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The best ZTE phones to buy in 2018

ZTE phones might not be known to many in major smartphone markets, but the recent push and shove with the U.S. government has for sure put the company in the eyes of many that had little knowledge about it. For those who know a thing or two about ZTE phones, however, you’ll understand why the company chose to part with $1.4 billion in order to keep plying its trade in the U.S.

Regardless of whether you know much about ZTE or not, one thing that still stands out is that there are a good number of great ZTE phones out there and while some are available directly in the U.S., others are limited to markets outside the U.S. No matter where you are, here are the best ZTE phones to buy right now.

Best ZTE phones [September 2018]

ZTE Axon 9 Pro

After more than two years of waiting, the ZTE Axon 7 finally has a successor, the Axon 9 Pro. Considering how good the Axon 7 was – and still is to some – a lot has expectations have been placed on the Axon 9 Pro and indeed, the phone ticks most of the flagship boxes. Like we’ve come to know the Axon series, the new kid on the block continues with the impressive audio ability by shipping with stereo speakers and support for HiFi and Dolby Atmos audio technologies.

Specs
  • 6.21-inch 18.7:9 FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 20MP main camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, Quick Charge 4.0, Fast wireless charging, NFC, Stereo speakers, HiFi, Dolby Atmos, Rear-mounted scanner, IP68, AI, HDR10, etc.

It doesn’t look like the Axon 9 Pro will be sold officially in the U.S. But for those in Europe, the device will come your way priced at €649. Of course, with platforms like Amazon, there will always be a way to ship the phone to your preferred destination.

Related: ZTE Axon 9 Pro: All you need to know

ZTE Axon 7

zte axon 7 oreo

The ZTE Axon 7 is by far one of the best smartphones the company has ever made. Coming in as a 2016 flagship, the device packs high-end specs of the time and while back in the day it rode on the back of an affordable price tag, getting hold of one today can be a real hassle. In fact, you might just be priced out of getting one solely because you can better spend the cash some retailers are charging for a new model elsewhere.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • 20MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3250 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

The ZTE Axon 7 went toe-to-toe with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in terms of specs and features, but due to the affordable price tag, many fell in love with this device. Although it ships with Marshmallow, the device is eligible for Android Oreo.

Despite how good the Axon 7 is, the major problem is getting hold of a new handset. For the few that Amazon still has, shelling out in excess of $500 would be a crazy move, especially at a time when the market has the likes of OnePlus 6, Asus ZenFone 5Z or even the Huawei Honor 10, among others.

→ Buy ZTE Axon 7: USA | UK | Europe


ZTE Axon M

If you still want something newer from ZTE’s high-end collection, the Axon M is your only option. The phone also happens to be the only one with a bendable display screen with two 5.2-inch panels joined by a hinge, thus allowing you to use either or both at the same time.

Specs
  • Two 5.2-inch FHD LCD displays
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • 20MP main camera
  • 3180 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat

As you may have noticed, there’s no front-facing camera on the ZTE Axon M, but you can always turn to the main camera to capture selfies. Yes, the main camera can also work as a front camera, which is pretty cool. Although ZTE has not confirmed when the Axon M will get Oreo, we know that it will receive this upgrade at some point.

In the U.S., the Axon M is sold through AT&T, but you can still grab one via Best Buy for the same price of $725 outright or $24.17/mo. for 30 months. The Axon M has yet to be unveiled in India.

→ Buy ZTE Axon M: USA | UK | Europe


ZTE Axon 7 Mini

ZTE doesn’t have much to talk about in the high-end market. In fact, the story isn’t very different when it comes to the midrange segment, where you can find a few lonely devices, among them the ZTE Axon 7 Mini and ZTE Blade V8 Pro. Like the name suggests, the former is a smaller variant of the flagship Axon 7, hence, it has the same body language but the inside is different, as seen below.

  • 5.2-inch FHD AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage
  • 16MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 2705 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

Like its counterpart, the Axon 7 Mini has been around for a while now and getting hold of one can be a small problem you may find hard dealing with. But if you can and are a fan of ZTE phones, you’ll love it, especially now that it costs just $180. In India, you won’t find the Axon 7 Mini, rather, there’s its predecessor, the Axon Mini on Amazon. The device shares some specs with the Axon 7 Mini, but being a 2015 release, it’s a little weaker on specs and lags behind in terms of software.

→ Buy ZTE Axon 7 Mini: USA (Amazon/Newegg) | UK | Europe | India


ZTE Blade V8 Pro

If you want something slightly newer in the midrange segment, you can’t go wrong with the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. Launched in January 2017, the Blade V8 Pro amps the processing power of the Axon 7 Mini, has a bigger display and battery as well. In addition, you are getting a dual-lens camera on the back, but the unfortunate thing is the Blade V8 Pro still runs Marshmallow.

  • 5.5-inch FHD LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage
  • Dual 13MP + 2MP rear cameras
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3140 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

Like other ZTE phones, getting hold of the ZTE Blade V8 Pro might not be such an easy task. Still, a little digging won’t disappoint you, but the price might. In the U.S., for instance, a new model of the Blade V8 Pro will set you back over $400, but there are certified refurbished models selling from $150. At Newegg, you can have one at just $140.

The Blade V8 Pro is hardly available in Europe, but there’s a smaller variant of the same phone that’s available for purchase in most countries.

→ Buy ZTE Blade V8 Pro: USA (Amazon, Newegg)


ZTE Blade V8

After releasing the Pro variant, ZTE followed it up with a standard model dubbed ZTE Blade V8. As you may have guessed, this model has weaker specs and features, which also means you can have it for a cheaper price. One major advantage you get over the Pro variant is software, where the Blade V8 comes preinstalled with Nougat and not Marshmallow, but in matters of performance, the specs sheet is a little weaker, as seen below.

  • 5.2-inch FHD LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chipset
  • 2GB or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB expandable storage
  • Dual 13MP + 2MP rear cameras
  • 13MP front camera
  • 2730 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

As noted, getting hold of the ZTE Blade V8 Pro in Europe isn’t so easy, but it’s quite easy to get the Blade V8 priced at about €150.

→ Buy ZTE Blade V8: USA | UK | Europe


Upcoming ZTE phones

ZTE Axon 9

ZTE Axon 9

ZTE Axon 7 is the company’s flagship device at the moment, but it was unveiled in 2016. In 2017, ZTE went MIA in the flagship market, although it did give us the Axon M towards the end of the year. Expectations were high that it would follow up the impressive Axon 7 with the Axon 8, but reports from China suggest that there won’t be the Axon 8, rather, the company will unveil the Axon 9.

You can get the reasoning behind skipping Axon 8 in favor of Axon 9 in the link below, which also houses all the details you need to know about the Axon 9.

Related: ZTE Axon 9: All you need to know


ZTE A0722

A device codenamed ZTE A0722 recently stopped by TENAA, giving us some details of what to look forward to when it finally breaks cover. From the specs sheet, it’s easy to conclude that the A0722 will be a budget phone with no dual-lens cameras or any fancy features to write home about. Still, it will come with the new 18:9 aspect ratio on a 5.45-inch display screen as well as run the latest Android Oreo out of the box.

While we still don’t know when this phone will be launched, the fact that details of the specs, features, and images have been submitted to TENAA means that it’s almost ready for launch. To get a bigger picture of what the ZTE A0722 brings forth, hit the link below.

Related: ZTE A0722: Specs and features


Wrapping up

ZTE has had some issues to deal with in the recent past and now that that is behind, we should see more devices coming from the Chinese OEM. The Axon 9 is one of the most anticipated devices and is expected to fill in the shoes of the highly successful Axon 7, but when exactly the device is coming out remains unclear.

While the Axon M might be an idea that came before consumers were ready for, the recent shift in market dynamics means that it’s realistic to expect the phone’s successor at some point this year or even next year. As for the midrange and budget segment, we expect the company to get even busier as the year trickles down.

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Each one Reach one Teach one. Football Droid. Email: hillary@theandroidsoul.com