Axon 11 5G goes on sale in Germany, ZTE eyes US launch for next year

ZTE The Axon 11 5G launched in Germany Monday and it’ll be available in China and other countries in Europe and the Middle East. But its manufacturer, ZTE, is eyeing for a US launch of the phone sometime early next year too. If it does arrive, the device will likely […]

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ZTE

The Axon 11 5G launched in Germany Monday and it’ll be available in China and other countries in Europe and the Middle East. But its manufacturer, ZTE, is eyeing for a US launch of the phone sometime early next year too. If it does arrive, the device will likely have some of its hardware tweaked, though at its current state, the Axon 11 5G serves as a reliable preview of the kind of affordable 5G phones we can expect from ZTE here in the US. 

The company is aiming for US carriers to sell the device for under $300. Converted from Chinese yuan, the device’s present cost is $380, £305 or AU$560 for the version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, and $425, £340 or AU$620 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage. ZTE also has a 4G variant of the phone.

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With its thin bezels, teardrop-notch camera and sleek finish, the Axon 11 5G has a premium look that belies its potential $300 price tag. Its generous 6.47-inch AMOLED display has a 1080p resolution and there’s also an in-display fingerprint reader for user authentication.

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Judging from the photos, I like that red accent color for the phone’s power button and the fact that the button is textured. It reminds me of a cross between the bright power button on Google’s Pixel phones and the ridged toggle key for sound on OnePlus phones.

The ZTE Axon 11 has four rear cameras on the back. The setup includes a 48-megapixel standard camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter, a depth-sensing camera and a macro camera (both are 2 megapixels). On the front is a 20-megapixel camera.

We won’t know how these cameras fare until we get our hands on a review unit, but having four cameras is relatively impressive given how affordable this phone is set to be. We’re also seeing a lot of macro cameras in budget phones — including the Moto G Power ($250 at Best Buy) and Galaxy A51 ($325 at Amazon) — so it makes sense that ZTE is including itself on the trend too.

Powering the device is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset and a sizable 4,000-mAh battery. 

With these kinds of specs and price range, the Axon 11 5G will likely compete against the Galaxy A51, which also features a 4,000-mAh battery, four cameras, and a 1080p (6.5-inch) display. Given Samsung’s brand recognition in the US, however, ZTE has a tough hill to climb. But one notable thing the phone has is in its name — 5G. Whereas the 4G version of the Galaxy A51 is readily available but not the 5G model, ZTE hopes to have the Axon 11 with 5G in the hands of US carriers at launch.

ZTE Axon 11 5G spec comparison

ZTE Axon 11 5G Samsung Galaxy A51 (4G) Motorola Moto G Power
Display size, resolution 6.47-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.5-inch FHD AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels 6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 398ppi 405ppi 399ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.27 x 2.89 x 0.31 in 6.24 x 2.90 x 0.31 in 6.29 x 2.98 x 0.38 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 159.2 × 73.4 × 7.9 mm 158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm 159.85 x 75.8 x 9.63 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.93 oz; 168g 6.07 oz; 172g 7.01 oz; 199g
Mobile software Android 10 Android 10 Android 10
Camera 48-megapixel (standard), 8-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (depth sensing), 2-megapixel (macro) 48-megapizel (standard), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth sensing) 16-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide angle)
Front-facing camera 20-megapixel 32-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 2.3GHz octa-core processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB 64GB
RAM 6GB, 8GB 6GB 4GB
Expandable storage Up to 2TB Up to 512GB Up to 512GB
Battery 4,000mAh 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen Back
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack No Yes Yes
Price off-contract (USD) From Chinese yuan converts to $384 (6GB/128GB), $424 (8GB/256GB) $400 $250
Price (GBP) Converts to £305 (6GB/128GB), £338 (8GB/256GB) £329 Converts to £199
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$557(6GB/128GB), AU$619 (8GB/256GB) AU$599 Converts to AU$365

Rosa G. Rose

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