Chinese manufacturer ZTE’s Axon M smartphone shifts mobile device development onto an intriguing new path: while one brand after another escalates the races for more compact bezels and larger screens, this innovative foldable handset adds an entire additional display.
Seriously, what a game-changing notion for efficiency-minded consumers: the power enter text using a keyboard spread across an entire screen and view an unmatched volume of text immediately above on the opposing display. Compose an email or Facebook status and browse your favorite websites for attachments and links to embed simultaneously. Watch “Game of Thrones” on your phone without ever again having to minimize it while tweeting about [PREVIOUS-SEASON SPOILER CONSIDERATELY REDACTED.] One day, we might even see the dawn of a dual-screen mobile gaming experience rivaling the Nintendo DS or a multiplayer setup made possible by setting up the phone in a tent shape similar to what the Nintendo Switch allows on the goal.
If you have ever deftly operated a multi-monitor desktop PC rig and wished someone would make mobile multitasking a fraction as convenient, this may be your touchstone for what Samsung, Google and Apple could achieve if they would set their minds to your wavelength. Measuring 5.2 inches diagonally each, the twin screens span 6.75 inches between the top-left and bottom-right corners to form a 1,920 x 2,160 panel separated by a sizable joint when they both face forward. According to ZTE, that real estate allows apps to spread across both screens or zip from one to the other with a deft three-finger swipe per the user’s preference.
The Axon M carries the dual-screen smartphone experiment strides beyond such predecessors as the Yotaphone by using two full-color LCD displays and a folding mechanism that reminds us positively of many recent two-in-one laptops but leaving out an analog keyboard – all within a remarkably compact package. Make that much productive use of such compact dimensions becomes all the more impressive when considering that the Axon M runs Android 7.1.2. Nougat and operates a 20MP rear-facing camera with an F1.8 aperture on the back of a 3,180-mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, a mid-range Snapdragon 821 processor and 64GB of local storage.
As an additional feather in its cap, ZTE crosses the finish line for a viable dual-screen smartphone ahead of Samsung’s rumored 2018-2019 release window for their own foldable Galaxy X. However, that event may eventually lend further intrigue to the Axon M’s future by pitting ZTE’s ingenuity against a phone sporting a single seamless display.
The ZTE Axon M will launch exclusively to AT&T customers in the United States for $24.17 on a 30-month contract on a 2017 holiday season date yet to be announced.