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Review of ZTE Axon 40 Ultra smartphone - invisible selfie camera, three 64MP cameras and flagship performance

No notch? No problem. The Axon 40 Ultra is different. The selfie camera on ZTE's new flagship is hidden underneath the display. Furthermore, there are as many as three 64MP cameras on the phone's glass back cover, including a telephoto lens with 3.5x optical zoom. The other high-end components such as the 120 Hz AMOLED display and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 seem almost pedestrian in comparison.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

For its new flagship smartphone, the Axon 40 Ultra, ZTE is focusing on the camera systems. This is rather apparent considering that the first 30 pages of the review guide are almost exclusively dedicated to this topic. On the product page, you likewise have to scroll almost all the way to the bottom before you find out more about the smartphone beyond just the features of its cameras.

There are indeed a few things to say about the cameras. On the back cover, you will find the main, ultra-wide and telephoto cameras each featuring a 64MP sensor. On the front, a selfie camera sits beneath the AMOLED display and is thus invisible whilst the phone is in use. Continue to read our review to find out whether this camera package performs just as well as the one on the excellent predecessor, the Axon 30 Ultra.

The rest of the phone's specifications are similarly impressive. At the heart of the phone is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – one of the fastest Android processors available right now. The phone also features up to 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, a 5,000-mAh battery and an AMOLED display capable of 120 Hz refresh rate and 360 Hz touch sampling rate. A 65-watt charger is included in the box.

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Axon Series)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 8 x 1.8 - 3 GHz, Cortex-X2 / A710 / A510 (Kryo) Waipio
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR5X
Display
6.80 inch 20:9, 2480 x 1116 pixel 400 PPI, AMOLED, Curved FHD+, 10-bit colour depth, 10.7 billion colours, 100% DCI-P3, glossy: yes, HDR, 120 Hz
Storage
128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, 109 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), Audio Connections: USB-C, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, DRM Widevine L1, Camera2 API Level 3, IR blaster
Networking
Wi-Fi 6E (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.2, 2G (band 2/3/5/8), 3G (band 1/2/5/8), 4G (band 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41), 5G (band 1/3/5/7/28/38/40/41/78), head SAR 0.921 W/kg, body SAR 1.556 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, 5G, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.41 x 163.28 x 73.56 ( = 0.33 x 6.43 x 2.9 in)
Battery
5000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Android 12
Camera
Primary Camera: 64 MPix (Sony IMX787, f/1.6, OIS) + 64MP ultrawide camera + macro camera (Sony IMX787, f/2.35, 4cm AF macro shot) + 64MP tele camera (f/2.5, 5,7x optical zoom, OIS), videos up to [email protected]
Secondary Camera: 16 MPix Under-display camera
Additional features
Speakers: dual speakers, Keyboard: virtual, 65w charger, USB cable (type c to c), SIM tool, protective case, warranty card, MyOS, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
204 g ( = 7.2 oz / 0.45 pounds), Power Supply: 99 g ( = 3.49 oz / 0.22 pounds)
Price
829 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Comparison of possible competitors

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Drive
Size
Resolution
Best Price
87.2 %
08/2022
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
SD 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730
204 g128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.80"2480x1116
87.7 %
03/2022
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
SD 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730
196 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.70"2400x1080
87.8 %
04/2022
Oppo Find X5
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
196 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.55"2400x1080
87.1 %
03/2022
realme GT 2 Pro
SD 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730
189 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.70"3216x1440
87.4 %
02/2022
Xiaomi 12 Pro
SD 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730
204 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.73"3200x1440
86.1 %
06/2021
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
188 g128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.68"2400x1080

Much like its predecessor, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is only available with a matt-black glass body in the EU region. The large camera module on the back cover has become slightly longer due to the vertical arrangement of the sensors, but loses the glossy finish seen on the Axon 30 Ultra. This makes the phone quite unsusceptible to fingerprints as a whole.

Because the AMOLED display curves significantly around the long edges, the front and back of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra blend together almost seamlessly. However, you can still feel the metal frame a little with your fingers, which doesn't quite fit the otherwise very high-quality feel of the phone. Overall, the device has excellent build quality and feels exceptionally sturdy. Nevertheless, you shouldn't let it drop into water because it is not IP-rated.

The front of the Axon 40 Ultra has a very clean look. There is no need for a hole or notch because the selfie camera is hidden under the display. This allows the screen to occupy a possibly record-breaking 93 per cent of the phone's front. Despite that, the edges of the curved display are still wide enough to ensure that accidental screen presses don't happen often. An optical fingerprint sensor is also located underneath the AMOLED screen.

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

Size comparison

163.6 mm / 6.44 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.66 mm / 0.3409 inch 204 g0.4497 lbs163.1 mm / 6.42 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 196 g0.4321 lbs163.28 mm / 6.43 inch 73.56 mm / 2.9 inch 8.41 mm / 0.3311 inch 204 g0.4497 lbs163.2 mm / 6.43 inch 74.7 mm / 2.94 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 189 g0.4167 lbs161.53 mm / 6.36 inch 72.96 mm / 2.87 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 188 g0.4145 lbs160.3 mm / 6.31 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 8.7 mm / 0.3425 inch 196 g0.4321 lbs

Specifications - up to 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage

The Axon 40 Ultra is available in two configurations. You can get the version with 8 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 128 GB of UFS 3.1 storage directly from the manufacturer for 829 euros (US$799). The higher-end configuration with 12/256 GB costs 949 euros (US$899). There is no microSD card slot for storage expansion.

The phone has neither a 3.5-mm audio jack nor a radio tuner. It features a pair of stereo speakers, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and Miracast for wireless screen mirroring. The OTG-compatible USB-C port supports USB 3.2 Gen 1 and offers transfer rates of up to 5 Gbit/s.

left: no connectors
left: no connectors
right: volume rocker and power button
right: volume rocker and power button
top: speaker and IR blaster
top: speaker and IR blaster
bottom: speaker, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and SIM card slot
bottom: speaker, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 and SIM card slot

Software - Android 12 and MyOS 12

The Axon 40 Ultra ships with Android 12 and ZTE's own MyOS 12 user interface. At the time of review (early August), the Android security patches on the device were dated 1 June, meaning they were up to date. And because the device supports Widevine DRM L1, it is also able to stream HD content. ZTE hasn't provided any information regarding how long the company intends to continue rolling out updates to the Axon 40 Ultra.

Besides Google apps and a few tools by ZTE, only a few third-party apps are pre-installed on the device, including the Ume browser, Facebook, WPS Office and Booking.com. But all of them can be deleted. After the initial setup, around 109 GB of the 128 GB was usable on our review unit.

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

Connectivity and GNSS - Wi-Fi 6E and accurate GPS

The dual-SIM ZTE Axon 40 Ultra supports all 4G and 5G frequency bands relevant in the EU region. The Wi-Fi module is compatible with the Wi-Fi 6E standard and was able to achieve high data transfer speeds with our reference router, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000.

Data transfer was extremely stable in both the upload and download direction and managed to hit peak speeds of 900 Mbit/s. The initial low transmit rate was due to the router waking up. Even though the phone supports Wi-Fi 6E, we weren't able to use the 6 GHz band. 

Networking
iperf3 receive AXE11000
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1465 (1307min - 1536max) MBit/s ∼100% +63%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
933 (833min - 949max) MBit/s ∼64% +4%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
900 (844min - 951max) MBit/s ∼61%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
862 (780min - 919max) MBit/s ∼59% -4%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
789 (351min - 863max) MBit/s ∼54% -12%
Average of class Smartphone
  (44.3 - 1736, n=73, last 2 years)
615 MBit/s ∼42% -32%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1214 (516min - 1524max) MBit/s ∼100% +46%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
976 (953min - 1017max) MBit/s ∼80% +17%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
933 (826min - 963max) MBit/s ∼77% +12%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
898 (852min - 931max) MBit/s ∼74% +8%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
831 (428min - 859max) MBit/s ∼68%
Average of class Smartphone
  (61.4 - 1710, n=74, last 2 years)
645 MBit/s ∼53% -22%
iperf3 transmit AX12
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1175 (1141min - 1218max) MBit/s ∼100%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.59 - 1395, n=200, last 2 years)
486 MBit/s ∼41%
iperf3 receive AX12
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
786 (755min - 837max) MBit/s ∼100%
Average of class Smartphone
  (15.5 - 1348, n=201, last 2 years)
471 MBit/s ∼60%
050100150200250300350400450500550600650700750800850900950Tooltip
; iperf3 receive AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø899 (844-951)
; iperf3 transmit AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø817 (428-859)
GPS reception in a building
GPS reception in a building
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors

The Axon 40 Ultra uses the satellite navigation systems GPS (L1, L5), Glonass (L1), Galileo (E1, E5a) and Beidou (B1, B1c, B2a) to identify its location. During our review, the device managed to do so quite swiftly both inside buildings and outdoors – down to an accuracy of 3 metres.

The ZTE phone also delivers accurate position data in daily use. During an approximately 10-km-long bike ride, the Axon 40 Ultra tracked our location almost as accurately as the Garmin Venu 2. Whilst it sometimes deviated slightly from the actual route in more densely built-up sections, the overall accuracy remained high.

GPS test: summary
GPS test: summary
GPS test: ride around a lake
GPS test: ride around a lake
GPS test: turning point
GPS test: turning point

Phone functions and call quality - VoLTE and VoWiFi

The dual-sim slot of the Axon 40 Ultra can fit two nano sim cards. The phone supports both VoLTE and VoWiFi. The device delivered good call quality during our testing. The noise reduction worked reliably; during phone calls, everyone on the line could understand the conversation well, even in speakerphone mode.

Cameras - three 64MP cameras and an under-display selfie camera

Photo taken using the selfie camera
Photo taken using the selfie camera
You have to apply some tricks to see the selfie camera.
You have to apply some tricks to see the selfie camera.

At first glance, the camera system on the Axon 40 Ultra seems hardly any different from the one on its predecessor, as both of them feature three 64MP sensors. However, the sensors are allocated differently. There are four cameras on the Axon 30 Ultra: a main, an ultra-wide and a portrait camera (each with 64MP) as well as an 8MP telephoto camera.

The Axon 40 Ultra got rid of the portrait camera, opting instead for a triple-camera setup: a main, an ultra-wide and a telephoto camera each equipped with a 64MP sensor.

The phone's main camera (f/1.6, 35 mm, OIS) and the ultra-wide camera (f/2.35, 16 mm) are each fitted with a Sony IMX787 sensor. The ultra-wide camera is also used for macro photography and switches to an autofocus range as close as 4 cm in this mode.
Like the main camera, the 64MP telephoto camera has an optical image stabiliser. It uses a focal length equivalent of 91 mm and a 3.5x optical zoom. If you include the ultra-wide camera, the phone has a total optical zoom range of 5.7x. The phone is able to record videos at up to 8K and 30 fps.

In daylight, the three cameras take excellent photos with image quality that is worthy of a flagship phone. The photos taken during our review look impressive with their natural colours and high dynamic range. Even the edges of the photos retain a high degree of sharpness.

With its equivalent focal length of 35 mm, the main camera is very suitable for portrait photography. The image sharpness is only slightly compromised if you stay within moderate zoom levels of around 5x. The device is capable of 40x digital zoom. The Axon 40 Ultra isn't particularly good at night photography – other flagship smartphones fare much better in this regard.

The most striking camera feature of the Axon 40 Ultra is located on the front. Whilst the Axon 30 Ultra houses its 16MP selfie camera in a punch hole, its successor features an under-display camera that is not visible when the phone in use. Even when the screen is off or dark, you will still have to apply some tricks in order to see the camera. The pixels above the selfie camera turn off when you're using it to take a photo.

During the review, the under-display selfie camera left us feeling conflicted. On the one hand, we like it very much because it makes the screen appear nice and clean. On the other hand, it is nowhere near the same level as standard selfie cameras in terms of image quality, producing nothing but muddy and blurry photos that look worse than those shot using a budget smartphone. However, the issues doesn't lie so much with ZTE. Under-display technology itself is simply not capable of delivering more at the moment.

Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the ultra-wide camera
Photo taken with the ultra-wide camera
Photo taken with the telephoto camera
Photo taken with the telephoto camera

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Tageslicht-Aufnahme 1Tageslicht-Aufnahme 2Ultraweitwinkel5-facher ZoomLowlight-Aufnahme
click to load images

Under controlled lighting conditions, the main camera demonstrated that it is able to reproduce colours quite accurately and only had a slight slip-up with the darker reference green. Photos of the test chart usually look sharp, but it is almost impossible to make out anything in the picture taken at a low light level of 1 lux.

ColorChecker
13.5 ∆E
4.5 ∆E
10.9 ∆E
15.4 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
3.1 ∆E
5.5 ∆E
9.2 ∆E
7.2 ∆E
5.4 ∆E
4.4 ∆E
2.9 ∆E
8.2 ∆E
8.4 ∆E
7.9 ∆E
3.3 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
10.4 ∆E
10.8 ∆E
4.8 ∆E
5.6 ∆E
10.7 ∆E
7.4 ∆E
2 ∆E
ColorChecker ZTE Axon 40 Ultra: 7.24 ∆E min: 2.02 - max: 15.36 ∆E
ColorChecker
29.1 ∆E
53.9 ∆E
39.6 ∆E
37.3 ∆E
44.9 ∆E
63.3 ∆E
53.8 ∆E
35.6 ∆E
42.8 ∆E
27.4 ∆E
65.3 ∆E
64.3 ∆E
30.5 ∆E
48.6 ∆E
36.8 ∆E
76.4 ∆E
43.1 ∆E
44.1 ∆E
93 ∆E
71 ∆E
52.6 ∆E
37.1 ∆E
24 ∆E
13.7 ∆E
ColorChecker ZTE Axon 40 Ultra: 47 ∆E min: 13.67 - max: 92.97 ∆E

Accessories and warranty - 65-watt charger included

ZTE includes a 65-watt charger, a USB cable, a SIM ejector tool and a transparent protective case with the Axon 40 Ultra. The company doesn't offer any special accessories for the smartphone. But you can purchase protective cases, earphones and other accessories in the ZTE store.

In the EU, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra comes with a 24-month warranty.

Input devices and usability - 360 Hz touch sampling rate

The device's AMOLED screen responds very accurately to inputs thanks to its high touch sampling rate of 360 Hz. The display's 120 Hz refresh rate ensures that scrolling through menus and websites is a smooth, stutter-free experience.

The optical fingerprint sensor beneath the display unlocks the smartphone quickly and reliably. You can choose from six fingerprint scanner animations with different colours. This, for instance, makes it easier for you improve the visibility of the scanning area based on your lock screen background. Whilst not as secure, the 2D facial recognition is just as responsive as the fingerprint sensor.

Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode

Display - AMOLED panel with 120 Hz refresh rate.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The 6.8-inch curved display on the Axon 40 Ultra has a resolution of 2480 x 1116, equivalent to a high pixel density of 400 PPI. The HDR-enabled 20:9 screen runs at 120 Hz and is very evenly lit. The entire panel has an average peak brightness of 683 cd/m².

When the measurement was limited to a smaller area on the panel, it managed to hit a peak brightness of 810 cd/m² (APL18). Without the ambient light sensor, the screen had a brightness of up to 542 cd/m² at the highest setting and just 5 cd/m² at the lowest setting.

The AMOLED panel uses pulse-wide modulation (PWM) to control brightness. At all the brightness levels tested, the PWM operated at a low frequency of 60 Hz. This might pose a problem to users who are sensitive because using a higher brightness setting won't help them avoid PWM flickering. However, we can provide some reassurance: on the Axon 40 Ultra, the PWM waveform is very flat due to the consistently low frequency, meaning the result is similar to permanent DC dimming and should therefore be less straining on the eyes. 

668
cd/m²
680
cd/m²
706
cd/m²
666
cd/m²
682
cd/m²
703
cd/m²
666
cd/m²
676
cd/m²
697
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 3
Maximum: 706 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 682.7 cd/m² Minimum: 5.07 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 682 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.8 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.4 | 0.64-98 Ø5.6
93% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.16
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
AMOLED, 2480x1116, 6.80
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.70
Oppo Find X5
AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.55
realme GT 2 Pro
AMOLED, 3216x1440, 6.70
Xiaomi 12 Pro
AMOLED, 3200x1440, 6.73
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.68
Screen
20%
22%
-32%
30%
-89%
Brightness middle
682
649
-5%
709
4%
740
9%
959
41%
638
-6%
Brightness
683
649
-5%
718
5%
732
7%
977
43%
641
-6%
Brightness Distribution
94
98
4%
95
1%
98
4%
96
2%
93
-1%
Black Level *
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
1.8
1.18
34%
1.3
28%
3.25
-81%
1.1
39%
4
-122%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
4.7
2.07
56%
2.5
47%
6.46
-37%
3.1
34%
14
-198%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
2.4
1.5
37%
1.3
46%
4.7
-96%
1.9
21%
7.2
-200%
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.236 98%
2.27 97%
2.213 99%
2.22 99%
2.27 97%
CCT
6634 98%
2538 256%
6489 100%
5663 115%
6498 100%
7190 90%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 60 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 60 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 60 Hz is very low, so the flickering may cause eyestrain and headaches after extended use.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 19971 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

minimum panel brightnes
min.
25% panel brightness
25%
50% panel brightness
50%
75% panel brightness
75%
maximum panel brightness (manually adjusted)
100%

In the display settings, you can choose from three colour modes: "Colourful", "Standard" and "Soft". Furthermore, colour temperature can be adjusted using either the colour temperature wheel or one of the presets ("Warm", "Normal" and "Cold"). 

We were able to get the best colour reproduction using a combination of "Soft" colour mode and "Normal" colour temperature. In this case, the colour accuracy falls in the ideal range (Delta E < 3), as is the case with the colour temperature and RGB balance.

Colour accuracy ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Colour accuracy ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Colour accuracy ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Colour accuracy ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Greyscale ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Greyscale ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Colour saturation ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)
Colour saturation ("Soft" colour mode, "Normal" colour temperature, target colour space sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
1.42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 0.741 ms rise
↘ 0.681 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.4 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (23.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
1.03 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 0.505 ms rise
↘ 0.527 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.25 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 0 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (36.5 ms).

The Axon 40 Ultra cuts a fine figure outdoors as long as you avoid using it in direct sunlight. You can still easily tell what is on the screen even when viewing it from a very flat angle.

Outdoor use (in direct sunlight)
Outdoor use (in direct sunlight)
Outdoor use (in shade)
Outdoor use (in shade)
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – currently one of the fastest SoCs for Android phones. The high-end processor, which is able to effortlessly handle even the most challenging of applications, features the Adreno 730 GPU and is paired with either 8 GB or 12 GB of LPDDR5X RAM in the Axon 40 Ultra.

The ZTE is amongst the top performers in synthetic benchmarks and is as fast as other Android phones equipped with the same SoC. Only the AI computations in AIMark didn't work out so well for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The Snapdragon 888 5G, found on phones such as the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra and Oppo Find X5, is not much slower as a whole but performs better in AIMark.

Geekbench 5.4
Single-Core
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1267 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (1182 - 1298, n=20)
1234 Points ∼97% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
1217 Points ∼96%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1195 Points ∼94% -2%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1192 Points ∼94% -2%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
1156 Points ∼91% -5%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
1121 Points ∼88% -8%
Average of class Smartphone
  (58 - 1755, n=270, last 2 years)
682 Points ∼54% -44%
Multi-Core
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
3738 Points ∼100% +14%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
3659 Points ∼98% +11%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
3641 Points ∼97% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (3269 - 3839, n=20)
3554 Points ∼95% +8%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
3456 Points ∼92% +5%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
3376 Points ∼90% +3%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
3289 Points ∼88%
Average of class Smartphone
  (248 - 4914, n=270, last 2 years)
2220 Points ∼59% -33%
Antutu v9 - Total Score
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
970465 Points ∼100% +5%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
965911 Points ∼100% +5%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
962824 Points ∼99% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (692924 - 1041980, n=17)
930046 Points ∼96% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
922942 Points ∼95%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
824694 Points ∼85% -11%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
809906 Points ∼83% -12%
Average of class Smartphone
  (111952 - 1119358, n=126, last 2 years)
556641 Points ∼57% -40%
PCMark for Android - Work 3.0
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
16564 Points ∼100% +54%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
13913 Points ∼84% +29%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
13611 Points ∼82% +27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (10140 - 17025, n=20)
13251 Points ∼80% +23%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
13131 Points ∼79% +22%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
12279 Points ∼74% +14%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
10745 Points ∼65%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4436 - 18567, n=171, last 2 years)
10184 Points ∼61% -5%
CrossMark - Overall
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
1042 Points ∼100% +39%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (749 - 1169, n=13)
993 Points ∼95% +33%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
811 Points ∼78% +8%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
749 Points ∼72%
Average of class Smartphone
  (226 - 1169, n=67, last 2 years)
737 Points ∼71% -2%
BaseMark OS II
Overall
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
7665 Points ∼100%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
7147 Points ∼93% -7%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
7070 Points ∼92% -8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (6007 - 7665, n=14)
6923 Points ∼90% -10%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
6921 Points ∼90% -10%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
6843 Points ∼89% -11%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
6007 Points ∼78% -22%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1223 - 8753, n=179, last 2 years)
4331 Points ∼57% -43%
System
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
11207 Points ∼100% +14%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
10896 Points ∼97% +10%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
10739 Points ∼96% +9%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
10247 Points ∼91% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (9273 - 11338, n=14)
10239 Points ∼91% +4%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
10006 Points ∼89% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
9873 Points ∼88%
Average of class Smartphone
  (2083 - 19657, n=179, last 2 years)
7678 Points ∼69% -22%
Memory
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
8906 Points ∼100%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
7684 Points ∼86% -14%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
7610 Points ∼85% -15%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
7357 Points ∼83% -17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (5125 - 8906, n=14)
6794 Points ∼76% -24%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
6162 Points ∼69% -31%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
5125 Points ∼58% -42%
Average of class Smartphone
  (670 - 9044, n=179, last 2 years)
4956 Points ∼56% -44%
Graphics
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
21885 Points ∼100% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
21650 Points ∼99%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (15216 - 22308, n=14)
20257 Points ∼93% -6%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
17159 Points ∼78% -21%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
15216 Points ∼70% -30%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
14770 Points ∼67% -32%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
13543 Points ∼62% -37%
Average of class Smartphone
  (697 - 26660, n=179, last 2 years)
7712 Points ∼35% -64%
Web
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
1983 Points ∼100% +9%
realme GT 2 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1888 Points ∼95% +4%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1843 Points ∼93% +2%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
1822 Points ∼92% 0%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
1813 Points ∼91%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
1669 Points ∼84% -8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (1291 - 1888, n=14)
1650 Points ∼83% -9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (718 - 2392, n=179, last 2 years)
1388 Points ∼70% -23%
AImark - Score v2.x
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
264766 Points ∼100% +4010%
Oppo Find X5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 8192
257002 Points ∼97% +3889%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 12288
72572 Points ∼27% +1027%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4293 - 286905, n=146, last 2 years)
55254 Points ∼21% +758%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  (5783 - 96317, n=13)
18331 Points ∼7% +185%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Adreno 730, 8192
6442 Points ∼2%

The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is likewise up there with the best in terms of graphics performance and is one of the fastest Android smartphones available right now.

The four 3DMark benchmarks (Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1, Sling Shot Extreme Vulkan Unlimited, Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited and Wild Life) were no match for the powerful SoC – the phone wasn't even given a score (maxed out).

3DMark
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2545 Points ∼100% +16%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2513 Points ∼99% +15%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2188 Points ∼86%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1567 Points ∼62% -28%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1535 Points ∼60% -30%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1478 Points ∼58% -32%
Wild Life Extreme
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2609 Points ∼100% +3%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2594 Points ∼99% +3%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
2528 Points ∼97%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1629 Points ∼62% -36%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1556 Points ∼60% -38%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
1542 Points ∼59% -39%
Wild Life Unlimited Score
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
10384 Points ∼100% +8%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
10164 Points ∼98% +6%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
9593 Points ∼92%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
6483 Points ∼62% -32%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
5888 Points ∼57% -39%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
5765 Points ∼56% -40%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
4150 Points ∼100% +3%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
4033 Points ∼97%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
3865 Points ∼93% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
14143 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
13950 Points ∼99% -1%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
11599 Points ∼82% -18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
9149 Points ∼100% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
9083 Points ∼99%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
8029 Points ∼88% -12%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
11384 Points ∼100% +3%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
11000 Points ∼97%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
10958 Points ∼96% 0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
20842 Points ∼100% 0%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
20795 Points ∼100%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
17179 Points ∼82% -17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
5220 Points ∼100% +26%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
4153 Points ∼80%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
4120 Points ∼79% -1%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
T-Rex Onscreen
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
121 fps ∼100% +6%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
120 fps ∼99% +5%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
119 fps ∼98% +4%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
114 fps ∼94%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼50% -47%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼50% -47%
1920x1080 T-Rex Offscreen
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
426 fps ∼100%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
425 fps ∼100% 0%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
380 fps ∼89% -11%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
306 fps ∼72% -28%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
294 fps ∼69% -31%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
290 fps ∼68% -32%
GFXBench 3.0
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
120 fps ∼100%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
119 fps ∼99% -1%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
118 fps ∼98% -2%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
117 fps ∼98% -2%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
62 fps ∼52% -48%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼50% -50%
1920x1080 1080p Manhattan Offscreen
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
251 fps ∼100% +30%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
194 fps ∼77% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
193 fps ∼77%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
180 fps ∼72% -7%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
165 fps ∼66% -15%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
158 fps ∼63% -18%
GFXBench 3.1
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
111 fps ∼100%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
109 fps ∼98% -2%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
97 fps ∼87% -13%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
87 fps ∼78% -22%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
61 fps ∼55% -45%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼54% -46%
1920x1080 Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
169 fps ∼100% +47%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
143 fps ∼85% +24%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
126 fps ∼75% +10%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
119 fps ∼70% +3%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
115 fps ∼68%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
112 fps ∼66% -3%
GFXBench
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
68 fps ∼100% +6%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
64 fps ∼94%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼88% -6%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
56 fps ∼82% -12%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
42 fps ∼62% -34%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
36 fps ∼53% -44%
1920x1080 Car Chase Offscreen
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
86 fps ∼100% +23%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
86 fps ∼100% +23%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
74 fps ∼86% +6%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
71 fps ∼83% +1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
70 fps ∼81%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
66 fps ∼77% -6%
on screen Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼100% +15%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
52 fps ∼87%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
51 fps ∼85% -2%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
41 fps ∼68% -21%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
37 fps ∼62% -29%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
27 fps ∼45% -48%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
42 fps ∼100% +24%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
41 fps ∼98% +21%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
34 fps ∼81% 0%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
34 fps ∼81%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
29 fps ∼69% -15%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
29 fps ∼69% -15%
on screen Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
98 fps ∼100% +29%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
76 fps ∼78%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
63 fps ∼64% -17%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
60 fps ∼61% -21%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
53 fps ∼54% -30%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
44 fps ∼45% -42%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
101 fps ∼100% +26%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
100 fps ∼99% +25%
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
92 fps ∼91% +15%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
80 fps ∼79%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
78 fps ∼77% -2%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
70 fps ∼69% -12%

The ZTE phone is also lightning fast when browsing the Internet. Websites and images load very quickly and can be scrolled through rapidly.

Jetstream 2 - Total Score
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Chrome 103.0.5060.71)
130.189 Points ∼100%
Oppo Find X5 (Chrome 99.0.4844.73)
125.1 Points ∼96% -4%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Chrome 99)
121.6 Points ∼93% -7%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (chrome 90)
107.7 Points ∼83% -17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (72.8 - 130.2, n=15)
106.1 Points ∼81% -19%
realme GT 2 Pro (Chrome 99)
102.3 Points ∼79% -21%
Xiaomi 12 Pro (Chrome 97)
84.1 Points ∼65% -35%
Average of class Smartphone (12.4 - 182.6, n=179, last 2 years)
64.4 Points ∼49% -51%
Speedometer 2.0 - Result
Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Chome 99)
129 runs/min ∼100% +9%
realme GT 2 Pro (Chome 99)
127 runs/min ∼98% +7%
Oppo Find X5 (Chrome 99.0.4844.73)
121 runs/min ∼94% +2%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Chrome 103.0.5060.71)
118.5 runs/min ∼92%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (chrome 90)
114 runs/min ∼88% -4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (64.4 - 129.3, n=15)
104.9 runs/min ∼81% -11%
Xiaomi 12 Pro (Chrome 97)
73.5 runs/min ∼57% -38%
Average of class Smartphone (9 - 244, n=166, last 2 years)
62.2 runs/min ∼48% -48%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
Oppo Find X5 (Chrome 99.0.4844.73)
182 Points ∼100% +84%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Chrome 99)
167 Points ∼92% +69%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (chrome 90)
158 Points ∼87% +60%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (79 - 193, n=14)
140.6 Points ∼77% +42%
Xiaomi 12 Pro (Chrome 97)
119 Points ∼65% +20%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Chrome 103.0.5060.71)
99 Points ∼54%
Average of class Smartphone (20 - 265, n=187, last 2 years)
94.2 Points ∼52% -5%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Chrome 99)
50626 Points ∼100% +7%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Chrome 103.0.5060.71)
47182 Points ∼93%
Oppo Find X5 (Chrome 99.0.4844.73)
46054 Points ∼91% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (27730 - 50626, n=16)
42169 Points ∼83% -11%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (chrome 90)
38401 Points ∼76% -19%
realme GT 2 Pro (Chrome 99)
37650 Points ∼74% -20%
Xiaomi 12 Pro (Chrome 97)
29750 Points ∼59% -37%
Average of class Smartphone (3526 - 65969, n=194, last 2 years)
24228 Points ∼48% -49%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (414 - 15230, n=192, last 2 years)
3023 ms * ∼100% -272%
Xiaomi 12 Pro (Chrome 97)
1330 ms * ∼44% -63%
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (chrome 90)
1297 ms * ∼43% -59%
realme GT 2 Pro (Chrome 99)
1137 ms * ∼38% -40%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (814 - 1440, n=15)
1020 ms * ∼34% -25%
Oppo Find X5 (Chrome 99.0.4844.73)
923 ms * ∼31% -13%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Chrome 99)
819 ms * ∼27% -1%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra (Chrome 103.0.5060.71)
813.5 ms * ∼27%

* ... smaller is better

The Axon 40 Ultra uses fast UFS 3.1 storage, similar to other devices in the comparison. The device demonstrated that it is even faster than the Axon 30 Ultra when it comes to storage speed.

ZTE Axon 40 UltraMotorola Edge 30 ProOppo Find X5realme GT 2 ProXiaomi 12 ProZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5GAverage 128 GB UFS 3.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
6%
-6%
2%
26%
-21%
-18%
-45%
Sequential Read 256KB
1638.15
1832
12%
1964
20%
1749
7%
1620
-1%
1464
-11%
1574 ?(1030 - 1898, n=36)
-4%
946 ?(45.6 - 2037, n=263, last 2 years)
-42%
Sequential Write 256KB
1065.13
1028
-3%
782
-27%
1225
15%
1465
38%
689
-35%
768 ?(233 - 1095, n=36)
-28%
500 ?(11.9 - 1485, n=263, last 2 years)
-53%
Random Read 4KB
313.35
277.7
-11%
272.9
-13%
273
-13%
324.9
4%
208.2
-34%
236 ?(126.2 - 322, n=36)
-25%
171.1 ?(13.5 - 345, n=263, last 2 years)
-45%
Random Write 4KB
273.19
339.5
24%
259.3
-5%
264
-3%
448.9
64%
265
-3%
236 ?(121.4 - 323, n=36)
-14%
167.7 ?(30.3 - 475, n=264, last 2 years)
-39%

Games - smooth gameplay even at the highest settings

The Adreno 730 doesn't have any problems running current games even at the highest settings. However, PUBG Mobile caps the frame rate at 30 fps when running at HD/high settings, probably to help save battery. Armajet also has a similar frame rate cap, albeit at 60 fps.

Frame rates during gameplay were measured using GameBench.

Armajet
Armajet
PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile
051015202530354045505560Tooltip
; Armajet; 1.61.6: Ø60 (60-60)
; PUBG Mobile; 2.0.0: Ø30 (28-31)

Emissions - the Axon 40 Ultra stays cool even under load

Temperature

Although the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is brimming with computing power, it can only fully tap into this performance for a relatively brief period of time. When the SoC gets too warm – something that happens quite quickly – it will start decreasing its clock speed and operating at reduced performance. However, the lowered clock speed is still so high that you won't notice any throttling. Moreover, the phone's chassis hardly gets warm during use. With temperatures reaching a maximum of 34.9°C (94.8°F), the exterior of the phone remained cool even under load and was always comfortable to touch. In comparison, its predecessor runs significantly hotter.

Max. Load
 34.8 °C
95 F
33.5 °C
92 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
 34.5 °C
94 F
33 °C
91 F
31.5 °C
89 F
 
 34.5 °C
94 F
34.1 °C
93 F
31.4 °C
89 F
 
Maximum: 34.8 °C = 95 F
Average: 33.3 °C = 92 F
31.1 °C
88 F
32.9 °C
91 F
33.6 °C
92 F
31.3 °C
88 F
31.7 °C
89 F
34.5 °C
94 F
31 °C
88 F
33.3 °C
92 F
34.9 °C
95 F
Maximum: 34.9 °C = 95 F
Average: 32.7 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  28.3 °C = 83 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated) & Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.3 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 32.8 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.8 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 35.1 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22 to 52.9 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 34.9 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.3 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 32.8 °C / 91 F.

3DMark Wild Life Stress Test

3DMark
Wild Life Stress Test Stability
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
92.8 % ∼100% +56%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
63.6 % ∼69% +7%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
59.6 % ∼64%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
57.4 % ∼62% -4%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
55.1 % ∼59% -8%
Wild Life Extreme Stress Test
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
96.9 % ∼100% +50%
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
64.8 % ∼67%
Oppo Find X5
Adreno 660, SD 888 5G, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
64.4 % ∼66% -1%
realme GT 2 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
63.7 % ∼66% -2%
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash
59.6 % ∼62% -8%
0510152025303540455055Tooltip
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.0.9.1: Ø10.3 (9.26-14.3)
Motorola Edge 30 Pro Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.0.8.1: Ø10.9 (9.21-15.5)
realme GT 2 Pro Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Extreme Stress Test; 1.0.8.1: Ø10.2 (9.62-15.1)
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø36.8 (31.7-53.3)
Motorola Edge 30 Pro Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø38.6 (34.3-59.7)
realme GT 2 Pro Adreno 730, SD 8 Gen 1, 256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash; Wild Life Stress Test Stability; 0.0.0.0: Ø43.1 (36.7-57.7)

Speakers

The two DTS:X Ultra-enabled speakers on the Axon 40 Ultra can be quite loud at 85.5 dB(A) and sounds like what you might expected from a typical smartphone: mids and highs are balanced, but bass is in short supply.

External audio devices can be connected to the phone via a USB-C audio adapter or wirelessly over Bluetooth 5.2. The following Bluetooth codecs are supported: aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, AAC, LDAC and SBC.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203932.92524.424.73120.425.94018.320.45030.732.36325.524.98023.925.410018.121.81252024.616025.238.620016.841.325014.450.23151754.640011.860.150012.967.363014.669.980013.669.5100012.270.9125013.671.3160013.868.8200013.471.7250013.473.9315013.477.8400013.575.3500013.474.2630013.574.3800013.274.91000013.575.11250013.671.21600013.360.6SPL25.985.5N0.763.4median 13.5median 69.9Delta1.611.828.329.223.324.220.324.31926.529.832.917.225.912.930.519.427.912.131.51147.59.545.712.651.713.658.210.561.81164.69.768.811.173.311.57512.77513.475.512.778.613.678.414.180.11379.913.279.513.978.613.476.213.769.614.469.316.75725.189.30.677.1median 13median 69.60.911.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseZTE Axon 40 UltraZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 20% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 23%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 46% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 46% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 27% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 23%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 52% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Battery life - the Axon 40 Ultra is long-lasting

Power consumption

The Axon 40 Ultra consumes less power and is remarkably more efficient than most of the device in our comparison, particular whilst running at maximum load.

A 65-watt power adapter (20 V/3.35 A) is included for charging the 5000-mAh battery. During our test, it took just 46 minutes to charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent; the phone was already 80 per cent full after just 30 minutes.

The Axon 40 Ultra doesn't support wireless charging.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.09 / 0.24 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.88 / 1.57 / 1.6 Watt
Load midlight 5.06 / 7.91 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Currently we use the Metrahit Energy, a professional single phase power quality and energy measurement digital multimeter, for our measurements. Find out more about it here. All of our test methods can be found here.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
5000 mAh
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
4800 mAh
Oppo Find X5
4800 mAh
realme GT 2 Pro
5000 mAh
Xiaomi 12 Pro
4600 mAh
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
4600 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-26%
-0%
-11%
3%
-20%
-29%
-1%
Idle Minimum *
0.88
1.2
-36%
1.01
-15%
1
-14%
0.94
-7%
1
-14%
1.295 ?(0.7 - 3.18, n=14)
-47%
0.897 ?(0.12 - 2.5, n=202, last 2 years)
-2%
Idle Average *
1.57
1.6
-2%
1.59
-1%
1.4
11%
1.24
21%
1.99
-27%
2.09 ?(1.1 - 4.38, n=14)
-33%
1.652 ?(0.65 - 3.6, n=202, last 2 years)
-5%
Idle Maximum *
1.6
2.5
-56%
1.6
-0%
1.7
-6%
1.34
16%
2.02
-26%
2.28 ?(1.34 - 4.45, n=14)
-43%
1.869 ?(0.69 - 3.7, n=202, last 2 years)
-17%
Load Average *
5.06
5.2
-3%
3.87
24%
5.3
-5%
5.7
-13%
5.15
-2%
5.58 ?(3.58 - 8.04, n=14)
-10%
4.42 ?(2.1 - 7.74, n=202, last 2 years)
13%
Load Maximum *
7.91
10.4
-31%
8.74
-10%
11.1
-40%
8.12
-3%
10.36
-31%
8.82 ?(6.67 - 11.3, n=14)
-12%
7.27 ?(3.56 - 11.9, n=202, last 2 years)
8%

* ... smaller is better

Leistungsaufnahme: Geekbench (150 cd/m²)

0123456789101112Tooltip
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Ø6.29 (1.067-11.4)
Motorola Edge 30 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Ø7.11 (1.702-12.6)
realme GT 2 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Ø8.17 (3.19-11.1)

Leistungsaufnahme: GFXBench (150 cd/m²)

0123456789101112Tooltip
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; 1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Offscreen: Ø9.06 (7.39-9.73)
Motorola Edge 30 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; 1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Offscreen: Ø11.5 (10.4-12.5)
realme GT 2 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; 1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Offscreen: Ø11 (10.5-11.1)
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Idle 1min: Ø1.205 (1.086-1.695)
Motorola Edge 30 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Idle 1min: Ø1.619 (1.378-2.67)
realme GT 2 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Idle 1min: Ø1.342 (1.121-1.691)

Battery life

The Axon 40 Ultra has excellent battery life. In our Wi-Fi test comparable to real-life use, the 5,000-mAh battery only gave up after more than 16 hours. The smartphone is also capable of playing an H.264 video for an entire day. Although the Axon 40 Ultra's competitors aren't able to fully keep up with it, they have similarly good battery life in general.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
40h 46min
WiFi Websurfing
16h 15min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
24h 28min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 56min
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
5000 mAh
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
4800 mAh
Oppo Find X5
4800 mAh
realme GT 2 Pro
5000 mAh
Xiaomi 12 Pro
4600 mAh
ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G
4600 mAh
Battery Runtime
-16%
-13%
-9%
-18%
-37%
Reader / Idle
2446
1985
-19%
2075
-15%
2056
-16%
2036
-17%
H.264
1468
1006
-31%
1294
-12%
1083
-26%
788
-46%
WiFi v1.3
975
816
-16%
937
-4%
1053
8%
766
-21%
615
-37%
Load
296
306
3%
231
-22%
296
0%
337
14%

Pros

+ AMOLED display capable of 120 Hz
+ good performance
+ very good triple-camera setup
+ long battery life
+ USB 3.2 Gen.1 (= USB 3.0)
+ 65-watt charger included
+ under-display selfie camera …

Cons

- … with poor image quality
- no IP certification
- no wireless charging
- throttling under load

Verdict: Axon 40 Ultra

Review: ZTE Axon 40 Ultra. The review unit was provided by ZTE Germany.
Review: ZTE Axon 40 Ultra. The review unit was provided by ZTE Germany.

The Axon 40 ultra is ZTE's current flagship phone and represents a compelling overall package at its official price of 829 euros (US$799). Its strong points include the AMOLED panel that is capable of 120 Hz refresh rate and 360 Hz touch sampling rate. This makes the smartphone extremely responsive. Adding to that are features such as the high-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, up to 12 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The ZTE phone also impresses with its very good battery life and the 65-watt adapter that can fully charge the device in about 45 minutes.

The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra looks good, is lightning fast, has very long battery life and stands out with an innovative camera setup. However, the under-display selfie camera produces lacklustre image quality. 

The cameras are the most remarkable feature on this extremely well-built ZTE smartphone. The three 64MP cameras take very good photos and easily outclass most higher-end smartphones in terms of image quality. The camera setup is, nevertheless, not quite good enough for a place in the absolute high-end segment due to its poor low-light performance.

The selfie camera is also a mixed bag of the good and the bad. Because the selfie camera is under the display, there is neither a punch hole nor a notch on the screen for the camera, thus giving the Axon 40 Ultra a very "clean" look. However, the selfie camera thoroughly disappoints in terms of image quality. That said, the Axon 40 Ultra may still be attractive for some people due to its invisible selfie camera. This is because not every smartphone user needs a front camera, conducts video chats with it or places a lot of importance on its image quality.  

We would have liked to see a few more features on a "real" flagship phone, such as IP rating and wireless charging. Looking at its competitors like Apple, Samsung and Google, we also need to mention the company's update policy. It is currently still unclear how long ZTE intends to provide the Axon 40 Ultra with Android upgrades and security updates.

Great alternatives to the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra include the Motorala Edge 30 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro. Those who enjoy taking photos with their phone should take a closer look at the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

Price and availability

The Axon 40 Ultra is available directly from ZTE or on Amazon. The model with 8 GB or RAM and 128 GB of storage costs 829 euros (US$799), while the higher-end model (12 GB RAM, 256 GB of storage) is priced at 949 euros (US$899).

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra - 08/03/2022 v7
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 89%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
53 / 70 → 75%
Weight
88%
Battery
92%
Display
89%
Games Performance
58 / 64 → 91%
Application Performance
89 / 86 → 100%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
77 / 90 → 86%
Camera
75%
Average
82%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review of ZTE Axon 40 Ultra smartphone - invisible selfie camera, three 64MP cameras and flagship performance
Manuel Masiero, 2022-08- 5 (Update: 2022-08- 6)