Action Cameras

ZTE Axon 40 Extremely arrives globally with excessive digital camera ambition

What’s your main photo-snapping tool? We’d be pretty confident to bet it’s that there smartphone sat right in your pocket. ZTE knows it too, which is why the latest ZTE Axon 40 Ultra packs in some of the latest and greatest camera tech. The high megapixel snappers want to take over your camera roll with what promise to be some crispy shots.

After debuting in China in May, ZTE has launched its latest smartphone globally. It’s available for order now, and ships later this month. The Axon 40 Ultra is a new mid-tier Android device with high ambitions. It comes packed with Snapdragon’s shiny new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, with a minimum of 8GB RAM. This promises lightning fast processing speeds, which you should feel as you use the phone on a daily basis.

Holding the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, you’ll be able to set your peepers on a 6.8″ AMOLED display with Full HD+ support. Disappointingly, the pixel-rich display doesn’t support HDR. It is a shame, especially since ZTE promises a maximum brightness of 1500 nits and supports up to a billion colors. Still, with 120Hz refresh rate to keep you distracted, this might be a trade-off you’re willing to make. Keeping this screen switched on all day is a 5000mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. Notably, there’s no wireless charging on this smartphone.

As for other specs, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra should sound fairly familiar. You’ll find Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, dual stereo speakers, three mics, and NFC for contactless payments or NFC tags (who uses those anymore?). The smartphone runs Android 12, the latest version, but with ZTE’s myOS UI.

It’s all about the pixels: The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra’s cameras

Heading under the display, you’ll find a 16MP under-display selfie snapper. There’s no notch, hole-punch, or other-shaped cutout for the camera—absolutely zilch. Rather, the camera will be able to take front-facing photos through the display. Based on previous devices with under-display cameras, this new technology might not be as rosy as it sounds. Expect to see some weird pixel glitches where the camera is hidden, and images to be a little less clear. Again, it’s a trade-off you have to make for the aesthetics of a seamless display.

Flipping (not literally, this one doesn’t fold) over to the rear of the device, you’ll find a triple camera set-up. Impressively, all three cameras have 64MP sensors, promising some seriously pixel-rich shots. The array is made up of wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses. There’s 5.7x optical zoom, going from the ultrawide to the telephoto. Thanks to all those pixels, ZTE recognizes the Axon 50 Ultra is the only smartphone to support 8K video recording.

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra price and availability

You’ll be able to pick up the Axon 40 Ultra in gold, black or silver. The smartphone is officially available from June 21, but you can purchase a £40 off coupon for £1.99 when you pre-order the device from ZTE in some strange promotion. There’s no official price tag for the smartphone just yet, but expect it to be in the £600-700 range, as you’d expect from a mid-tier device.

The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra boasts some impressive specs, but it’s unclear how the device will live up to these in the real world. There are a couple of trade-offs with the Axon 40 Ultra to squeeze the device into the mid-tier category, so you’ll need to be sure you can live without them.

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