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ZTE’s 6-inch Axon Max sports mid-range specs, a fingerprint sensor, and USB Type-C

There's a new phablet in town and it's ZTE's Axon Max

zte axon max news
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After making waves with the Axon Pro, ZTE is finally bringing a phablet-sized variant into the market.

The ZTE Axon Max is here, and it certainly is big at 6 inches, but the phablet sports a 1920 x 1080p display, which is a bit of a downgrade from the previously rumored 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. A Quad HD screen on the Max would have seen it match Axon Pro’s display in terms of resolution.

Updated on 12-18-15 by Julian Chokkattu: Added official launch news of the ZTE Axon Max.

Like other devices in the Axon line, the Axon Max sports a metal frame, which will likely give it a premium feel. The device will run Android 5.1, but it’ll have ZTE’s MiFavor 3.5 skin on top. The Axon Elite had the MiFavor 3.2 user interface, too, and we were frustrated by it, so hopefully the new version of MiFavor offers some improvements.

The Axon Max was first spotted in October and was rumored to have the same specs as the Axon Pro, which was released earlier in the year. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Axon Max will be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, not the Snapdragon 810 processor that’s in the Pro. It’ll also have 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage space, Micro SD card support, and a fingerprint scanner. Following the trend of Google’s latest Nexus 5X and 6P, as well as the OnePlus 2, the Axon Max will also sport a USB Type-C port and supports QuickCharge 2.0 for speedy charging.

If the rumors were right about one thing, it’s the battery size. The Axon Max has a 4,140mAh battery, which should hopefully be more than enough to get through a busy day. The camera specs seem to be pretty top notch, with a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing one.

ZTE hasn’t made it clear if color options other than gold will be available, but we’ve reached out for comment, and will update this post as new information arrives.

You won’t be seeing Axon Max around anytime soon, though, as the phablet has only launched in China for 2,800 Yuan, which comes out to about $430. While the Axon Pro and Axon Mini made it to the U.S., it’s unclear if the Max will make its way to Western shores.

Next Page: Previous rumors and news about the ZTE Axon Max.

All the rumors about the ZTE Axon Max before the official launch

ZTE’s Axon Pro made waves for packing impressive hardware at a low unlocked price tag, but it isn’t exactly the largest handset around. In a market saturated with big phones, small tablets, and hybrids of the two, a 5.5-inch screen is practically microscopic. To address the lucrative large-handset market segment, ZTE’s done the logical thing: made a bigger one. Today, the company confirmed a larger variant of the Axon, appropriately dubbed the Axon Max, will hit store shelves sometime before 2015.

ZTE wasn’t willing to spill all the beans regarding the Axon Max, but rumors paint an impressive picture. The display reportedly retains the 1,440 x 2,560 Quad HD resolution of the original Axon Pro’s screen, but bumps the diagonal size up to 6 inches. The battery’s purportedly a bit larger, too.

Otherwise, all of the Axon’s unique touches — an aluminum unibody with antimicrobial glass, twin dedicated audio chipsets capable of 32-bit, 192KHz playback, and a second rear shooter for bokeh effects — are purportedly present and accounted for. Rumblings suggest the Max’s internals are unchanged from the original Axon. To recap: an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera camera, and 32GB of storage — though this may be bumped up to 64GB.

It’s unclear whether the Axon Max will ship with an included pair of JBL E13 in-ear headphones. Color options and carrier availability also remain a mystery, but ZTE says details are forthcoming.

ZTE has been busy in the mobile arena, lately. It made the Axon Watch, a circular wearable that was made in partnership with Chinese Internet company Tencent and first revealed in July. It’s available for purchase in China, but an international release is doubtful. ZTE announced an international version of the Axon called the Axon Elite in September with biometric security features, including voice authentication, a fingerprint scanner, and EyeVerify-powered iris scanning. The company is reportedly prepping the Star 3 smartphone, which sports a 5.5-inch 2K (2,160 x 3,840) display.

ZTE’s rapid release strategy seems to be paying dividends — the company managed to ship about 26 million smartphones in the first half of this year. That’s thanks in large part to a 41-percent gain in the United States, a trend the company intends to help along with more palatably priced high-end smartphones.

We can only guess at the Axon Max’s price point, but ZTE has aggressively undercut the competition historically. The Axon Pro retailed for $450, so a hundred above or below that point of reference is a safe bet.

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Julian Chokkattu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Julian is the mobile and wearables editor at Digital Trends, covering smartphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more…
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