Folding ZTE Axon M Aims to Outflank Apple, Samsung in Phone Design

1 of 12

Folding ZTE Axon M Aims to Outflank Apple, Samsung in Phone Design

China's ZTE might not be a household name in the U.S. smartphone market, but the company is betting that it can attract more buyers with help from its new folding smartphone, the Axon M. The handset, which will be sold exclusively by AT&T starting next month, has a hinge that lets users fold and use the dual displays in several configurations. The smartphone has an effective screen size up to 6.75 inches when both displays are in use. It runs Android Nougat and should deliver ample processing power for most users. ZTE asserts that the  smartphone will have plenty of battery life, even when running its twin displays. Check out this eWEEK slide show to learn more about the ZTE Axon M.

2 of 12

in the Axon M Has Dual Hinged Displays that Fold Up

ZTE Axon M’s most important features are, of course, its dual displays. Both have full-HD resolution that measure 5.2 inches. When opened flat, they provide 6.75 inches of screen real estate. Both are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and can display an impressive 426 pixels per inch.

3 of 12

There Are Four Ways to Use the Displays

The dual displays can be used in four configurations. Dual mode allows users to interact with different apps at the same time. Extended mode turns the two screens into a single, 6.75-inch display. Mirror mode plays the same content on both screens, so two people on opposite sides of the handset can see the same thing. The final mode, called Traditional, displays content on one screen so the other can be folded behind it.

4 of 12

The Hinged Design Might Not Be for Everyone

With two screens, the ZTE Axon M has some design quirks that might turn off some users. There’s a hinge separating the two screens, which might cause problems over time. Also, the dual-display makes the Axon M much thicker than average, which might make it difficult to fit into a pocket.

5 of 12

Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Provides the Processing Power

The ZTE Axon M is powered by a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with an integrated Qualcomm graphics chip. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

6 of 12

ZTE Opted for Android Nougat 7.1.2

Rather than use Android Oreo, ZTE chose Android Nougat version 7.1.2 as the Axon M’s operating system. Nougat doesn’t have all of the multitasking features found in Android Oreo, which could have been useful with the Axon M's dual screens.

7 of 12

Batteries Offer Up to 28 Hours of Talk Time

Although there are two displays drawing power, ZTE promises 28 hours of continuous talk time with the Axon M. The 3,180mAh battery also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, which should fully charge the battery in just two hours.

8 of 12

Axon M Has a High-Quality Camera

The ZTE Axon M comes with a 20-megapixel camera that can be used for both rear- and front-facing photos. The camera has an f/1.8 aperture and a Super Auto mode for shooting at night. There’s also dual image stabilization for both photo and video capture.

9 of 12

ZTE Pumps Up the Sound

ZTE didn't skimp on audio components. The Axon M comes with “high fidelity sound performance,” the company says, thanks to its dual speakers. There’s also support for HiFi and Dolby Atmos, all of which should provide high-quality sound.

10 of 12

Dual Screen App Support Will be Limited

One of the biggest questions surrounding the ZTE Axon M is how it will handle third-party apps. The majority of available Android mobile apps aren't configured to work with a dual-screen smartphone. ZTE plans to aggressively target app developers to improve compatibility, but initially most apps won’t take full advantage of the dual-screen design.

11 of 12

AT&T Will Start Selling the Axon M in November

ZTE confirmed it will release the Axon M to AT&T’s nationwide sales starting in November. The smartphone will be available on a 30-month installment plan requiring payments of $24.17 per month. That translates to a $725 price tag.

12 of 12

Surface Book 2 Delivers Big Power Boost With Intel Core i7 Processor

On the same day it released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft introduced the Surface Book 2 with a more powerful Intel "Coffee Lake" processor.
Top White Papers and Webcasts