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ZTE unleashes the second-gen under-display Axon 30 smartphone with confirmation of a global release

The Axon 30. (Source: ZTE)
The Axon 30. (Source: ZTE)
ZTE has unveiled the Axon 30, an Android phone that will stand out due to its under-display (or UDC) selfie camera, today (July 27, 2021). It will be available to the Chinese market initially, starting at ~US$338 from August 3 of this year. However, the OEM has also confirmed that it is coming to other countries in September.
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ZTE has made its extensively-teased Axon 30 5G official today (July 27, 2021). The phone's ostensible main event is a 6.92-inch, 20.5:9 AMOLED screen with 10-bit color and 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. However, most potential buyers might be interested in its under-display selfie camera and how the OEM plans to improve on that of the preceding 20 5G.

The company assures consumers that it has equipped the new 30's 120Hz panel with a new "delta" pixel matrix, as well as dedicated ACE circuits and an independent chip to drive the phone's "intelligent" pixel enhancement and display optimization controls.

These adaptations are rated to make the UDC's deployment more "natural", as well as to increase the amount of light available to its "large" 16MP sensor. In addition, the square of "special" OLED found directly over this shooter features a 7-layer structure of "highly transparent materials", treated with 3 "special processing technologies" to the same end.

Besides this, ZTE claims to have secured TUV-, SGS- and UL-certified blue-light safety ratings for the Axon 30's "cinema-grade" display as a whole. Apart from the second-gen UDC, the phone is also a first in that it debuts the long-hyped "angel-eye" rear camera hump.

The world's first in-the-real look at this new trend sports a single 64MP Sony IMX682 main shooter in its top circle, while the second houses an 8MP 120° ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro shooter and a 2MP depth-sensor.

These specs are driven by a Snapdragon 870 SoC, with a version of Android 11 rated to devote up to 8GB of an Axon 30 unit's internal storage to augment its actual RAM. This spec comes in 6GB, 8GB or 12GB flavors, which start at just 2198 yuan (~US$338) for a 6/128GB base model.

ZTE has set the price of the next 8/128GB tier up at 2498 yuan (~US$384), or 2798 yuan (~US$430) for a SKU with double the internal storage. The Axon 30's top-end 12/256GB option, however, is 3098 yuan (~US$476) - or 100 yuan (~US$15) less during the phone's first day of sale. This has been set for August 3, 2021 via a first-party web-store or on platforms such as JD.com.

Those may sound like bargains, particularly for a near-flagship-grade phone with world-first tech. They might be partially explained by the Axon 30's build, which involves a rear panel made of "3D composite polymer material" (read: plastic), albeit with a "nano-level glow texture". In addition, its 4200mAh battery and 55W charging tech are outclassed in this market sector.

In any case, there is no guarantee that the Axon 30's Chinese prices will translate once the phone goes international. This is slated to take place some time in September 2021, and will presumably be done through the OEM's global site, as with the 20 5G before it.

The new Axon 30's color options. (Source: ZTE)
The new Axon 30's color options. (Source: ZTE)

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4525 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > ZTE unleashes the second-gen under-display Axon 30 smartphone with confirmation of a global release
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07-27 (Update: 2021-07-29)