Although much of the focus has been on Huawei, another Chinese tech company, ZTE, had a run-in with the former Trump administration. Fortunately for the company, the U.S. eventually lifted its ban, allowing the brand to sell smartphones in the country. Since the company overcame this debacle, its international product launches have been rather low-key (and unimpressive.) That changed with the launch of the Axon 20 5G in September of 2020, the world’s first smartphone with a selfie camera underneath the display. After it launched globally in December of 2020, we had a chance to try it out for ourselves but came away disappointed. Now, ZTE is preparing to launch its successor: the Axon 30 Pro 5G.
In a post on Weibo, ZTE Mobile shared a poster that teases the release of the Axon 30 Pro 5G. The company sadly doesn’t confirm if the Axon 30 Pro will have an under-display camera like its predecessor, but we’d be surprised if ZTE abandons such a marketable feature. Ni Fei, the company’s President of Mobile Devices, does state that the new device will have the “industry’s strongest imaging system.” He hasn’t shared exactly how the Axon 30 Pro will best its competition when it comes to imaging, so we’re chalking this up to marketing until we learn more. Separately, Lu Qianhao, Director of Consumer Experience Department at ZTE, essentially confirmed that the Axon 30 Pro 5G will feature Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 silicon. In his post, he touts the computing performance of the Snapdragon 888’s Spectra 580 ISP. However, he stops short at confirming which features the Axon 30 Pro 5G will actually support, thus it would be a stretch for us to say his post confirms any details about the phone’s actual imaging hardware.
We’re pleasantly surprised to see that the Axon 30 Pro 5G will feature Qualcomm’s latest silicon. After all, the last two smartphones in the Axon series, the Axon 11 5G and Axon 20 5G, featured Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset. Previous devices in the Axon lineup, such as the Axon 7, Axon 9, Axon 10 Pro, and most recently, the Axon 10s Pro, featured Snapdragon 8-series chipsets, so it seems that ZTE is returning to making flagship Axon phones after a brief stint with making mid-rangers. Here’s hoping Google does the same for its next Pixel smartphone.