ZTE Launches Dual-Screen Phone: A Fascinating Disaster
Ideally, bold choices should be rewarded. That’s in a perfect world, though. Being experimental is enough reason to justify the existence of a new product. Unfortunately, this wasn’t exactly how the scenario panned out for ZTE and their new dual-screen smartphone, the Axon M.
With smartphone’s losing their keyboard, the screen has become their biggest constraining feature. Thus, it comes without surprise that smartphone manufacturers have been trying to correct for this over the last decade.
The smartphone screens are continually growing in size. This leads to pushing the boundaries of how close they can get to the edge. Some of the bigger brands have achieved incredible things when it comes to the ratio of screen to a body. Maximum screen real-estate is targeted at streamlining multitasking, which is still not ideal for the smartphone device. This is something for the tablet market.
For decades, the idea of a foldable smartphone has been thrown around as a potential solution to the idea of multitasking smartphones. While concepts are in full supply, the technology did not seem to be where the concepts needed it to be, or in the right price range to be sufficiently scalable. With that ZTE decided to go ahead anyway and give it a try. With all eyes focused on the big names in the industry, ZTE came to the party, releasing their dual-screen smartphone.
While it would be great for ZTE’s Axon M dual-screen smartphone to be a breakthrough, it falls short-really short. Foldable screens have been all the rage at trade shows, and have always seemed a very long way off. The Axon M is an improvement on these early attempts, yet it lacks the high-end specs that would really back up the idea. In short, the Axon M is a middle-class phone with a compelling gimmicky feature, which justifies its flagship price tag.
A Closer Look…
The biggest disappointment about the Axon M is the preconceived expectations you might have constructed. It is pretty normal and commonplace for ZTE to produce a budget phone, yet the Axon M has endured much criticism.
Featuring 2 screens of 5.2-inches each, with 1080p, they are joined with a hinge. When open, the device is 6.75 inches in size, which bigger than even the latest Galaxy Note 8 at a size of 6.3 inches. On the bright side, there is the appeal that you can fold it up and fit it in a pocket.
However, it less surprising that the phone is rather chunky, thick and heavy. Plus, the hinge is not the most ergonomic in design. When folded, the screens face outwards which means it will be difficult to hold without fingerprints everywhere, and you’ll be resting it on one of the screens every time to set it down.
When it comes to the camera, the design gets very confusing. There is only one camera. It is located on the primary display at the top. When you open the camera, the device switches the screens, so the secondary becomes the primary, with no reason why!
Mind the Gap!
Sadly, the biggest pitfall in the design of the Axon M is the gap that exists between the screens. This doesn’t cause issues if you’re using the device for multitasking, but if you’re trying to watch a video in full-screen across both screens, it can be annoying. This was not intentional however, there were technological limitations involved.
The overall execution of the Axon M is much to be desired since it has a few compelling elements which include a “dual-mode”, an “extended” mode as well as a “mirror mode”. The dual-mode is essentially the most compelling feature of the three as it allows the user to truly multitask on a smartphone.
The Price Tag
You can’t expect a regular ZTE price tag on this phone, although you can expect various out-dated specs. At $725, you are really just paying for the novelty.