You’ll likely never hear us hyping up the latest in budget-friendly Android devices, but ZTE — a burgeoning smartphone OEM based out of Shenzhen, China — just launched a phone featuring one of the most far-out form-factors we’ve since the Kyocera Echo.
Enter the Axon M: an honestly not-that-bad looking smartphone which measures in at an uber-thick 12.1mm around the waist — though not without good reason!
Boasting two massive 5.2-inch LCD displays, each featuring 1080p resolution, the Axon M is built on the same dual-screen, clamshell-style form-factor popularized by Nintendo’s DS and 3DS portable game systems — and which Apple and Samsung are rumored to be working on behind closed doors.
Open the phone up, and along each side of its central hinge, you’ll be treated to what ultimately measures out at 6.75-inches of display area. Of course, while you’re still limited to the two separate displays, ZTE took advantage of Android’s native split-screen functionality to maximize viewing experience when the Axon M is open to 180-degrees. For instance, the device boasts a variety of screen modes, including:
“Dual Mode,” which allows you to run two apps, side-by-side, with one on each display.
“Extended Mode,” which merges the two displays into one, massive touchscreen panel.
“Mirror Mode,” which pointlessly gives you two of the same screens side-by-side.
“Traditional Mode,” which turns one screen off entirely, saving battery and allowing the phone to function like a normal phone.
Axon M Features and Specs
Internally, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s one-year-old Snapdragon 821 SoC, a 2.15 GHz quad-core ‘Kyro’ CPU, and boasts a par-for-the-course 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage.
You’ll get a decent-sized battery at 3,180 mAh, which just so happens to be outfitted with the latest in fast-charging technology (QuickCharge 3.0).
A 3.5 mm headphone jack, microSD card slot (up to 256 GB cards), dual stereo speakers, and a side-mounted fingerprint reader are also on board.
Last but not least: you’ll get a single, 20 MP camera, which given the Axon M’s unconventional form-factor, functions intuitively as both the primary and selfie camera.
The Axon M will be available exclusively through AT&T in the U.S. starting next month, and while neither company has released firm pricing information, the device will supposedly run around $27/month for 30 months on AT&T’s NEXT program.