Review: ZTE Axon 7 Max, an incredible device

This is the review of Axon 7 Max, the only Axon device without stereo sound, but stereoscopic image. It seems you still can not get a device with both 3D sound and 3D image.

Premiering our device

You can find a VIP club card, the USB Type-C cable, the ultra fast charger (for Asia plugs) and a silicone protector:

Contenido de la caja Diseño El móvil con la funda transparente incluida Pantalla de Bienvenida
Inside the box, you need 
a power adaptor
Front and back  Silicone protector Welcome screen

Device has almost no side frames. Screen is bigger than iPhone 8 Plus but in less size. Comparing side to side Apple device seems a creepy chinese creation, Axon 7 Max is beatiful. Upper and lower frames are small enough, like Galaxy S8. There’s a 3.5mm minijack on the top. SIM and microSD slot on the left, and on/off button and volume keys on the right side. Screen is so tough that when falling to floor it moves like an ice cube, no any single scratch even falling to stones and sand floors. After 1 year of use and falls without the silicone protector only an small scratch on the corner was made.

Detalle pantalla Ping WiFi
This is the only defect after
a lot of falls
 
 You can mark calls as spam
if needed
Screen detail, with color LED
and showing Dolby Atmos
widget
 Wi-Fi antenna performs 
very well, 4ms ping

There are a lot of preinstalled chinese Apps. And you need to manually download install the Amazon App Store or Google Play (in this case you also need Google Play Services) from the browser. But thanks to that you avoid to be forced to install Google Play Movies, Books, Kiosk Instant Apps, Photos and other non-optional Apps from other Android devices from Google (and with time is getting worse). 

Keyboard is based on Touchpal and allows to use 2 languages simultaneosly. We have a Calls+SMS filter, so you can easily avoid spam and unwanted calls. There’s integrated software to avoid Apps using too much battery, space or data plan when screen off, and it works very well. All this integrated functions are great, but it lacks a blue screen filter. So, we use Blue Light Filter (Amazon).

3D screen and contents

Screen is not OLED but it seems. Colors are not so saturated, but blacks are deep. Maximum brightness is not enough for direct sunlight, this is the only major flaw of this phone. There’s a color LED, but you can’t configure colors. Lock screen changes wallpaper automatically every time you use it and you can save your favorites, and comes with a surprise: if you put the device in landscape mode you get a stuning 3D wallpaper, and these are the best 3D photos we have ever seen. You can make an screenshot of an image on 3D mode, image is saved on interlaced columns mode. Speaking of screenshot function is very useful, you can crop inmediatelly or annotate or make a long capture (vertically). On the lock screen there’s another surprise, you can shake the device and flashlight will activate -and shaking again to deactivate-, without touching the screen you can have light using only one hand.

Actualizacion  batería
System update, using 
Microsoft translator to
translate screenshots
From 90% and including
8h of intensive use:
Games, GPS and Telegram
One of the wonderful 3D
wallpapers of lock screen
Another 3D wallpaper 

The 3D Hub is in Chinese, we used Microsoft Translator (Amazon) to translate screens. Your efforts will be greatly rewarded, including free content in english that you have to pay to see on 2d on other places. And the paid subscription is only 30$ a year (you can suscribe for 1, 3, 6, 12 or 24 months with Alipay). 2.5$ a month for a 3D streaming service is a dream (you get months for free with the VIP card), even if all content were in chinese (all Hollywood blockbuster movies are in English). Sometimes you can view 3D movies for free (without needing the VIP card) even before you can buy it on 3D blu-ray, we liked a documentary from James Cameron, director of Avatar, Titanic and Terminator, wich is a 3D enthusiast: Deep Sea Challenge 3D. Also there are enjoyable Chinese blockbusters movies even being only on Chinese. And blockbusters from Hollywood like Geostorm, Blade Runner 2049, Terminator 2, Avatar… Sometimes even the big 6″ of this screen are not big enough and you want to see this movies in your 3DTV, and now is possible using DLNA thanks to a recent update.

Added to movies are 3D photos, 360 videos and videogames… Let’s better avoid this “3D” games and buy a nvidia 3d vision system or a PlayStation 3.I didn’t find any single game with correct 3D image. You also can install Tridef 3D Games on a rooted device. Forgetting the 3D performance on games like Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8 is good (but we recommend to play Asphalt 8 on PC in stereoscopic 3D with nvidia 3d vision, it is incredible in 3D).

   
Home of the 3D Hub
including free and
subscription contents
(30$/year)
 Downloaded 3D contents  You can upload your 3D 
photos or comment the
published
 On portrait mode you can
comment while viewing
movie in 2d

When looking streaming services like Youtube or Vimeo we have a 3D view switcho to activate 3D on Side-by-side 3d content, but button is very big. For downloaded videos and photos you can use Tridef 3D Gallery (configure it as Column interlaced screen). Other Apps like Phereo doesn’t show in 3D, but you can download images and look it later with Tridef.

The best: fingerprint sensor and battery

The fingerprint sensor are placed in the perfect place, your finger goes naturally to that position, and you can unlock device even with screen off, without intermediate steps, unlocking that way is so lightning fast that S9 and iPhone X seems going to the past, there’s no faster way to unlock a device with security (or even than devices without security) than the Axon 7 Max, and you can put the finger in any direction, is super precise and fast. You can even unlock while driving without looking where you’re touching, light years away from iphone or galaxy security.

And the other best feature: the battery. You can use GPS navigation while streaming internet radio and no worry for battery. You can easily get 2 days of battery. And it charges extremely fast, normally you get full charge in less than 45 minutes, even when you were at less than 15%. This combination of battery duration and ultra fast charge change your mind, I’m never worried about how much battery left, sometimes I even don’t remember to charge my device and find myself going out with “only” 30% battery, a lot of times the energy saver reminds you (is activated when you have 15% left) that you have to charge it, but you only need to no abuse using it and you will still have a few hours more.

A regular camera that can be a professional camera

The twin camera lenses have the most complete software por photos we have seen on a smarpthone. The quality of the camera is not great, but using the software you can achieve great results. Using 10 of the 13 megapixels will offer you more quality as the “unused” pixels help to capture light more precisely (like on most other smartphones), and that is the 16:9 definition, so we recommend using always that 16:9 resolution as 99% of times we are looking that photos on a 16:9 screen. Low light performance is not good, but the bokeh mode is wonderful, far better than iphone 7 plus. To save the low light conditions there’s a Supernight mode: if you use a tripod you can get professional results, better than almost any other smartphone using tripod, with the only exception of the new Huawei P20 Pro, wich uses a similar solution.  You can make 60 second photos and knowing how bright will be the photo before taking it! And not only on supernight mode, also with Magic exposition you have no time limit, perfect for cars lights or capturing stars on the sky or water flows. There’s a manual mode (up to 80 seconds photos), Panorama, Face enhacer, Timelapse, Multiple exposition and Slow Motion. And using the 2 cameras: Monocolor (allowing to choose the color), Bokeh, Monochrome and 3D Photo (but better follow our tutorial on how to manually make 3D Photos with any camera). We also have filters, watermarks, HDR (automatic or manual) and detects low light conditions in automatic mode (with the limitations of low light sensibility of sensor), better deactivate HDR if you’re on low light conditions, takes too much time to make the photo and you get a blurry image. You can focus to an object and lock exposition, and you can manually increase exposition so you can avoid light flares or increase brightness. We also have Live Photos without sound, movement are captured after making the photo, if you want better live photos you can use CameraMX, captured before photo, with sound and you can share as gif or repetitive video. Live Photos are stored as .MP4 files, so you can send to Telegram and it will convert to gif as it lacks sound.

Selfie camera have both blank screen to illuminate your face and a preview of image, so we are pleased to be in control of what will be captured. You can adjust brightness, adjust face enhacement, smile detector, you can activate all screen to take the photo, is a well made software.

On all modes you can take photos with volume keys or touching the fingerprint sensor with any finger. So you can use the bokeh modes  (or any other excellent modes of the rear camera) for selfies easily.

S7 versus Axon 7 Max:
Samsung take a lot more
light, but very blurry
S7 at maximum: ISO 800
+ 10s exp. + tripod
A lot lighter but quality is
horrible
Supernight mode on ZTE:
30s exp. + tripod makes a
incredible good picture
100% size comparison
Quality differences are
stunning. ZTE wins on
manual mode

The 3D Photo mode doesn’t generate the depth map images, images are always converted to 3D, so we can not use the depth information for Apps like Seene (you can find Seene on our Telegram channel). There’s another drawback, lenses are so near that you hardly get precise 3D, you only can use this mode always for very, vey near objects. Otherwise you can not get 3D. And photos on this mode are not 16:9, all 3D screens are 16:9, so the photos are wasting screen. But fixed lens separation is a drawback of every single 3D camera on market, you are limited to capture 3D to the distances that fixed separation are good to, nor too far nor too away, so as always I recommend to make 3D photos manually as explained on make 3D photos with any camera. Or you can use Camarada. We know, is not instant satisfaction, but is fun and allows to make incredible results: just remember to align with 3DSteroid and move resulting picture with MiXplorer from folder 3DSteroid Pro/camera_saved to folder DCIM/camera/3D (you can save that 2 folders on 2 tabs so everytime you open MiXplorer are already on that folders). When 3D photos are in Camera/3D folder you can use the Gallery App from Axon 7 Max to activate 3D screen. If you have Tridef 3D Gallery you don’t need to specify that the image is 3D, and loads images from other folders too, oh and is a lot faster showing 3D photos than the Gallery App from ZTE. You can look portrait 3D photos on tridef too without deforming image, but in landscape mode (Axon 7 Max screen limitation). 

With MiXplorer you can
see results of manually
made 3D photos aligned with

3DSteroid
2 photos on Supernight +
3DSteroid Pro get 3D photos
thousands better than the 
3D Photo mode
These are the results of 3D 
Photo mode
And this is the wonderful
Bokeh mode 

You can record 4K video on the high power processing h.265 allowing more much quality even in less space than blu-ray format, but there is not 1080p 60fps, a better option for all types of screen, 4k is only enjoyable in 4k screens, but 60fps give inmediate and visible results on any screen. There’s a beta 3D Video mode, but is useless.

Conclusion

We can not do anything else that recommend this device, the processor is not a battery eater without lacking muscle for every use. And is the better 3D smartphone available, this year will come a whole new generation of 3D smartphones, but it will be pricey surpassing 1000$, and you can find this ZTE very cheap on Aliexpress. 

ZTE Axon 7 Max

260 - 300$ / 265 - 310€
ZTE Axon 7 Max
8.7

3D Quality

8.7 /10

Camera

7.8 /10

Software

9.0 /10

Hardware

9.3 /10

3D Ergonomy

8.7 /10

Pros

  • Battery and ultra fast charging
  • Fingerprint reader
  • 3D Software
  • Camera in daylight and pro modes
  • Rocking solid hardware and software extras

Cons

  • Maximum brightness
  • Camera in low light in auto mode
  • Lens separation for 3D capture
  • 3D community in Chinese
Ooh!

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3 Responses

  1. sirdrak says:

    Estupendo análisis! Me ha gustado mucho… Sobre lo de grabar FullHD a 60 fps, en nuestro caso es cosa del software, lo más probable (ya que tengo otros móviles con el mismo procesador que sí traen dicha opción), por lo que igual probando con otra aplicación de cámara de terceros sí se pueda grabar vídeo en dicho formato.

    Sobre la pantalla, por cierto, en una buena cantidad de sitios dicen que es Super AMOLED y no IPS, aunque no estoy seguro, pero lo cierto es que se vé muy bien incluso comparándola con la de otros móviles que tengo con IPS buena.

    Cada día que pasa estoy más contento con este móvil. Una pena que ZTE no haya decidido traerlo a occidente como si ha hecho con el Axon 7 y el Axon 7 Mini, y que sea un total desconocido. Aparentemente, también lo ha dejado de lado respecto a sus otros hermanos (que ya tienen actualización a Android 7.1) ya que hace más de 6 meses que no sacan nuevas actualizaciones, aunque la verdad es que la B11 funciona muy bién, todo sea dicho.

  2. San10 says:

    “En cuanto a vídeos 3D de Youtube y otros servicios de transmisión de vídeo tenemos en la barra de notificaciones un ajuste llamado 3D view con el que aparece un gran botón en pantalla completa para activar el modo 3D o quitarlo.”
    Where is this 3D button? Or is it an app you downloaded? I can’t see it. Only menu of youtube is viewing cardboard modus.

    • David says:

      You have to open Android notification center, to show all options you have to swipe 2 times. I’m sending images to Tridimensional chat (you cand open this chat clicking the blue button with a number at bottom of this page)

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