The ZTE Axon M is launching through AT&T on Wednesday, November 1st, the wireless carrier announced earlier today, in addition to reiterating that it's set to be the exclusive retailer of the Chinese company's foldable smartphone in the United States. The second largest mobile service provider in the country will be offering the ZTE Axon M on a 30-month AT&T Next plan priced at $24.17 per month, which puts the full retail value of the Android 7.1.2 Nougat-powered smartphone at just over $725. The pre-order period for ZTE's unconventional offering is set to run for just over two weeks, with the device being scheduled for an official release on November 17th. Customers who pre-order the handset may even receive it a few days before it appears in AT&T's stores, as is often the case with advanced orders placed on smartphones.
Originally announced in mid-October, the Axon M is ZTE's first attempt at making a foldable device designed in a manner reminiscent of the 2011 Kyocera Echo and sporting specs that put it in the upper mid-range segment of the smartphone market. While it's technically powered by a flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 821 was Qualcomm's premium offering in 2016 and is outperformed by the newer Snapdragon 835 found inside the majority of high-end handsets released this year. The foldable aspect of the Axon M relies on a hinge connecting two 5.2-inch LCD panels which can form a 6.75-inch screen when folded out completely, albeit one that still has a visible separation line running down the middle. This unique mode should still provide consumers with more space for activities and also allowed ZTE to focus on perfecting a single camera for the Axon M instead of developing two imaging systems seeing how its 20-megapixel sensor can serve as both a rear-facing and selfie camera depending on how you turn the device.
The ZTE Axon M comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage expandable by up to 256GB via a microSD card. The Chinese phone maker has yet to elaborate on whether its foldable offering is meant to be sold outside of the United States in the near future, though it's likely to eventually become available in its home country. Consumers in the U.S. will be able to pre-order the phone starting this Wednesday by referring to the banner below.