[Update: Hands-on] The ZTE Axon 9 Pro is the successor to the ZTE Axon 7

[Update: Hands-on] The ZTE Axon 9 Pro is the successor to the ZTE Axon 7

After a brief stint with a foldable smartphone last year in the Axon M, ZTE is back with the proper successor to the ZTE Axon 7. At IFA, the company unveiled the ZTE Axon 9 Pro. It’s the latest flagship smartphone from ZTE and it has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip to match.

We’ve heard that the Axon 9 would be coming sometime this year, but we finally received confirmation thanks to the company’s invitation to their press event. The invitation confirmed the presence of the display notch, as shown in the render above. What we did not learn from the invitation were any of the specifications of the ZTE Axon 9 Pro. How does this device compare to the ZTE Axon 7?


In summary, the Axon 9 Pro is a more powerful version of the Axon 7 in basically every aspect. The Axon 9 Pro features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC compared to the Axon 7’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. The Axon 9 Pro comes in a single 6GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration compared to the Axon 7 which launched in a single 4GB RAM and 64GB storage configuration. The Axon 9 Pro also has a larger battery, dual rear cameras, and a larger display, all while basically remaining the same size as its predecessor. The ZTE Axon 9 Pro is a proper 2018 flagship, even if it’s missing some of the more experimental features like an in-display fingerprint scanner or pop-up camera.

In terms of software, the Axon 9 Pro launches with Android 8.1 Oreo. The Axon 7 shipped with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and received an official update to Android Nougat. The device was poised to receive an official Android Oreo update, but other factors kept the company from releasing the update on time. This time, however, ZTE is back in full force and so we hope that the Axon 9 Pro sees the kind of software support we started to see near the end of the Axon 7’s official support timeline.

ZTE Axon 7 vs. ZTE Axon 9 Pro

Specification ZTE Axon 7 ZTE Axon 9 Pro
Dimensions 151.7 x 75 x 7.9 mm 156.5 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm
Display 5.5-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 AMOLED 6.21-inch FHD+ (2248×1080) 18.7:9 AMOLED, 2.5D glass
CPU/GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with Adreno 530 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630
Storage 64GB, expandable via microSD card 128GB, expandable via microSD card
Battery 3,250 mAh 4,000 mAh, wireless charging support
Rear Camera(s) 20MP (1.1μm, f/1.8 aperture, OIS). Dual LED flash. Dual 12MP (1.4 μm, f/1.75 aperture, OIS) and 20MP (130° wide-angle lens). Auto-focus with a dual photodiode (2 PD). LED flash.
Front Camera(s) 8MP (1.12μm, f/2.2 aperture) 20MP with face detection
Software Android 6.0 Marshmallow (upgradeable to Android Nougat) Android 8.1 Oreo (running a near-stock build of Android except for the camera and gallery apps)
Audio Dolby Atmos, stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack Dolby Atmos, stereo speakers, surround sound recording with three microphones, No 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac at 2.4 and 5GHz. NFC. Bluetooth 4.2. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4 and 5GHz. 2×2 MIMO. NFC. Bluetooth 5.0.
Ports/Buttons USB Type-C USB Type-C
Security Fingerprint scanner (rear) Fingerprint scanner (rear), Face Unlock
Protection N/A IP68 certified
Colors Ion Gold, Quartz Gray Blue

Some of the key features of the Axon 9 Pro include:

  • “Axon Vision”
    • Display technology for accurate color reproduction.
    • HDR10 video playback
    • Motion Video Optimization: An independent display processing chip with MEMC (motion estimation, motion compensation) technology allows for processing 500 megapixels each second. Video frame rates from 24 or 30 frames are boosted to 60 frames per second.
  • Real-time language translation into 29 languages.
  • “Artificial Intelligence” baked into the system and runtime optimization.
  • “Artificial Intelligence” snapshot technology that “consists of various intelligent motion and facial recognition functions as well as smart portrait compositions.”

This information is sourced directly from the Axon 9 Pro’s press release, so take the claims with a grain of salt. You’ll have to wait and see whether these features and specifications really make the Axon 9 Pro a worthy successor to the ZTE Axon 7.

ZTE Axon 9 Pro Pricing and Availability

The ZTE Axon 9 Pro will be available in Germany from the end of September at a starting price of €649. Pricing and availability details for other markets is not known to us at this time.

ZTE Axon 9 Pro Hands-on

Check out the hands-on of the Axon 9 Pro from our friends over at PocketNow.

This article was updated at 08:05PM CST to correct the storage information. The Axon 9 Pro does have a microSD card slot.

About author

Mishaal Rahman
Mishaal Rahman

I am the former Editor-in-chief of XDA. In addition to breaking news on the Android OS and mobile devices, I used to manage all editorial and reviews content on the Portal.

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