X

Axon 11 5G goes on sale in Germany, ZTE eyes US launch for next year

Available in China and Europe, ZTE aims to bring its latest 5G phone stateside for $300 or less.

Lynn_La2.jpg
Lynn La
Lynn_La2.jpg

Lynn La

Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones

Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.

See full bio
2 min read

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

20200519603
ZTE

The Axon 11 5G launched in Germany Monday and it'll be available in China and other countries in Europe and the Middle East. But its manufacturer, ZTE, is eyeing for a US launch of the phone sometime early next year too. If it does arrive, the device will likely have some of its hardware tweaked, though at its current state, the Axon 11 5G serves as a reliable preview of the kind of affordable 5G phones we can expect from ZTE here in the US. 

The company is aiming for US carriers to sell the device for under $300. Converted from Chinese yuan, the device's present cost is $380, £305 or AU$560 for the version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, and $425, £340 or AU$620 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage. ZTE also has a 4G variant of the phone.

mwc19-zte
Watch this: A powerful selfie camera and 5G rule ZTE's MWC phones

With its thin bezels, teardrop-notch camera and sleek finish, the Axon 11 5G has a premium look that belies its potential $300 price tag. Its generous 6.47-inch AMOLED display has a 1080p resolution and there's also an in-display fingerprint reader for user authentication.

axon-11-5g-front-and-back-side-view.png
ZTE

Judging from the photos, I like that red accent color for the phone's power button and the fact that the button is textured. It reminds me of a cross between the bright power button on Google's Pixel phones and the ridged toggle key for sound on OnePlus phones.

The ZTE Axon 11 has four rear cameras on the back. The setup includes a 48-megapixel standard camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter, a depth-sensing camera and a macro camera (both are 2 megapixels). On the front is a 20-megapixel camera.

We won't know how these cameras fare until we get our hands on a review unit, but having four cameras is relatively impressive given how affordable this phone is set to be. We're also seeing a lot of macro cameras in budget phones -- including the Moto G Power and Galaxy A51 -- so it makes sense that ZTE is including itself on the trend too.

Powering the device is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset and a sizable 4,000-mAh battery. 

With these kinds of specs and price range, the Axon 11 5G will likely compete against the Galaxy A51, which also features a 4,000-mAh battery, four cameras, and a 1080p (6.5-inch) display. Given Samsung's brand recognition in the US, however, ZTE has a tough hill to climb. But one notable thing the phone has is in its name -- 5G. Whereas the 4G version of the Galaxy A51 is readily available but not the 5G model, ZTE hopes to have the Axon 11 with 5G in the hands of US carriers at launch.

ZTE Axon 11 5G spec comparison


ZTE Axon 11 5GSamsung Galaxy A51 (4G)Motorola Moto G Power
Display size, resolution 6.47-inch AMOLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels6.5-inch FHD AMOLED; 2,400x1,080 pixels6.4-inch LCD; 2,300x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 398ppi405ppi399ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.27 x 2.89 x 0.31 in6.24 x 2.90 x 0.31 in6.29 x 2.98 x 0.38 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 159.2 × 73.4 × 7.9 mm158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm159.85 x 75.8 x 9.63 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.93 oz; 168g6.07 oz; 172g7.01 oz; 199g
Mobile software Android 10Android 10Android 10
Camera 48-megapixel (standard), 8-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (depth sensing), 2-megapixel (macro)48-megapizel (standard), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth sensing)16-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide angle)
Front-facing camera 20-megapixel32-megapixel16-megapixel
Video capture 4K4K4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G2.3GHz octa-core processorQualcomm Snapdragon 665
Storage 128GB, 256GB128GB64GB
RAM 6GB, 8GB6GB4GB
Expandable storage Up to 2TBUp to 512GBUp to 512GB
Battery 4,000mAh4,000mAh5,000mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screenIn-screenBack
Connector USB-CUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack NoYesYes
Price off-contract (USD) From Chinese yuan converts to $384 (6GB/128GB), $424 (8GB/256GB)$400$250
Price (GBP) Converts to £305 (6GB/128GB), £338 (8GB/256GB)£329Converts to £199
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$557(6GB/128GB), AU$619 (8GB/256GB)AU$599Converts to AU$365

From Apple to Samsung: 5G phones available right now

See all photos