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MWC 2016: Hands-On With ZTE's Axon Watch

ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 04
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MWC 2016 is perhaps starting to wind down a little already, now that we’ve seen announcements from LG, Samsung, Sony and others. That doesn’t mean we haven’t found some shiny baubles on the show floor to ogle at while pounding the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona. One thing that’s always nice about trade shows like MWC is that we get to see products that have stayed under the radar since their launch, and ZTE’s Axon Watch is certainly one of them. Launched last summer in China, the Axon Watch was something of a head-scratcher for a couple of reasons. Given the Axon name, and that the Axon smartphones run stock Android in North America, it would stand to reason Android Wear would be running on an Axon Watch, right?

Instead of Android Wear, the device ended up running Tencent OS, a rival of Android’s in China, and it’s presumed this decision was made by ZTE to appeal to their Chinese fans. Even still, the Axon Watch does a pretty good job of at least looking like an Android Wear smartwatch, and from afar might remind some of the Huawei Watch. On the inside, there’s a Qualcomm processor – probably an older Snapdragon 400 – and 512MB of RAM. For all intents and purposes, the Axon Watch is a fairly premium smartwatch; it features a good-looking leather strap, a fully-circular display and even IP67 water-resistance. However, the overall package isn’t all that good-looking and the lugs that attach the strap to the casing appear bulky, and almost unfinished in their look and feel.

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This is a first-attempt sort of device from ZTE, and it does very much appear as though this is something that’ll be staying firmly in China, at least for now. Nevertheless, we have some more images in the gallery below, and at the very least it’s nice to be able to spend some time with such a device during a trade show like MWC. We’ll have hands-on of other ZTE products on the site, as well as all the other news from MWC throughout this week.

ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 11
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ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 11
ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 10
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ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 01
ZTE Axon Watch MWC AH 06