When did we decide that the focal length of 24-26 mm was ‘standard’ for ‘head’ cameras on smartphones? And with the proliferation of ultra-wide cameras and some other trends that often bring the ultra-wide and ‘main’ camera very close, the ‘standard’ is no waste when you can have a slightly longer original focal length, for a different perspective , between your ultravide and your tele? Something along those lines must have been in the mind of the team behind the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra we have here.
The Axon 40 Ultra calls its main camera ‘Humanity’ camera, which can be a bad use of English as it sees how it is meant to be used to take pictures of people. To better serve this purpose, it comes with a 35mm lens – a classic focal length honored by many (and vocally hated by others, but it’s next to it). To be fair, the previous generation already had a 35mm camera (another, more on that later), but it did not have to bear the responsibility of being the primary device – there was a 26mm for it. Well, 35mil is the main character in the history of the Axon 40 Ultra.
Then there is the ultra-wide camera. It uses the same sensor as the primary, only paired with a 16mm-equivalent lens – perhaps ZTE realized that with the longer main camera, a less extreme ultra-wide angle is a safer bet. Or it was not so easy to design a wider lens around the large 64 MP sensor.
A third 64 MP sensor, albeit a smaller one, goes with a periscope lens to act as Axon’s telephoto camera. It gives you 3.5x zoom power if you count from an average 26mm main camera that Axon itself does not have – in slightly more ‘absolute’ terms it equates to 91mm. So this year’s Axon Ultra delivers a triple camera like no other.
That can be said about the selfie camera, even though we ourselves are not that excited about it. It’s a sub-display, so it’s nice – this latest iteration is also virtually invisible, so you get a cut – out screen. Only we do not expect good selfies from it.
Apart from the camera system, the Axon 40 Ultra packs more or less standard 2022 flagship hardware. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is at the helm, the OLED screen can make 120Hz refresh rate, the 5,000 mAh battery is charged with up to 65W.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra specifications in an instant:
- Body: 163.2×73.5×8.4mm, 204g; aluminum frame, glass back.
- Screen: 6.80 “AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10, 1116x2480px resolution, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 400ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.50 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
- Memory: 128 GB 8 GB RAM, 256 GB 8 GB RAM, 256 GB 12 GB RAM, 512 GB 12 GB RAM, 1 TB 16 GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS / Software: Android 12, MyOS 12.
- Rear camera: Standard (main): 64 MP, f / 1.6, 35 mm, 1 / 1.7 “, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; Telephoto: 64 MP, f / 3.5, 91 mm, 1/2 “, PDAF, OIS, 3.5x optical zoom (vs. 26 mm camera); Ultra wide angle: 64 MP, f / 2.4, 16 mm, 1 / 1.7 “, PDAF.
- Front camera: 16 MP, f / 2.0, 26 mm (wide), 1 / 2.8 “, 1.22µm, under display.
- Video recording: Rear camera: 8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 30/60 / 120fps, 1080p @ 30 / 60fps, gyro-EIS, HDR10, 10-bit video; Front camera: 1080p @ 30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 65W, Quick Charge 4+, USB Power Delivery 3.0 with PPS.
- Various: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra unboxing
Our Axon 40 Ultra arrived in a matte black cardboard box with a huge ’40’ over the lid and much smaller ‘ZTE’ and ‘Axon’ badges.
The relatively rich retail bundle includes a 65W adapter and USB-C cable for it, as well as a basic transparent protective cover. A USB-C-to-3.5mm headphone dongle is also included, an increasingly rare sight.