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My 48hrs With ZTE Axon Elite

Recently, ZTE Nepal launched ZTE Axon Elite in Nepal, which was the last year flagship smartphone from ZTE. And I got a chance to spend my 48hrs with ZTE Axon Elite where I tested its front speaker, gaming performance and cameras. So let’s find out whether it is still capable enough to compete with other smartphones available in Nepal at the same price range.

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ZTE Axon Elite
ZTE Axon Elite

ZTE Axon Elite Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 154*77*9.8mm
  • Display: 5.5inch IPS LCD with 1920×1080 pixels resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass Protection
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-core 2.0GHz CPU, Adreno 430 GPU
  • Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card
  • OS: Android v5.0.2 with MiFavor 3.2 skin
  • Camera: Dual (13MP+2MP) rear camera with autofocus, f1.8 aperture and dual LED flash, 8MP front facing camera
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G LTE, Dual-SIM (Hybrid)
  • Others: Fingerprint sensor, Eyeprint ID, Front facing speaker, AKM4961 32 bit DAC
  • Battery: 3000mAh non-removable battery with fast charging

Design & Build Quality:

I showed Axon Elite to many people, some liked it and some didn’t. My personal thoughts about the design is also a mixed bag. I like the front look of the device with triangular shaped grilled located on top and bottom of the display. But with the faux plastic and fake stitching used on top and bottom on the rear is something that didn’t appeal to my eyes.

ZTE Axon Elite Design & Build Quality
ZTE Axon Elite Design & Build Quality

The other part of the device is made out of metal and feels really good in hand. It also feels heavy and bulky with 9.3mm thickness. My only complaint regarding build quality is with the buttons, as the volume rockers and power button feel mushy.

Display:

ZTE Axon Elite Display
ZTE Axon Elite Display

The ZTE Axon Elite comes with 5.5inch Full HD IPS LCD display with 1920×1080 pixels. With 403ppi, text looks sharp whereas viewing angles, colors and sunlight visibility are also good enough. To make it short, the ZTE Axon Elite comes with a good display and will make happy to majority of the audience.

Performance:

ZTE Axon Elite Performance
ZTE Axon Elite Performance

ZTE Axon Elite is powered by last year flagship processor from Qualcomm, i.e. Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. Many flagship smartphones from last year, including OnePlus 2, Sony Xperia Z5, Nexus 6P, HTC One M9 it uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. Well, I managed to play some few games like Asphalt 8 and SkyForce reloaded on ZTE Axon Elite, beside some very minor frame dropped down on Asphalt 8, both games run fine. Also device did get warm while playing games but I didn’t find any overheating issues while using this device.

ZTE Axon Elite Benchmark Scores
ZTE Axon Elite Benchmark Scores

Also, I didn’t find any lags while Navigating through home screen and settings menus, browsing internet or using social apps, but some animation on the device was slow and I’ll get to this later.

Camera:

ZTE Axon Elite Camera
ZTE Axon Elite Camera

ZTE Axon Elite comes with a dual camera setup (13MP+2MP) on the rear and 8MP front facing camera. Now the 13MP rear camera is made by Sony and the exact model number of the image sensor is Sony IMX214. Now I have already used smartphones like Xiaomi Mi4 and Obi Worldphone SF1 where they have used the same Sony IMX214 Image sensor. And found out that the hardware is not the only factor that helps you to take great images. Because the result I got from Xiaomi Mi4 camera was far better compared to the Obi Worldphone SF1 camera.

It was the Image processing software that made Xiaomi Mi4 to take better images compared to Obi Worldphone SF1 even though both smartphones was using the same camera sensor. So keep that in mind.
Now let’s get back to ZTE Axon Elite camera. I was happy to see that ZTE Axon elite rear camera can take some great images on good lighting conditions. HDR photos are not impressive compared to other smartphone on the same price range and the bokeh effect on this phone does not work all the time. But when it does, you can get some creamy bokeh effect from the camera.

Lastly, what impressed me most was the 4k video quality came out from the ZTE Axon Elite. So if you are up to mobile videography, then ZTE Axon Elite might please you.

Software:

ZTE Axon Elite UI
ZTE Axon Elite UI

ZTE Axon Elite is running on Android v5.0.2 Lollipop with ZTE’s own custom UI, MiFavor 3.2. I felt the software was not well optimized, that’s why some animation on the device was slow even though it was powered by the last year flagship processor coupled with 3GB RAM. So I think ZTE has to work on its software optimization to fully use the power of its hardware. Also, I didn’t like the UI of MiFavor skin, but may be that’s because I just used it for 48hrs.

Battery:

ZTE Axon Elite Battery Life
ZTE Axon Elite Battery Life

The ZTE Axon Elite comes with 3000mAh non-removable battery and with not so power efficient processor. So, you will get an average battery life on ZTE Axon Elite. During my usage I was able to get around 4 hours of screen on time. However the standby time on ZTE Axon Elite is excellent. To sum it up, the ZTE Axon Elite might not please heavy users, but for moderate users, 3000mAh battery on the ZTE Axon Elite can give enough juice to last at least a day or a day and a half.

Final Thoughts:

ZTE Axon Elite comes with a great hardware specification, but it is the software which is pulling it back. It also comes with three unlock systems: fingerprint, Eyeprint ID and voice unlocking. But the only fingerprint sensor is reliable for unlocking the device. What’s even worst is that there is no news till date that this device will ever going to receive Marshmallow or even security patches update in near future.

ZTE Axon Elite
ZTE Axon Elite

If you can live with an old version of android and flashy design, then ZTE Axon elite can be a good choice. It comes with a powerful CPU and GPU, which makes it a good gaming device. It also comes with front facing speaker and AKM4961 32 bit DAC for high res audio output through its headphone jack, perfect for music lovers. And with full manual control on the camera, you can explore more of your mobile photography skills.

With a price tag of Rs.33900 for ZTE Axon Elite, I think it is still a good buy for a year old flagship hardware. In the same price range you can get Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 with double internal storage and better battery life but the camera and audio output is not good as ZTE Axon Elite.

So these are the things that I learn about the ZTE Axon Elite after using it for 48hrs. I hope this article was helpful to you to get to know more about ZTE Axon Elite. If you have any questions about the ZTE Axon Elite, please let me know in the comment section below. Jai Nepal!