of ZTE's come-back device.
ZTE today announced the Axon 9 Pro, its first real flagship device since the 2016 Axon 7. This new phone adopts a metal-and-glass design with 2.5 curved glass on front, a metal frame, and glass on the back. The phone offers a 6.2-inch full HD+ (2,248 x 1,080) AMOLED screen with what ZTE calls Axon Vision. Axon Vision uses AI to change the screen's settings in real time to ensure the best color and brightness given the environment. The screen relies on an independent display processing chip with MEMC (motion estimation, motion compensation) technology, which can boost 24/30fps video to 60fps for smoother playback. Last, the display supports HDR10 video playback. A Snapdragon 845 provides the brains of the operation and it is aided by 6 GB of RAM, with 128 GB of internal storage. The dual-camera configuration relies on the 845's AI capabilities to introduce new features. The main camera has a 12-megapixel sensor at f/1.75 with optical image stabilization, autofocus, and dual photo diode. The secondary camera has a 20-megapixel sensor and a 130-degree wide angle of view. The front camera has a 20-megapixel fixed-focus camera with face detection. The AI features include intelligent motion tracking for constant focus, smart portraiture, and better slow motion. The phone has a 4,000mAh battery that ZTE says is optimized via constant AI-based evaluation. It will proactively shut down background apps that are draining power. The battery supports rapid charging and Qi-based wireless charging. A fingerprint sensor is located on the rear and the phone is IP68 certified for protection from water/dust. Radios include NFC, dual-band 2x MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and LTE. Last of the major features are stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos for clear, loud sound. The phone ships with Android 8.1 Oreo. Pricing is expected to be in the neighborhood of $750. ZTE says the device is chiefly intended for overseas markets.