Phones

ZTE Axon M the First True Foldable Smartphone

Written by Tyler Rondman

ZTE Axon M the First True Foldable Smartphone

Years ago, you could buy the Kyocera Echo Smartphone with a two-screen foldable form. Now ZTE has bettered this device by manufacturing the Axon M.

Users found the device not easy to use in 2011 – but what does 2017 hold for this new released Smartphone. Over the years, the concept of a folding Smartphone often came up in discussions as Android systems improved over the years.

The Axon M Smartphones built with an Android operating system. Further, it supports multiple screens and a tablet version of the system. These two qualities was absent in the Kyocera . The announcement of the smartphone ZTE took place on October 17; the journalists received some time to be acquainted with it.

Let’s try to see if the time of folding Smartphones is making a comeback into the mobile device market.

Design

The Axon M has a metal and glass structure, which feels durable and weighs 230 grams, 30 grams heavier than the iPhone 8 Plus. Of course, the distribution of weight here is different. In the collapsed state, the apparatus feels heavier than in the open state. In the latter case, you need to hold it with both hands. In any case, the heaviness does not cause concern.

When the smartphone unfolds, you can leave it in tent mode to display presentations or games. The hinges offer enough resistance, so that the screens are located at any angle. If you deploy the smartphone completely, you will hear a click and it will remain flat.

There are two TFT LCD screens with a resolution of 1080p, a diagonal of 5.2 inches, and a pixel density of 426 PPI. Once fully expanded, the aspect ratio of the screen is 1.78: 1. For viewing videos, the dual speakers offer you a great viewing and listening experience. There are separate digital-to-analog converters and an amplifier, thanks to which you can hear HD sound from a distance of 6 m.

Interface and Performance

The smartphone runs on Android 7.1.2, and supports the dual screens well. With this in mind, developers offer three modes of using the Smartphone. Next to the three usual navigation buttons, the 4th one is the Android one named Axon M.

Clicking on it, you will see a switch between the three modes with the names AA, A and AB. These letters describe the capabilities of the screens. AA means reflection mode, where each screen shows the same image. The A stands for a full-screen mode where the two screens form one continuous screen.

The AB provides the usual multitasking, where two applications displayed on different screens, but you can run two commands of the same application. In addition, it’s easier to copy and paste content from one document to another.

Mode A is an excellent tool for increasing the space on the screen, whether scrolling pages on Facebook, watching videos, images, or reading pages on sites. Writing e-mails and text messages in this mode allows you to use the bottom of the keyboard, while at the top you can scroll the conversation.

The same effects achieved on YouTube, where at the top you can watch the video, and below you can read comments related to the video. This can work in some games, like desktop games. In the mirroring mode, you can run games like Battleship, when the Smartphones installed in the form of a tent.

Of course, Battleship style games not designed to support double screens, so you can display the game for each player, but the effect will be as if each player has a separate screen. You can use the display mode for conferences, again in the position of a smartphone-tent, and presentations.

The AB mode also has many uses for multi-tasking in Android the screen area competes with large tablets. ZTE has included support for some actions when used in different modes.

In AB mode, you can use the two screens with three fingers and it changes the position of two open applications; if one is open, you can drag the other over it. Using one finger below widens the application on the one screen to both. Screens react quickly to gestures.

As for performance, it uses a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4 GB of RAM.

Camera

The camera is located on the front of the smartphone, while in the laptop mode it is the back. The resolution is 20 megapixels, the aperture is f / 1.8, there is optical stabilization for photos, and video, autofocus with phase detection helps to shoot under low light conditions.

Expectations

If you look at the Axon M as a smartphone, they use older components such as the obsolete processor. The 4 GB of memory, 64 GB of flash memory are close to the performance of flagship devices. The same counts for the glass and metal of the case. It has a camera with a resolution of 20 megapixels, video recording 4K, USB-C connector with support for Quick Charge 3.0.

Of course, the form factor is the main thing in this smartphone. In the notebook format, this is a narrow device, which offers you more than other Smartphones. If you deploy it to the end and get two Full HD screens, they fit more videos and text.

All these features are built into the Android framework and do not require developers to write additional code, although it would be nice to get a full-screen controller in games.

The cost of the device in the US is $730.

About the author

Tyler Rondman

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.