Many carriers and phone makers have been singing all about 5G as the future of mobile and yet the penetration of that technology has been limited and slow. Part of that is because of the actual availability of 5G service in countries but an equally important factor is the accessibility of 5G-capable phones. Most of those come in high-end products with pretty high-end specs. ZTE, on the other hand, is pushing its latest Axon 11 as 5G for the masses.
ZTE has previously reserved its Axon brand for its high-end phones but it is doing things differently this year. Unlike the Axon 10 Pro or even the Axon 9 and 7 before that, the Axon 11 is instead aiming for the upper mid-range tier.
That is pretty much determined by the Snapdragon 765G inside, and perhaps the 6 or 8 GB of RAM that accompanies it. Despite that, that chip boasts of having 5G capabilities built-in, just not as powerful as the one on the Snapdragon 865. Still, the prospect of 5G support in an extremely affordable phone could be enough to at least make some consider this newcomer.
ZTE may not have gotten the memo and opted for a square camera bump instead of the rectangular giant that seems to be the new trend. That despite having four sensors it could have spread around, including a pixel-binned 64MP main camera, an 8MP wide-angle shooter, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro lens camera. The front 20MP selfie cam is housed not in a punch-hole cutout but in last year’s trendy waterdrop notch.
The specs may be overwhelming but ZTE’s latest flagship will definitely make heads turn when it comes to the price. The ZTE Axon 11 5G starts at 2,698 RMB ($380) and goes all the way up to only 3,398 RMB ($480) for the highest configuration. Unfortunately, given its limited availability, its spiel might fall on deaf ears, giving the Nokia 8.3 5G the chance to corner that mid-range 5G phone market.