Chinese handset maker ZTE barely exists in the United States, but its phones look pretty good on paper. Not to mention that they are typically much cheaper than comparable devices sold by the competition. The most recent device introduced by ZTE is the new Axon 40 Ultra, which is the best-equipped flagship yet, judging by its specs. While the Axon 40 Ultra includes some of the latest display and SoC (system-on-chip) technologies, it mainly advertises its new product as the ultimate camera phone. The primary cameras of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra have been upgraded to a triple primary camera (“trinity”) consisting of a 64-megapixel humanity camera, a 64-megapixel ultra-wide angle primary camera and a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto primary camera.
On paper, this might be the best three-camera setup in the business, but that’s yet to be determined after the phone actually gets into customer hands. ZTE also confirmed some other interesting details about the phone’s triple camera system. The 64-megapixel primary camera and the ultra-wide-angle primary camera both feature two Sony IMX787 sensors, some of the best on the market. ZTE also claims that the Axon 40 Ultra is the only smartphone in the industry to support 8K ultra-high-definition recording. It is also the only phone to feature a triple primary camera setup with a snapshot feature, which allows users to capture moving objects via its own custom adaptive shutter algorithm.
Finally, the Axon 40 Ultra is believed to be the industry’s only triple primary camera phone to support preset focus with all of its primary cameras, allowing users to manually set the focus distance before capturing an image, further reducing focus time. . †
A bigger, better screen
But the Axon 40 Ultra isn’t all about the camera, as ZTE would like you to think. The phone has a stunning 6.8-inch AMOLED display that supports a resolution of 2480 x 1116 pixels (FHD+), with a maximum brightness of 1500 nits. The display also supports an intelligent high refresh rate of 120 Hz and a sampling rate of 360 Hz.
Inside, the flagship includes the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, UFS 3.1 and LPDDR5 RAM. Multiple versions of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra will be on sale, each with different amounts of RAM: 8 GB, 12 GB and 16 GB. Of course, each comes with a different amount of storage: 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
Last but not least, the Axon 40 Ultra is powered by a 5,000mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging via USB-C. Unfortunately, this bad boy is only available in China, where it retails for prices starting at just $745. On the plus side, ZTE has confirmed that a global version will be coming in June, so it won’t be long.
The Axon 40 Ultra gets a cheaper brother
In the same news story, ZTE also introduced a slightly downgraded version of the Axon 40 Ultra, the Pro version. The Axon 40 Pro has a slightly smaller 6.7-inch 10-bit AMOLED screen with FHD+ resolution. The brightness peaks at 1000 nits, but it does support a refresh rate of 144 Hz.
Unlike the Axon 40 Ultra, the Pro model is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor, coupled with 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of storage. Like the Ultra model, the Axon 40 Pro doesn’t have a microSD slot for memory expansion, so what you see is what you get.
Another major difference between the two is the camera. The Axon 40 Pro has a 100-megapixel main camera, combined with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a macro camera and a depth sensor. The phone also has a 16-megapixel front camera, but it doesn’t display like the one on the Axon 40 Ultra.
The Axon 40 Pro has kept the same battery as its bigger brother, as well as support for 65W super-fast charging technology. Unfortunately, ZTE hasn’t announced when the Axon 40 Pro will hit shelves or how much it will cost. However, it is safe to assume that it will launch for the first time in China at a much lower price point than the Axon 40 Ultra. That said, we expect these prices to be slightly higher outside of China, so if you’re expecting to get the Axon 40 Ultra for under $800/€800, you might be disappointed.