The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra Review - Something Surprisingly Differentby Andrei Frumusanu on July 30, 2021 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Axon 30 Ultra
System Performance - Extremely Snappy
Featuring a Snapdragon 888 as well as a 144Hz screen extremely fast touch response, we expect the Axon 30 Ultra to perform admirably, and that’s generally indeed what you should see on the phone.
In the PCMark Web browsing test, the Axon 30 Ultra is actually amongst the most aggressive devices on the market right now, certainly amongst S888 phones.
The writing sub-test which is most representative of general UI responsiveness, we see the Axon 30 Ultra fare well in the charts although it’s not the most aggressive.
In the photo editing and data manipulation tests it’s also quite middle of the line, but still featuring great performance.
The end score lands the phone in the middle of the pack amongst other Snapdragon 888 phones which is still great.
Also, I’d like to mention that while testing the phone I unfortunately discovered that ZTE is cheating in PCMark; the OS detects the application and pegs the CPU frequencies to maximum, which naturally in results in absurdly high scores that are unrealistic. This is more of a classic case of a more blatant benchmark cheating which tends to be common with the more misguided vendors. The scores publish here bypass the detection and are representative of general application performance.
Web Browser Performance
In the web browser performance tests, the Axon 30 Ultra performs excellently and is amongst the fastest Snapdragon 888 devices out there.
Overall, the performance of the Axon 30 Ultra is excellent and is amongst one of the best in the current market. The software stack seems to work as well as any other good implementation, and the phone’s hardware in terms of a high refresh rate screen and low input touch response result in very fluid and responsive experiences.
I’d like to note here that in regards to the phone 144Hz refresh rate mode isn’t exactly much of an advantage over the 120Hz mode, beyond the increased power consumption, it’s actually quite hard to tell the difference to 120Hz so I can’t claim that it’s of any practical advantage to the phone beyond going that extra inch in terms of marketing features.
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ottonis - Sunday, August 1, 2021 - linkThe rules of market are fairly agnostic with regards to what customers "accept" and what they don't.
As long as a company can sell good amounts of phones and even increase their margins, they will cut literally everything from the phone.
The point is: what will the consumer purchase? The mere fact that Apple Google etc are cutting away SD slots and abalogie audio ports means that a sufficient number of customers purchase these products, even at a premium price.
So, best thing to do is simply to ignore such devices and focus on comanies/brands/device models that still incorporate these components into devices.
The Sony Xperia 1/5/10 Mark III come to mind as great alternatives, although in my opinion they are quite overpriced for what they offer especially in the camera department.
The Xiaomi Pico X3 pro has a 3.5mm jack, an SD card slot, a fairly ok-ish main rear camera, is available on Amazon even in the US and costs only 280 bucks.
I am seriously considering on giving up on so called "flagships" and instead run a cheap bread and butter smartphone that does everything I need and want, and if I plan on shooting some good photos just carry around an ultra pocketable mini camera such as Canon Gx7iii or one of the Sony Rx100 models, all if which easily fit into a jeans pocket.
drajitshnew - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkConsumers have to accept that micro SD cards are dying out. The newer micro SD express standard has been out for some time, has connectors available from at least amphenol, and has support from WD. But not even Sony Xperia supports it. There is nothing we can do about it.
As for the 3.5 mm Jack, it actually provides SUPERIOR audio quality than USB -C Analog audio (the dongle type) because the Analog signal is transmitted by pins in close proximity to those carrying high frequency and high power signals. And if the signal is being output like that it is actually misleading to call it a 32 bit 192KHz audio, or something similar.
But as I said I seriously am starting to think that I made a mistake in buying a fringe model with a 3.5mm audio but botched call management.
drajitshnew - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkThe hyped audio advantages of USB-C only come into play if you output digital audio to an external high quality DAC. But that adds bulk and COST disadvantages. Also, most midrange phones have USB 2.0
flyingpants265 - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkHard to beat the Poco X3 Pro for the price...
BillyBeane - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkWill be compatible with any US carriers after the 2g/3g shutdown? Does it do VoLTE? What Frequency bands is it compatible with?
docola - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkIt's a deal killer for ANY phone that is chinese for me.
Xiaomi etc has confirmed our suspicions when all kinds of data
was found to be sent to odd russian and chinese servers.
Too bad because they make great phones (xiaomi) at cheap prices.
Its selling your soul to the spy devils. No thank you.
flyingpants265 - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - linkXiaomis are basically sold at cost. For $270 USD or whatever for the pro model, you can't really go wrong! That's cheaper than the old Nexus 4, Nexus 5, OnePlus One. Half the price of a Samsung Galaxy S3 on release.
I'm flashing AOSP on mine. But of course that wouldn't change anything that might be contained inside the chips.
drajitshnew - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkKudos to @Andrei for b introducing browser based web benchmarks. The blacklisting and whitelisting shenanigans are seriously impairing the utility of PC mark.
@dotjaz recently got a fresh perspective on the utility of software updates. Realme x7max [? Realme GT 5G] got bricked twice, before they figured that it was being caused by a software update. I was also advised and did a factory reset [unsuccessful] because my calls don't appear on the screen -- seriously.
As a reference Microsoft has done an absolutely amazing job with the technology and support in Windows 10. But it has got more brickbats for BSODs and bricking from them same updates.
flyingpants265 - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - linkWhat on earth? Windows 10 is one of the worst pieces of software ever made.
nicolaim - Friday, July 30, 2021 - linkNo good software update policy?
No wireless charging?