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ZTE's affordable Axon 7 arrives today to take on OnePlus

Engadget Engadget 13/07/2016 Cherlynn Low
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ZTE is ready to let the public get their hands on the Axon 7. The all-metal smartphone is available for pre-order at $400 starting today via ZTEUSA.com, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and Newegg.

At that price, ZTE is hoping the Axon 7 can take on the likes of costlier rivals such as Samsung's Galaxy S7, HTC's 10 and LG's G5. It is armed with the same Snapdragon 820 CPU with 4GB of RAM and 2K screen resolution as those competitors.

However, the Axon's $400 price tag is the same as the OnePlus 3, which also sports a Snapdragon 820 chip, but comes with a whopping 6GB of RAM. The OnePlus 3's display is a less-sharp 1080p, though.

Its high-res AMOLED panel helps the Axon 7 achieve compatibility with Google's Daydream mobile VR platform, and the company says the device will be Daydream-ready by the fall.

The Axon 7 is a step up from its predecessor in many ways, but the most obvious improvement is its design. ZTE partnered with BMW Designworks in crafting the Axon 7, and the result is a handsome handset that I couldn't keep my hands off of when I saw it in May.

Other highlights include a 20-megapixel camera that features dual or "hybrid" image stabilization (IS), which is a blend of optical and digital IS, loud speakers powered by two sound chips and a dual SIM slot. As with previous Axon devices, ZTE is offering its Passport 2.0 warranty service that provides replacements or loaners if you break your phone within two years of purchase. That's a solid bundle of features for the price. If you're already sold and will be pre-ordering, you won't have to wait long to get the phone; The Axon 7 starts shipping July 27th.

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