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Opinion | Axon 11 5G: ZTE's March 23-bound smartphone could well be a flagship in disguise as a mid-ranger

The Axon 11 5G certainly looks like a mid-range smartphone. (Image source: ZTE)
The Axon 11 5G certainly looks like a mid-range smartphone. (Image source: ZTE)
Teased on Weibo, ZTE is announcing a new smartphone before it releases the Axon 10s Pro. Called the Axon 11 5G, ZTE has scheduled a release for March 23. While all signs may point to it being a mid-range smartphone, ZTE insists on calling it a flagship. What gives?
Alex Alderson,
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Launching via livestream on March 23 at 14:00 CST, the Axon 11 5G is an oddity. Teased by ZTE on Weibo over the last few days, the Axon 11 will be a 5G smartphone first and foremost. However, it will also feature quad rear-facing cameras arranged in a squircle camera array.

Shown to come in black and pink colourways, do not be surprised if ZTE sells other colour variants too. The device has been pictured with a small waterdrop notch too, along with what appears to be a high screen-to-body ratio. It is difficult to tell at this stage whether ZTE has opted for a curved or flat display, though.

While initial promotional imagery makes the Axon 11 5G look decidedly like a midrange smartphone, ZTE has muddied the waters somewhat. On the one hand, it would make sense for ZTE to dovetail the release of the Axon 10s Pro with a mid-range smartphone. If a recent Geekbench listing for a ZTE A2021 turns out to be the Axon 11 5G, then a Snapdragon 765G will be onboard.

On the other hand, ZTE consistently refers to the Axon 11 5G as a flagship smartphone, an odd marketing strategy if it actually contains mid-range hardware. Naming the device the Axon 11 would seem to suggest that succeeds the Axon 10 series, too. Perhaps the Axon 11 5G will be an "affordable" flagship instead, with ZTE still including a premium Snapdragon chipset as OnePlus does with its entry-level smartphones. If it is the latter, then expect the Axon 11 5G to include a Snapdragon 865 SoC and at least 6 GB of RAM.

Teasers for the Axon 11 5G. (Image source: ZTE Mobile)
Teasers for the Axon 11 5G. (Image source: ZTE Mobile)
Teasers for the Axon 11 5G. (Image source: ZTE Mobile)
Teasers for the Axon 11 5G. (Image source: ZTE Mobile)

Source(s)

ZTE Mobile - Weibo (1) (2) (3) (4) via Gizmochina

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 3834 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Axon 11 5G: ZTE's March 23-bound smartphone could well be a flagship in disguise as a mid-ranger
Alex Alderson, 2020-03-20 (Update: 2020-03-20)