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The No. 1 feature consumers continue demand from new phones is better battery life, and the capacity on this phone has increased beyond last year's 3,000mAh ceiling.
There's a 3,250mAh battery inside the ZTE Axon 7, and it's a tremendous improvement. We were able to finish each day with anywhere between 15% to 20% juice remaining after 18 hours of mixed use. Having a phone with day-plus battery life is what we expect from the best phones, so we're particularly impressed to see this here.
Our real-life experiences included turning on the screen regularly, snapping dozens of photos and pumping music through its dual-front-facing speakers for 20 minutes a day. Its lightweight, near-stock Android operating system overlay does well not to overly tax the battery.
TechRadar's lab tests confirmed all of this, with a respectable battery drain of 17% after we ran a 90-minute looped HD video on a fully charged ZTE Axon 7. It beat the OnePlus 3's smaller battery, but both the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge lasted longer. You get phones that push beyond a day and a quarter to a solid day and a half for all of that extra money.
What's great about the ZTE Axon 7 and almost all most Android phones in 2016 is that it supports fast charging, in this case the Qualcomm's QuickCharge 3.0 technology. With a QuickCharge-compatible charging adapter and a USB-C cable (both are included), we were able to charge up a dead phone back up to 25% within 15 minutes, and 50% within 30 minutes.
The charging pace slowed down after that, with a 74% charge in 45 minutes and 91% resorted in an hour's time. But it topped 100% after just 88 minutes. That's incredibly quick for a powerful Android phone that's prepared for another day (and change) of use in a little more than an hour.