ZTE  Axon 30 RendersSource: ZTE

Original July 27 article updated with pricing and global availability information.

What you need to know

  • ZTE has announced the Axon 30 in July with an initial release in China.
  • This marks the second attempt at integrating an under-display selfie camera.
  • Global launch is set for September 9, starting at $499 for U.S. buyers.

The new ZTE Axon 30 5G was announced in July, introducing the second iteration of ZTE's under-display selfie camera technology. The first attempt came via the ZTE Axon 20, which marked the first smartphone release to include such a feature.

ZTE Axon 30 RendersSource: ZTE

Before diving too deep into this new selfie camera, let's run down the specs. The Axon 30 sports a 6.92-inch AMOLED display, along with a 120Hz refresh rate and a FullHD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Powering ZTE's latest handset is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, which means that its a step down from the Axon 30 Ultra, which launched earlier in the year.

The chipset is being paired with 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM, along with 128GB or 256GB of storage. In terms of battery life, ZTE packed a 4,200mAH cell into the Axon 30, also equipping it with 55W fast charging. But ZTE has even gone one step further as the Axon 30 is also compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+.

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One of the key reasons why the Axon 30 Ultra is considered one of the best Android phones of 2021 is thanks to the camera system. While this newer Axon 30 won't be quite as robust, it still includes a quad-camera array on the back, headlined by a 64MP main wide-angle main camera. Offering some help with the rest of your camera needs is an 8MP ultrawide sensor, a 5MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor.

ZTE Axon 30 RendersSource: ZTE

Going back to that under-display selfie camera. At first, it may seem like the same 16MP lens found in many of the best cheap Android phones. But that's not the case, as ZTE has taken strides to increase the pixel density of that portion of the display (from 200 PPI to 400 PPI) and ensure that the light sensitivity remains unaffected.

ZTE used a total of seven layers of "highly transparent materials and 3 special processing technologies" to ensure that the camera area is "more light-transmissive." This 16MP lens also uses 4-in-1 pixel binning, along with a large pixel size of 2.24 μm to provide the best selfies possible with this new technology. For comparison, that's larger than the 2 μm pixel size of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3's Under Panel Camera, and should provide bright images while retaining a relatively inconspicuous sensor.

The Axon 30 also includes an under-display fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G connectivity, and dual-band Wi-Fi support. The Axon 30 was initially available in China, but is now making it's way to global markets on September 9. The device will start at $499/€499/£429 for the 8GB/128GB model and $599/€599/£519 for 12GB/256GB.

Another UDC attempt

ZTE Axon 30 Cropped Render

ZTE Axon 30

This under-display technology is crazy

Along with some pretty respectable specs, the ZTE Axon 30 is coming later this year. But the phone's defining feature is ZTE's second-generation under-display selfie camera, which aims to fix any issues from the original iteration.