ZTE Axon 10 Pro hands-on: Serious value

At MWC 2019, we got our first glance at the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G. The device sports impressive specs for a price that’s lower than a lot of competing 5G smartphones and ZTE has just launched a 4G model that brings even more value. Is the ZTE Axon 10 Pro worth your 599 euros?

The ZTE Axon 10 Pro is sporting Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage. If you want to go all out, you can even pick up a 12GB RAM model, but that’s only available in China. These specs put the device on par with current flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S10 at a price that’s much more affordable. For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus currently costs 899 euros.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 4G screen at angle

ZTE is using a 6.47-inch AMOLED display with FullHD+ resolution and a 19.5:9 screen-to-body ratio, and it looked great in our time with the device. It doesn’t appear as bright or saturated as a Samsung panel, but it should satisfy the majority of users. It does have curved edges like the Galaxy S10 though, so you’re still getting a premium experience from the Axon 10 Pro. There’s even an optical in-display fingerprint reader, something traditionally found in more premium devices.

Display 6-47-inch FHD+
AMOLED
19.5:9
92-percent screen to body ratio
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM 6 GB / 8 GB / 12 GB
Storage 128 GB or 256 GB
MicroSD No
Battery 4,000 mAh Lithium ion
Qualcomm Quickcharge 4.0
Cameras Main: 48 MP Sony IMX 586, f/1.7 aperture
Wide: 20 MP wide angle with 125-degree FoV and f/2.2 aperture
Telephoto: 8 MP 3x optical telephoto with f/2.4 aperture
Selfie: 20 MP
Wireless charging Yes
Water resistance IP 53
Connectivity FDD: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/26/28
TDD: 34/38/39/40/41
TDS: 34/39
UMTS: 1/2/4/5/8
CDMA: 0/1/10
GSM: 2/3/5/8
LTE: 4*4MIMO
DL 3CA, DL 2CA, UL 2CA
Software Stock+ Launcher based on Android 9 Pie
Dimensions and weight 159.2mm x 73.4mm x 7.9mm
Colors Blue

The phone also features the same motion smoothing technology found in the ZTE Axon 9 Pro, which artificially forces a framerate of 60fps on all video content. This includes local storage, YouTube, and even games, the area where we could see the feature being the most useful. It worked well on the Axon 9 Pro, so we’re assuming it will be the same here.

Stereo speakers are present in this device, but only one is front-facing. The other speaker is bottom-firing, seated next to a USB-C port and a SIM tray. ZTE is using DTS: X Ultra 3D surround sound technology in these speakers, giving a more full audio experience. The phone sounded well-bodied in our time with it. There is no headphone jack present in the Axon 10 Pro, something that can be found in the Samsung Galaxy S10.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 4G cameras macro

Moving to the cameras, we see yet another feature found in premium devices, a triple lens design. The Axon 10 Pro features a main 48MP sensor with pixel binning for higher quality 12MP images, a 20MP wide-angle camera with a 125-degree field of view, and an 8MP 3x optical telephoto lens. You’ll also find 5x hybrid zoom and 10x digital zoom, so this device gives you quite a lot of range. The selfie camera hidden in the teardrop-style notch is 20MP.

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A 4,000mAh battery powers the device, and it can be charged up quickly with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0. This won’t charge as fast as OnePlus’ WarpCharge or Huawei’s Supercharge, but it should still top off your device on the fly.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 4G Google apps on screen

ZTE uses a very basic skin they call Stock+, and I would say this name is very representative of the UI. It looks extremely similar to the experience you get on a Google Pixel but has a few useful extra add-ons. ZTE has even worked with Google to make Google Photos the stock app, and you’ll find Google Lens baked into the camera. If you’re a fan of vanilla Android, you’ll be happy with this experience.

At 599 euros, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro offers serious value

The standard 4G version is available now, starting at 599 euros for the 6GB/128GB model. If you want to hold out for the 5G version, it will be shipping sometime in June for 899 euros.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 4G rear

Overall, we’re quite impressed with what we’re seeing in the ZTE Axon 10 Pro. For 599 euros this device offers 99-percent of the competition for substantially less money, and it’s a device we’re excited to get in for review soon. You can buy it right now from Saturn, Media Markt, and Amazon.

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 4G screen and notch

What do you think about the ZTE Axon 10 Pro? If it offered a headphone jack, this device would be neck-and-neck with the Samsung Galaxy S10. Is ZTE back to its glory days?