Every once in a while we get a device that tries to push the boundaries of smartphone design. Hardly the brand that comes to mind when you think of revolutionary tech, ZTE ushered its Axon 20 5G on to the scene back in September as the first commercially-available device with an under-display camera and now we finally have a unit in our hands.
We haven’t touched a ZTE device in a long while but the Axon 20 feels and looks like your run of the mill glass slab sandwich held together by a plastic frame. Then you take a look at the display and there are no obstructions, no moving pop-up or flip mechanisms, just glass.
The 32MP selfie sensor resides under the display near the top frame and when the screen is off you can’t really tell there’s a sensor there. Once powered on however you clearly see a difference in the pixel arrangement especially in lighter background colors.
When you fire up the selfie cam, there’s an immediate defogging effect that reveals the actual sensor. At first sight the selfies are nothing impressive, coming out quite soft and with a weird foggy/glowy texture to them. Check back in our full review for more detailed examination.
The display on the Axon 20 is a 6.92-inch OLED panel with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It also packs an under display fingerprint scanner. The chin on the bottom is noticeably larger than more recent devices and the impressive under display camera doesn't leave room for a traditional speaker grill up top which means all audio is outputted via the single downward-facing speaker.
Around the back, we have a 64MP primary shooter alongside an 8MP ultrawide module and two 2MP units for macro shots and depth data. Stills from the main cam looked decent and offered plenty of detail in well-lit environments. The Snapdragon 765G powering the Axon 20 felt just as snappy as on other phones and ZTE’s Mifavor 10.5 on top of Android 10 impressed with its near-stock feeling UI.
The Axon 20 is quite the behemoth weighing in at 198 grams and it's certainly a two-hand phone for most people. The 4,200mAh battery comes with a 30W charging brick which supports the Quick Charge 4+ standard. That’s it for this quick first impression of the Axon 20, it’s now in the hands of our review team which will tell you all you need to know in a few days.