ZTE follows up on the world’s first under-display camera smartphone with the Axon 30

ZTE releases mark II of its groundbreaking phone even before its rivals come to market

by Justin Choo

For now, at least, ZTE is the only phone manufacturer with an under-display camera smartphone in the market. The new ZTE Axon 30 is the follow-up to the first under-display camera smartphone, the Axon 20.

The front camera on the Axon 20 proved to be more of a demonstration of tech rather than a practical replacement for the more conventional front camera, so the Axon 30 marks a second attempt by ZTE to make a marked improvement.

Upgrades to the camera include a special pixel matrix, unique driver circuits, independent display chip, front camera, in-house selfie algorithm and larger light-sensitive 4-in-1 2.24um equivalent large pixel camera while maintaining a high pixel density display with 400 PPI.

The display uses seven layers of highly transparent materials aided by three specialised processing tech to make the area over the under-display camera more light-transmissive. This also requires an independent screen display chip, that has to optimise the display so that the camera area blends more seamlessly with the rest of the display.

By default, the 5G-capable phone is also the first of its kind to have a screen of 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate, despite the already challenging technical requirements. The ZTE Axon 30 features a 6.92″ AMOLED display (100 per cent DCI-P3) in a 20.5:9 format. Complementing the cinematic display are DTS:X Ultra-supported speakers for 3D audio projection.

In terms of specs the phone lies in the top tier category:

  • Snapdragon 870G processor (performance in between Snapdragon 865 and 888)
  • AI quad-camera: 64-megapixel main camera, 120-degree wide-angle camera, 3cm macro lens and a depth-of-field lens. Supports multi-camera simultaneous shooting and 3D LUT (colour lookup table) filters.
  • Dual-way video stabilisation for the main camera and wide-angle camera to correct video shooting jitter in motion. Also supports Hitchcock zoom, pull focus effects, built-in fast playback, slow motion and rewind.
  • 4200mAh battery with 55W fast charging.
  • Triple ice cooling system: consists of a large VC liquid cooling plate, high power thermal gel, and graphene copper-based composite material for continuous high performance.

Currently only available in China, the new device comes in two colourways – black and aqua. A global version has been confirmed to be coming soon.