ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Review: The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is the first 2022 Ultra smartphone to feature an under-display selfie camera. It’s also the only Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone of 2022 to come with this technology. But, there is even more about this phone aside from its impressive under-display camera technology.
This ZTE Axon 40 Ultra review will explore all the specifications and results of live tests of the smartphone. Its actual performance, camera quality, battery life, etc will be explained. So, if you want to really know more about the pros and cons of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, then continue reading.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Review
Display, Design, and Build
The display size of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is 6.8-inches. Its display panel is AMOLED, features a 120Hz refresh rate, has support for HDR10+, 1B colors, and features 1500 nits brightness. The display is colorful, smooth, and very bright. You can use the display even under direct sunlight.
The design of the phone is pretty cool too. It has a camera module on the rear while upfront it has an under-display camera. The front camera is located underneath the screen. So, you have access to use the full screen for watching movies and playing games. The screen is also slightly curved on both edges making it have very slim bezels and a slim chin.
The build of the phone is glass front, glass back, and aluminum frame. The back glass has a matte finish and it retains very little fingerprint. The volume rocker and power button are located on the right side of the phone while the SIM card tray and speaker are located at the bottom.
Overall, the build of this phone is solid. It feels premium and comfortable to hold (that is if you like big-screen phones). The display is big, colorful, smooth, and very bright. As per the design, well, there is nothing to complain about either. The Axon 40 Ultra looks really beautiful.
Chipset and Performance
Talking about performance, the chipset inside the Axon 40 Ultra is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G chip from Qualcomm. ZTE included a 9-layer Vapor Chamber Liquid Cooling system inside (total cooling area 36,356mm²). This helps in cooling down the chipset and battery to enhance its consistent performance.
While playing games with this phone, we noticed that it gets warm a little but not overly HOT. It also does not throttle much and it does not lag every now and then. It’s pretty smooth, especially when playing games at high frame rates. But this is not a dedicated gaming smartphone, so if you need a gaming phone check out the Xiaomi Balck Shark 5 Pro.
As stated above, the performance of the phone is pretty consistent thanks to the Snapdragon 8 gen 1 chip and the cooling system inside. We ran a few tests and below are the results.
|Tests||ZTE Axon 40 Ultra|
|GB5 Single Core||1211|
|3D Wild Life||8821 (53FPS)|
NB: GB5 refers to Geekbench 5
Playing graphics and CPU-intensive games with this phone works pretty well. As stated above, it’s not a gaming smartphone but sure can hold its own when under heavy use. The performance when playing games with this phone is consistent and it shows no lags. But it does get warm under extensive use.
Photography and Videography
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra brings you an impressive 64MP triple rear camera. All three camera sensors on the rear are 64MP. All three rear cameras can also shoot steady videos in 4K resolution. The 64MP telephoto periscope can do 3.5x optical zoom while the 64MP primary camera has OIS and Laser AF features.
Under good light and low-light conditions, the cameras of the Axon 40 Ultra will give you a good photo and video quality. The camera is sharp and the colors are bright. You also have a dedicated night mode feature with a portrait feature that works really well.
The 16MP front camera is placed under the screen and although this is the third generation of the under-display tech, it’s still not quite there yet. Granted, the photo quality of the selfie camera has improved over the last phone but it still needs some work. The 16MP can take sharp photos but the quality is still not quite there yet.
Overall, the photography and videography experience of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is pretty solid. The front camera is good but can be better and that’s the price for getting a full-screen smartphone.
RAM, Storage, and Software
Black Shark 5 Pro comes with 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of Enhanced LPDDR5 RAM. It also comes with 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of UFS 3.1 storage. The phone has the latest RAM and storage technology hence the phone feels very smooth and fast when you’re operating it.
As per software, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra boots MyOS 12 based on Android 12 out of the box. ZTE promises three years of major software updates and monthly security patches for the smartphone. Before we round up the review of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, let’s talk about its battery and charging features.
Battery and Charging
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is powered by a 5,000mAh battery with support for Qualcomm quick charge 4+ and 65W charging. You can charge this phone from 0 to 100% in about 30 minutes. This phone can take you for about 7 hours under heavy use and will easily give you a full day of use under normal use.
There is however no wireless charge feature. As a premium smartphone, it should have come with a wireless charge even if it’s not a fast-charge wireless solution.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Review: Price
The starting price of the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is $899 or £719 for the model with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage (enjoy a good discount when you buy using the link below).
Buy ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra Review: Verdict
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is a worthy 2022 Ultra smartphone but still falls below the mark a little. To be clear, it’s a good smartphone to buy but the competition out there is insane and this makes it feels like the Axon 40 Ultra does not quite level up. Let me explain.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra has a colorful and smooth display, good cameras, a powerful chipset, a big battery, and gives you full-screen use thanks to the under-display camera technology. But, its selfie camera is poor, it’s not water and dustproof, and has no wireless charge solution.
The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra lack features you see in every other flagship phone of 2022 (especially those that are priced above $800). For the price, it’s tough to recommend the Axon 40 Ultra ahead of the alternative phones below. But, if the full display and under-display camera tech are your things, then buy the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra.