Last week we saw ZTE introduce its Axon phone, a smartphone launch notable not just for the hardware it brought to market, but for the way the manufacturer went about doing so: rather then tackle US smartphone sales with some re-hash of an existing model, ZTE elected to give America its own phone, and a big part of its Axon launch was emphasizing the “designed in the US, for the US” aspect of it. That may well be true, but a recent entry over at China’s TENAA (more or less the country’s FCC) reveals that the nation sure appears to be getting its own edition of the Axon, and one that picks up some hardware lacking from the US release.
The filing reveals a handset that sure looks like the Axon, has very nearly the same external measurements (it’s even a tiny bit lighter), and the same 5.5-inch quad HD screen. There’s the same 4GB of RAM, and while we can’t directly confirm it, evidence also suggests this Chinese Axon will run a Snapdragon 810 of its own. Really, the big difference, as near as we can see, is that this Axon picks up a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
None of this changes our enthusiasm for seeing ZTE step up to properly address the US market, and the Axon still looks to be one very interesting smartphone. But considering the effort ZTE put into emphasizing how the Axon was very much America’s own phone, we can appreciate how the arrival of a largely identical Axon for another market – and one that picks up a feature that’s missing from the US edition – might serve to take the wind out of the Axon’s sails for some shoppers, just a little bit.
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