ZTE Axon 9 Professional Assessment: Arms-On

April 28, 2019 By Lisa

ZTE Axon 9 Professional Assessment: Arms-On

Initially scheduled to be introduced earlier this yr, the Axon 9 Professional was lastly launched at IFA 2018. It’s ZTE's strongest handset. Its estimated value of round US $ 750 will compete with the perfect smartphones that everybody has to supply. This time, ZTE focuses on the multimedia expertise with a devoted customized video processor and a speaker designed for top efficiency.

Successor of Axon 7, the brand new Axon 9 Professional was introduced on 2018-08-30. On the idea of prices as the primary criterion, we’ve got aligned a bunch of smartphones that we’ll use to judge the mixing of the ZTE Axon 9 Professional in its fast panorama of smartphones. Sony Xperia XZ3 (~ 900 USD), Sony Xperia XZ2 (~ 710 USD), Samsung Galaxy S9 + (~ 819 USD), Honorary Video games of honor (~ 380 USD).

Key technical specs

6.21 "AMOLED show (2248 × 1080) 12 MP digicam, aperture 1.75 apertureQualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform 6 RAM, 128, 256 GB storage + MicroSDXC (400 GB max.) Battery capability 4000 mAhAndroid eight.1

Industrial design

The Axon 9 Professional makes use of a glass sandwich design, which implies that it appears very neat and that the glass is curved on the edges, just like the Galaxy S Collection. This design method is superb, however many high-end and high-end telephones are utilizing it now. So we cannot say that it is vitally distinctive, but it surely permits ZTE to compete as a result of it’s fairly good.

The fingerprint sensor is effectively built-in with a reasonably diamond-cut metallic rim. The digicam module is a bit larger, however we don’t suppose it's an issue. The flush digicam modules had been one factor a couple of years in the past, however though Samsung and LG are attempting to keep away from any protrusion, Apple and Huawei are popping out with out doing so, with out paying an apparent value.

Sorry for the mud round these areas, however the demo telephone traveled and a few of them weren’t very seen to the bare eye. We should always have paid extra consideration although. Take a look at the picture gallery to see extra carefully:

This smartphone is comfy by hand as a result of it has a width of 74.5 mm and a thickness of about zero.31 inch. For reference, that is based mostly on a medium measurement hand (US M gloves).

Oddly, the burden data was not accessible within the official specs, however this design ought to provide glorious efficiency in relation to its measurement and weight. From one other standpoint, what’s the battery capability of the customer very spectacular for a tool of this measurement. As solely the Huawei P20 Professional has three% extra battery per quantity.

The display screen / display screen ratio of the Axon 9 Professional of 83.three% can be glorious general, as it’s considerably larger than that of Axon 7 (73.three%) and Huawei P20 Professional (82% ). The Galaxy S9 + barely retains the lead with 83.6%.


Glass is way smoother and glossy than metallic designs. It supplies a superior feeling, each visually and while you maintain it. Cash put apart, the worth to pay for such a design is the chance of breakage that may happen if the machine falls on a tough floor, particularly because the glass of the Axon 9 Professional curls up barely on the perimeters. Anyway, folks nonetheless want glass as a result of it is vitally good. The handsets can merely be protected by a holster, however it’s unlucky to cover their magnificence.

By analyzing the development of the smartphone, we estimate that the chance of cracking throughout a fall on a tough floor is excessive. You possibly can check with our detailed article on how telephones might be constructed to keep away from cracks throughout falls: how the LG V20 was designed to outlive declines

The Axon 9 Professional smartphone has an IP68 safety ranking, which suggests it’s protected to some extent from mud and / or water. Here’s what IP68 safety means: dust-proof, no mud can penetrate. Waterproofing by immersion as much as three meters. In some circumstances, waterproofing implies that "water" can penetrate, however with out harming the machine. The Axon 9 Professional has don’t has acquired US MIL-STD 810G certification, however it’s fairly uncommon, and LG is the primary producer to take action.

Show and digicam

Through the brief time we spent with the machine, the show seemed very good, so we’ve got no worries about it, however we should wait till we are able to take extra measures to verify its integrity. With a 100% sRGB shade protection and actually black colours, we’re sure that it’ll attain nearly all LCDs on this value vary. Observe that this OLED panel is supplied by Samsung. OLED screens are increasingly current on the high-end market.

The theoretical brightness of ~ 430 NIT is way from the best on this value vary, with the S9 +, the Pixel 2 XL and the Huawei P20 Professional, between 610 and 775 NIT, as confirmed by the next our collection of exams. ZTE reported that the machine was within the strategy of being licensed by the HDR10 and hoped to verify that it was within the close to future.


The novelty of the show lies within the upscaling 30 FPS chip utilized by ZTE. It’s a processor that intercepts the show sign and may run picture enhancement algorithms or double the body charge of movies.

It’s a expertise just like that discovered on TVs the place any video can go from 24-30FPS to 60FPS. TVs can go effectively past 120Hz, however this can be a novelty for a telephone and the primary time it's applied on a industrial handset. The outcomes are noticeable: movies can seem a lot smoother, particularly when panning the digicam. These sorts of issues occur on a regular basis for those who watch sports activities.

View technical evaluation

The Axon 9 Professional is constructed with an AMOLED show. OLED is a totally totally different show expertise (than the LCD) extensively accessible for handsets, primarily because of Samsung. The basic distinction between OLED shows and LCD shows is the way in which wherein mild is emitted. With the LCD, there are a small variety of white mild emitters (1-2 for handsets, 2-100 for televisions) and black pixels are potential by "blocking" the white mild with a filter. Sadly, the usage of a filter results in "bleeding mild" and to a "black shade" that’s actually darkish grey.

With OLED, every pixel emits its personal mild. It additionally implies that making a black pixel merely means leaving it off. Because of this, the black shade is admittedly black and the opposite colours are simpler to regulate with out the usage of complicated filters and shade management applied sciences reminiscent of Quantum Dots and Nano Dots.

You possibly can learn our full article on LCD vs. OLED that goes deeper into the small print.

The decision of 2248 × 1080 could be excessive in absolute phrases, however within the high-end phase, there are screens with many extra pixels and better sharpness. For instance, the ZTE Axon 9 Professional has a sharpness of 402 PPI, however the Galaxy S9 + reaches 531 PPI.

ZTE Axon 9 Professional Digital camera

Within the Axon 9 Professional, the aperture of the digicam at f / 1.75 is nice and the sensor measurement of ~ 23 mm2 could be thought of giant (for a smartphone), however there are sensors with a floor nearly twice as massive (P20 Professional). On paper, the digicam appears promising and we stay up for testing it.

"On paper, the digicam appears promising, however not world class"

Megapixel might be an excellent proxy for particulars and sharpness of images. For instance, on a sunny day, a cityscape picture with the next megapixel quantity can lead to finer particulars. Variations between small particulars may be exceptional between 12 MP, 16 MP and 21 MP, whether or not they’re printed or seen on a big display screen and / or a excessive PPI show, however even on this case it isn’t at all times the case. case.

In low mild conditions, the excessive variety of megapixels (> 12) doesn’t matter, particularly if the scale of the sensor just isn’t as spectacular, as a result of cluttering extra pixels on a given floor is equal to smaller pixels. The smaller pixels could have extra issue capturing the dimmed mild. It’s preferable, for the overall high quality of the picture, to seize extra mild with much less sensels (however bigger) than the alternative.

The provision of an optical picture stabilization module (OIS) on the primary digicam will increase the probabilities of capturing sharp pictures in daylight and brighter pictures at evening. OIS helps to enhance picture readability and improve low-light efficiency by compensating for tiny hand actions. With OIS, it's handy to go away the shutter open longer to seize extra mild (longer publicity). Optical and digital stabilization are utterly totally different, with acceptable digital stabilization to enhance the fluidity of video recording.

EIS (Digital Picture Stabilization) is don’t accessible on this handset. For that reason, video recordings could also be extra fragile than rivals with this function.

The Axon 9 Professional digicam's autofocus is predicated on two-pixel phase-detection autofocus (DP-PDAF) expertise. Section Detected AF that was initially constructed into discrete AF sensor chips throughout DSLR days. Then it was built-in within the major sensor of the digicam. This works by including specialised pixel AF sensors that may point out if particular factors within the picture had been sharp. The Twin-Pixel AF expertise is a brand new model of this expertise that drives efficiency to the intense.

System efficiency and battery

This fundamental processor of the handset is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (eight cores, 2.eight GHz) which has entry to 6 GB of reminiscence (RAM). This is identical processor utilized by the overwhelming majority of high-end Android gadgets and is taken into account the perfect platform for Android in the mean time. We’ve handled snapdragon many instances and we all know that every one handsets that use it work effectively.

The quantity of RAM is essential for giant customers or to have many purposes / providers on the machine. When the reminiscence is full, the telephone could turn into much less responsive if the working system has to learn / write from the slower Flash storage. This was one of many variations between decrease and better degree telephones, however this line is blurry in the mean time.


When this handset passes the exams by Ubergizmo Labs, we’ll see if there are small variations in comparison with the opposite handsets powered by the 845. Within the meantime, learn our doc entitled Are Benchmarks Vital? article.

Snapdragon 845 CPU, multitasking take a look at

Snapdragon 845, reference of 3D video games

Wi-fi broadband efficiency

The Axon 9 Professional is supplied with a LTE CAT 15 modem (750 Mbps ⇣ / 226 Mbps). This degree of efficiency is excellent (however not glorious) in its class and normally. Why just isn’t it glorious? Most Snapdragon 845 handsets reap the benefits of the Most CAT 18 LTE specification which theoretically exceeds 1.2 Gbps. We have no idea why ZTE doesn’t, however it will have been good.

The efficiency of wi-fi networks (3G / 4G) are sometimes thought of as most obtain speeds, however it’s the common velocity that counts. 4G / LTE is at present the primary community of curiosity, however 5G is coming. The upper the theoretical LTE efficiency is larger and the higher the precise common expertise. As well as, wi-fi service suppliers have higher and extra environment friendly LTE networks to optimize their very own prices.


The battery capability of the Axon 9 Professional is 4000 mAh, which is spectacular normally. glorious in his personal class.

Battery life is likely one of the most wanted options of the handset. A key indicator is clearly the battery capability – particularly in the identical ecosystem (Android, iOS or different). Many components can have an effect on the lifetime of the battery, however the primary ones are the central processor, the SoC, the show and the wi-fi radios (broadband LTE, WiFi, location of cell towers, and so forth. .). It isn’t potential to precisely decide, via artificial exams, the quantity of vitality that your single-use profile will drain.

Nonetheless, two issues are undoubtedly at all times good:

Higher capability of the batteryFast cost

It isn’t often potential to foretell the precise lifetime of a battery utilizing artificial efficiency exams. Components reminiscent of display screen brightness, radio utilization (LTE / WiFi) and distance to entry factors range an excessive amount of. As well as, the variety of embedded purposes and their use are unpredictable. The battery capability is the perfect indicator of battery life for YOUR use.

With an estimate velocity of 55 mAh / min, the charging velocity of the Axon 9 Professional is in a short time within the absolute and is equaled by little. Simply to provide you an concept, the telephones that load the quickest can exceed ~ 65 + mAh / min, which is admittedly superb.

Wi-fi charging may be very handy, and the Axon 9 Professional comes with a built-in wi-fi charging possibility. This technique of vitality billing is especially appropriate for customers who spend most of their time in a selected location. It’s also ideally suited for in a single day charging and it’s even potential to have a wi-fi charger in your automobile. It’s potential so as to add wi-fi charging by way of further circumstances if it isn’t built-in into your handset, however it isn’t the popular possibility of most individuals.

This product does don’t have a detachable battery, which is the usual for handsets these days. Closed batteries cannot be eliminated or exchanged simply, however they permit for extra compact designs and a barely bigger battery measurement in the identical product design.

Since this product has a large display screen, take into account that bigger screens have a tendency to make use of extra vitality due to the bigger space to light up. It will depend on the brightness ranges on which the shows are configured, however there’s a larger vitality potential, so it’s higher to make use of a bigger battery capability.

This handset has a comparatively customary display screen decision (FHD +). Though this can be a weak point by way of picture high quality, having fewer pixels to calculate is slightly higher for battery life.


The ZTE Axon 9 Professional was some of the fascinating handsets launched at IFA. It’s designed to be aggressive on the highest degree and, as such, it’s in a extremely aggressive market. The modern design and upscaling video conversion function 60FPS may enchantment to a crowd of passionate video motion content material watchers.

We have no idea how a lot such options could have a decisive affect, however ZTE has most likely executed its market analysis homework. It's laborious to be higher in all areas, and it's most likely a good suggestion to create a nook out there and transfer ahead. As with Huawei, the standard of ZTE handsets has elevated quickly lately and we anticipate this pattern to proceed.

We hope to have the ability to take a look at the digicam sooner or later, and naturally, we’ll run some efficiency exams, however we already know the way quick that must be. What do you suppose?

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