A first look at the premium yet budget-friendly ZTE Axon 7 [Gallery]

ZTE’s Axon 7 is gunning for the would-be flagship killer OnePlus 3, and on specs alone, it might just succeed.

The device has a premium full-metal design, high-end competitive Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and a 20MP camera, all for $529.99 CAD– only slightly more than the OnePlus 3’s impressive $519.00 price tag.

The handset is available for preorder now via online retailer Newegg Canada and will start shipping to Canadian customers on July 27th.

We’ll have a full review on the device out in the next few weeks, but until then, here’s a first gallery and rundown of the Axon 7.


The Marshmallow-powered Axon 7 puts itself in league with other premium flagships with its 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 pixel display overlaid with Gorilla Glass Gen. 4. In this respect it outpaces its main competitor, the OnePlus 3 (OP3), which features a 5.5-inch AMOLED 1920 x 1080 pixel display.


ZTE says the Axon 7’s full-metal unibody was inspired by “luxury cars,” and it’s fair to say the aesthetic played out well. The truly premium-looking phone comes in Ion Gold or Quartz Gray and has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Under the hood, so to speak, is a 2.15 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor (essentially the same as the OP3) and an Integrated Qualcomm Adreno 530 for graphics processing.


The Axon 7’s main camera is 20MP with a f/1.8 aperture, comparing favourably (at least on paper) to the OP3’s 16MP and f/2.0 aperture shooter. The camera also has a dual-LED flash, Optical Image Stabilization and is capable of capturing 4K video and 30 FPS 1080p video. The front-facing camera is a capable 8MP.


The bulk is a slight detractor for the Axon 7. Its dimensions run 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm and it weighs in at 175 grams, quite a bit heftier than the 158 gram OP3.


The device packs a 3,250 mAh non-removable battery promising 16 hours of talk time and 360 hours of standby. This is a slight bump from the OP3’s 3,000 mAh battery. ZTE states the phone’s USB Type-C charging technology should provide a full charge in 100 minutes.


One of the leading bullet points of ZTE’s marketing copy is that the Axon 7 features America’s first 32-bit HiFi mobile audio. The device further shows its dedication to sound with dual speakers and microphones and Dolby ATMOS surround sound.


In Canada, the phone is only available in its 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage version, coming along with UFS 2.0 and a SD memory slot expandable up to 128 GB which can also act as a secondary SIM slot. Whether or not this outdoes, equals, or falls short of the OP3’s 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with no MicroSD expansion capabilities is very much up to personal taste.

Photography by Patrick O’Rourke 

Related reading: ZTE Axon 7 to launch July 27 in Canada, available to preorder now