General Not a perfect phone, but exceptional for $500

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HopelesRomantc91

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2008
275
36
Google Pixel 6 Pro
I have had my ZTE Axon 30 for about 3 weeks I think, maybe more like 2. I like it a lot. The only two quirks I've noticed is that the screen is not as responsive as I would like (might be the screen protector as I put it on before even powering the phone on, since I cracked my last screen), and sometimes the Facebook app will be jerky until I close it and restart the app. Haven't seen that on any of my last 5+ phones. My last phone was a Moto Edge S (G100) which was a pretty good phone, but a little smaller than I like. The battery life is pretty good on this phone, I usually get through a day of usage, but it's around 15% or less if I wait until bed time to actually plug it in. I'm overall happy with this phone, though the quick settings options in the notifications dropdown has certain parts not customizable like I want them to be (wifi calling and mobile data are permanent, huge buttons, and I would much prefer other options like airplane mode or bluetooth). The performance is very good, maybe a little lower than the Edge S, but still not bad. It's a good phone and I'm happy with it.

Sidenote: if anyone knows about a bug causing Facebook to be laggy sometimes until restarted and you know how to fix it, please let me know?
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
Here is my experience so far after a week of use. I don't care about cameras on a phone. So no feedback from me there.

  • It's pretty big but it's not bad to hold since it's not wide, just tall.
  • Performance is fast enough for me. I can watch and scroll through 5.7k 360 videos on the Insta360 app without lag at all.
  • The screen is pretty pretty good. Would have liked it to have higher nits for outside use. But won't complain much since 99.9% of the phones on the market have punch holes and notches....
  • The fingerprint sensor is very accurate and fast. Finally got a phone where it is actually useable. My previous 2 phones' fingerprint sensors were trash.
  • Smart Lock Trusted Places! How I missed this feature on the Mi 9T which only supported Bluetooth unlock and only with Xiaomi Bluetooth devices...
  • Related to the previous point, I wish there was an option to remove the 'Swipe screen to unlock' when the phone is unlocked with Smart Lock. The Mi 9T has this option in the Developer options but didn't find it on this one. It's just an annoyance having to swipe.
  • Speaking of Bluetooth, no issues so far. Did file transfers and use Sennheiser MW2 to listen to music. No disconnections at all.
  • The Always On Display does not work for me at all. Nada. Not a big deal for me since I don't use it but it should be fixed. (n)
  • As HopelesRomantc91 mentioned, not all of the notifications icons are customisable. Torch, Bluetooth, Data and Wifi are big buttons that cannot be removed. The rest can be added, removed and re-ordered
  • It comes preloaded with some bloatware but it can be easily removed using ADB.
  • Since nobody mentions this in a phone review, although it also depends on the carrier, I had no problems with calls and also use dual SIM.
  • I wish it had the feature of applying dark mode for all apps like MIUI. The next best thing this offers is Read Mode which you can turn globally or per app. I use the latter to turn Apps that don't have a dark theme into greyscale. Helps a bit.
  • The touch sensitivity on the edge of the screen seems to be a bit 'rough'. When using the keyboard and pressing on the letters/buttons at the edge, most of the the time there is a delay with registering the touch. This has probably to do with the screen-edge mistouch prevention. I changed it to 0 but it still occurs. Maybe this can be fixed in a firmware update. I don't have any issues with the phone registering unintended touches when holding it even at 0.
  • Regarding gestures & motions, they all seem to work pretty well. I mostly use double tap to wake.
  • For some reason, the Z-POP feature in the settings under Feature is also named Mi-Pop in the Notification icon. I don't find it that useful.
  • No headphone jack sucks but it comes with the adaptor. I just leave the earbuds attached to it since I only use them for the phone. So it's just a straight plug in for me.
  • Last but not least is the battery/optimisation. It's pretty pretty good! I judge the battery by screen off time. I charged it to 90%, went to bed and left the phone on. Just DnD on. No power saver. 8 hours later it was still 90%! After that, I only used the phone every now and then since I was busy working. Around 3 hours later, this thing was still at 90%. Compared to the Mi 9T, the Axon 30 doesn't seem to suffer from constant wakelocks so when the screen is off, it is majority of the time in deep sleep. Pretty optimised. I checked with BetterBatteryStats. I don't use 5G. Oh and the charging speed is fast! From 20% to 90% in ~27min.
Overall I am satisfied with the phone.

That's it for now. If I remember something else or encounter anything else of interest, will post it here.
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
Google Play store does not automatically update the apps and doesn't show the notifications. Both settings are on. So I have to remember once in a while to open the Play Store and install the pending updates manually. Not sure if this is specific to this device or if it's a Google Play store bug but I never had this problem on previous devices.
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
New update; 11.0.17_A2322G_EEA. Always on display is fixed. Automatic Play Store app updates and notifications still not working.
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
Hi guys...

I'm thinking of buying this phone. I was wondering, do you still get updates from time to time? Any word on some major ones, like Android 12?
Would you recomende it for about 375 EUR / 395 USD it costs at local retailer right now?
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
Hi guys...

I'm thinking of buying this phone. I was wondering, do you still get updates from time to time? Any word on some major ones, like Android 12?
Would you recomende it for about 375 EUR / 395 USD it costs at local retailer right now?

Last update was the one I posted in my last post so Security update is the one from December... I contacted ZTE support about a possible upgrade to Android 12 or at least more security updates. Their reply was that they don't have any information but that it might receive future updates because it is a newly launched phone.... 🤦‍♂️ Almost a year old.
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
Last update was the one I posted in my last post so Security update is the one from December... I contacted ZTE support about a possible upgrade to Android 12 or at least more security updates. Their reply was that they don't have any information but that it might receive future updates because it is a newly launched phone.... 🤦‍♂️ Almost a year old.
I bought the phone in the meantime. 😀😁
Had 2 updates after starting it, curently I'm on 11.0.8 Global version with security update from February.
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
I guess the EEA version has been abandoned earlier.
Don't know, but interesting that EEA has higher nominal version number (11.0.17), but older Android patch level...
Still hoping for Android 12, read somewhere it can be expected till the end of August. Now, is it info for CN or Global version, I don't know.

Btw, I feel like they didn't sell many units of this one globaly, although they marketed it decently and it got attention because of the under display cam and stuff. Seems like even on tech forums nobody has this model... 😁
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
Don't know, but interesting that EEA has higher nominal version number (11.0.17), but older Android patch level...
Still hoping for Android 12, read somewhere it can be expected till the end of August. Now, is it info for CN or Global version, I don't know.

Btw, I feel like they didn't sell many units of this one globaly, although they marketed it decently and it got attention because of the under display cam and stuff. Seems like even on tech forums nobody has this model... 😁

Since you're here, do Play Store apps update automatically for you and get notifications?
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
Since you're here, do Play Store apps update automatically for you and get notifications?
I haven't tried because I actualy prefer to update them manualy.
I can turn the options on, test and let you know...

Update: seems it doesn't work - I can see updates as waiting, but no update and/or notifications took place.
 
Last edited:
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Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
A thing I'm curios about...

One of the things I was happy about when I bought the phone was a 65W charger. The brick is quite compact but heavy (as the 65W probably should be), cable is USB-C to USB-C. Perfect for a universal charger.
But when I tried to charge my Lenovo laptop with it, nothing happened. The laptop also came with 65W charger (of course, much bulkier and with a longer cable).
I was really hoping I could use the ZTE brick on the laptop, mainly because I used my previous phone charger (Poco X3) and it worked although that one could deliver just 33W.

Any ideo why this happens?
 

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
A thing I'm curios about...

One of the things I was happy about when I bought the phone was a 65W charger. The brick is quite compact but heavy (as the 65W probably should be), cable is USB-C to USB-C. Perfect for a universal charger.
But when I tried to charge my Lenovo laptop with it, nothing happened. The laptop also came with 65W charger (of course, much bulkier and with a longer cable).
I was really hoping I could use the ZTE brick on the laptop, mainly because I used my previous phone charger (Poco X3) and it worked although that one could deliver just 33W.

Any ideo why this happens?

So when you plugin the ZTE charger in the laptop, it's not detected at all? Or is it detected, not discharging just not charging? Maybe it doesn't support any of the Output voltages/amps of the charger? Not really that knowledgeable in electricity. :D What output voltages/amps does it show on the Lenovo charger?
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
It's not detected at all.
Both of them show 20V - 3.25A - 65W.
For the 15V, 9V and 5V they have different A and W values.

Edit: just tried on my co-worker's laptop (also Lenovo, but different model), and it charges at full speed. His also came with a 65W charger originaly. So it seems to be some compitability issue, maybe USB-C port or something. Quite strange.
 
Last edited:

MaCk0y7

Member
Nov 26, 2013
35
10
New update! I guess EEA version is not abandoned yet. 11.0.20 with June security update. Maybe we get Android 12 end of next year when Android 14 is out. :p
 
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Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
Good news. 👏 I'm still hoping for the end of August... 😀

Now, playing with the settings, I saw a strangely named "tiny screen display" setting under "Display" options. I must admit, took me a few minutes to realize it's about UDC (under display camera) area. 😅

How did you set yours (if you changed it at all)? I tweaked mine so it is hardly visible on white, but then again it is still quite noticable on other colors.
 

Dzombache

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2013
101
19
Belgrade
www.nhl-serbia.com
Yeah, I think I got it after the last update. Quite sure it wasn't there when I got the phone.
Here's how it looks...
 

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  • 2
    Woken up to a nice surprise today!😯.
    2
    What I noticed so far.
    • All shortcuts in the top panel can now be re-arranged including the 4 main large ones (first 4).
    • There's a new Personalization Settings section with new icon styles, colours and animation speed adjustment
    • Privacy Dashboard
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    • Bloatware (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger & a couple of others) was re-installed with the upgrade but surprisingly can be uninstalled like normal. No need to do it via ADB.
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    1
    What I noticed so far.
    • All shortcuts in the top panel can now be re-arranged including the 4 main large ones (first 4).
    • There's a new Personalization Settings section with new icon styles, colours and animation speed adjustment
    • Privacy Dashboard
    • Safety & Emergency
    • Bloatware (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger & a couple of others) was re-installed with the upgrade but surprisingly can be uninstalled like normal. No need to do it via ADB.
    Edit: Extended RAM
    Thanks for sharing buddy! The Extended RAM feature looks pretty amazing.
    1
    There's also the Android 12 feature of a green indictor light at the top right when an app is using the camera and/or microphone.

    I think with the Android 12 update, the Contacts app doesn't show contacts from SIM card. Only from device or Google account. Before you could choose to display contacts from SIM card.
  • 3
    I have had my ZTE Axon 30 for about 3 weeks I think, maybe more like 2. I like it a lot. The only two quirks I've noticed is that the screen is not as responsive as I would like (might be the screen protector as I put it on before even powering the phone on, since I cracked my last screen), and sometimes the Facebook app will be jerky until I close it and restart the app. Haven't seen that on any of my last 5+ phones. My last phone was a Moto Edge S (G100) which was a pretty good phone, but a little smaller than I like. The battery life is pretty good on this phone, I usually get through a day of usage, but it's around 15% or less if I wait until bed time to actually plug it in. I'm overall happy with this phone, though the quick settings options in the notifications dropdown has certain parts not customizable like I want them to be (wifi calling and mobile data are permanent, huge buttons, and I would much prefer other options like airplane mode or bluetooth). The performance is very good, maybe a little lower than the Edge S, but still not bad. It's a good phone and I'm happy with it.

    Sidenote: if anyone knows about a bug causing Facebook to be laggy sometimes until restarted and you know how to fix it, please let me know?
    3
    Here is my experience so far after a week of use. I don't care about cameras on a phone. So no feedback from me there.

    • It's pretty big but it's not bad to hold since it's not wide, just tall.
    • Performance is fast enough for me. I can watch and scroll through 5.7k 360 videos on the Insta360 app without lag at all.
    • The screen is pretty pretty good. Would have liked it to have higher nits for outside use. But won't complain much since 99.9% of the phones on the market have punch holes and notches....
    • The fingerprint sensor is very accurate and fast. Finally got a phone where it is actually useable. My previous 2 phones' fingerprint sensors were trash.
    • Smart Lock Trusted Places! How I missed this feature on the Mi 9T which only supported Bluetooth unlock and only with Xiaomi Bluetooth devices...
    • Related to the previous point, I wish there was an option to remove the 'Swipe screen to unlock' when the phone is unlocked with Smart Lock. The Mi 9T has this option in the Developer options but didn't find it on this one. It's just an annoyance having to swipe.
    • Speaking of Bluetooth, no issues so far. Did file transfers and use Sennheiser MW2 to listen to music. No disconnections at all.
    • The Always On Display does not work for me at all. Nada. Not a big deal for me since I don't use it but it should be fixed. (n)
    • As HopelesRomantc91 mentioned, not all of the notifications icons are customisable. Torch, Bluetooth, Data and Wifi are big buttons that cannot be removed. The rest can be added, removed and re-ordered
    • It comes preloaded with some bloatware but it can be easily removed using ADB.
    • Since nobody mentions this in a phone review, although it also depends on the carrier, I had no problems with calls and also use dual SIM.
    • I wish it had the feature of applying dark mode for all apps like MIUI. The next best thing this offers is Read Mode which you can turn globally or per app. I use the latter to turn Apps that don't have a dark theme into greyscale. Helps a bit.
    • The touch sensitivity on the edge of the screen seems to be a bit 'rough'. When using the keyboard and pressing on the letters/buttons at the edge, most of the the time there is a delay with registering the touch. This has probably to do with the screen-edge mistouch prevention. I changed it to 0 but it still occurs. Maybe this can be fixed in a firmware update. I don't have any issues with the phone registering unintended touches when holding it even at 0.
    • Regarding gestures & motions, they all seem to work pretty well. I mostly use double tap to wake.
    • For some reason, the Z-POP feature in the settings under Feature is also named Mi-Pop in the Notification icon. I don't find it that useful.
    • No headphone jack sucks but it comes with the adaptor. I just leave the earbuds attached to it since I only use them for the phone. So it's just a straight plug in for me.
    • Last but not least is the battery/optimisation. It's pretty pretty good! I judge the battery by screen off time. I charged it to 90%, went to bed and left the phone on. Just DnD on. No power saver. 8 hours later it was still 90%! After that, I only used the phone every now and then since I was busy working. Around 3 hours later, this thing was still at 90%. Compared to the Mi 9T, the Axon 30 doesn't seem to suffer from constant wakelocks so when the screen is off, it is majority of the time in deep sleep. Pretty optimised. I checked with BetterBatteryStats. I don't use 5G. Oh and the charging speed is fast! From 20% to 90% in ~27min.
    Overall I am satisfied with the phone.

    That's it for now. If I remember something else or encounter anything else of interest, will post it here.
    2
    What I noticed so far.
    • All shortcuts in the top panel can now be re-arranged including the 4 main large ones (first 4).
    • There's a new Personalization Settings section with new icon styles, colours and animation speed adjustment
    • Privacy Dashboard
    • Safety & Emergency
    • Bloatware (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger & a couple of others) was re-installed with the upgrade but surprisingly can be uninstalled like normal. No need to do it via ADB.
    Edit: Extended RAM
    2
    Woken up to a nice surprise today!😯.
    1
    There's also the Android 12 feature of a green indictor light at the top right when an app is using the camera and/or microphone.

    I think with the Android 12 update, the Contacts app doesn't show contacts from SIM card. Only from device or Google account. Before you could choose to display contacts from SIM card.