For a company that made great strides in the US smartphone market not long ago, China-based ZTE sure chose an odd year to skip a mainstream flagship launch. Technically, the Axon M followed the very popular Axon 7, but the two devices have little in common aside from their names.

With a single-screen Axon 9 finally around the corner (or maybe not), ZTE is also moving one step closer to the Axon 7’s official Oreo rollout today. That probably would have been cause for celebration a while back, but looking at the outstanding public beta work of other Android OEMs, this US preview program feels a tad late.

On the bright side, the ZTE Axon 7 is promised a “near-stock” Android 8.0 update… eventually, and if the Chinese company’s proprietary OS revisions are indeed minimal, it shouldn’t take long for these tests to run their course.

It’s also important to keep in mind this is a 2016 phone we’re talking about, initially powered by Marshmallow, bumped up to Nougat more than a year ago, and discontinued shortly after Black Friday 2017.

Bottom line, let’s be happy ZTE USA is still thinking of the update-hungry Z-Community, members of which can now register to sample Oreo goodies ahead of the masses at the OEM’s official beta lab webpage. Your voice will be heard if you join the beta program, bugs should be quashed faster, and features like picture-in-picture mode, notification dots, Android Instant apps and background limits made smoother with direct tester feedback.

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