Daydream is coming. Before the race to release the first Daydream certified device even had time to begin ZTE has pulled in front and won the prize. ZTE have announced the next device in their Axon range, the Axon 7 and yes, it’s Daydream certified.
Designed in partnership with Designworks, BMWs design subsidiary the all-metal unibody design is both elegant and reflective of the current design trends. It easily resembles any number of well designed well rounded all metal phones you see on the market today, and that’s fine. How many times can you iterate on the same design before they start looking alike?
From a hardware perspective it’s a bit of a beast, we’ll let the Axon 7’s specs speak for themselves.
|Key Specifications:||ZTE Axon 7|
|Release date||May 2016|
|Resolution||2,560 x 1,440|
|Core config||2.15 GHz x 2 + 1.6GHz x 2|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 128GB|
|WIFI standards||802.11 b/g/n/ac|
|Android OS||Android 6.0|
|Dimensions||151.7 x 75 x 7.9 mm|
The headline feature here has to be compliance with Google’s new Daydream VR specifications. It’s unclear if there are any extra bits in this phone that have yet to be revealed, such as co-processors or a DSP that make this Snapdragon 820 phone daydream compliant and others apparently not.
The big question I have about this device will be its software. We can be confident that it will be getting Android N, as this is a requirement for Daydream compliance. However, Chinese OEM skins have not always provided the best experience for those of us in the western markets. ZTE have previously released lightly skin devices with only small touches of there MiiFlavor so let’s hope that is the case here.
What use is a VR ready phone without a VR viewer? Alongside the Axon 7 ZTE also released a new VR headset the ZTE VR.
From the look of the headset it is a definite upgrade to a basic VR headset, and seems to feature:
- in built 9-axis gyro sensor
- a back button
- Volume up and down
- a touch pad or large button
- lense adjustment
- an opening to allow the camera to clearly see the environment
- adjustable headstraps and face padding
The headset definitely looks like one of the best we have seen. Unfortunately, it also looks very customised to the Axon & so we’re not sure how interchangeable it will be with other handsets. With the digital controls and inbuilt Gyro, we are fairly confident at this requires a physical connection to the device to function, wireless latency would be too high at the moment.
Weighing in at 255 grams, it’s also not likely that the device has any sort of active cooling or an included battery. It will be interesting to see how devices such as these handle power usage and heat generation moving forward.
Is this the first Daydream headset we’ve seen? That’s anyone’s guess, it would make sense for ZTE to make a Daydream compliant headset, however as we understand it to be a Daydream headset it must come with a controller and there is no mention of a controller for the ZTE VR.
For now, we will have to be content with what looks to be an excellent phone and a nicely made headset. We have reached out to ZTE Australia for comment on Australian availability. We will let you know what we hear.
How does the ZTE Axon 7 and the ZTE VR look to you? Let us know below.