ZTE Axon review

An unlocked Android phone that balances price and specs

ZTE Axon review

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Here's one area the ZTE Axon matches the iPhone 6 Plus, and that's not a good thing. Its battery life presents a real challenge to power users looking for a full day of use.

The Axon's battery capacity is 3,000mAh, but like we've experienced with the LG G4, a bigger battery pack combined with a large, QHD screen doesn't always mean more juice.

ZTE Axon review

The non-removeable battery struggles to last into the night with heavy use, and our battery tests reflected that issue with a poor score.

A 90-minute HD video saw a 27% drop in battery life from 100% capacity. It ended up with just 73% after finishing the looped video at full brightness and a normal, movie-watching volume.

That's the same battery life drain we saw with the iPhone 6 Plus, with only the Snapdragon 810-equipped HTC One M9 fairing worse with a 31% drain.

ZTE Axon review

There are way better options out there for a longer-lasting phone. The Samsung Galaxy S6 only saw a 16% drain, while the chunkier Samsung Galaxy S6 Active dropped just 7%. You could easily get a day and a half or more out of Samsung's waterproof phone.

That's just not the case here, though I should point out that the ZTE Axon does charge rather quickly. It has Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0 capabilities, and a fast charger included in the box brings the battery back to 100% in just an hour and a half.

Matt Swider