ZTE was just one of many Android device vendors, Google included, that took an annoyingly long time to optimize, stabilize and ultimately deliver 7.0 Nougat to its latest flagship phone. Axon 7 owners were of course especially peeved to wait until last month, as their already remarkable 5.5-incher is one of the world’s first handsets to support Daydream VR.
Over in China however, the ZTE Axon 7 jumped up to Android 7.1 with surprisingly great haste, and now US versions are officially following suit. Technically, 7.1.1 is far from a substantial OS upgrade, but as long as it’s glitch-free and doesn’t encourage you to randomly downgrade all of a sudden, it’s better to have it than not.
What’s important to note is that almost no other phone besides Pixel and Nexus family members currently runs the newest platform iteration, making ZTE an unlikely US software support champion.
In addition to routine fresh security patches (oddly dated February 2017, not March), the OTA update brings T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling capabilities to the table, Daydream refinements, and “more ways to communicate” across operators nationwide, including gender-equal emojis and native keyboard GIF functionality. Once again, nothing big, but a neat group of subtle UI enhancements.