ZTE is all set to launch the world's first smartphone with an under-display selfie camera in a couple of weeks of time. Ahead of the much-hyped debut of the ZTE Axon 20 5G on September 1st, the company has published a post on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo bragging about all the smartphone technologies it has pioneered over the years.
ZTE Grand S II – The first smartphone with voice control technology
You can find Google Assistant on pretty much every modern Android smartphone. The digital assistant from Google offers several voice-enabled functionalities that help in quickly getting things done. However, much before all this, ZTE was the first phone maker to commercially launch a smartphone that you could operate with voice commands. Launched in December 2014, the ZTE Grand S II even let you unlock the phone over voice. Pretty impressive!
ZTE Grand S III – The first smartphone with an eye-based biometric solution
Samsung made iris scanning technology on smartphones popular but stopped using it since last year. Perhaps, the technology isn't very feasible with modern smartphone form factors as we push for more screen real estate and slimmer profile.
However, it was not Samsung who introduced an eye-based biometric solution on smartphones. It was ZTE, again. Just a few months after the launch of the Grand S II, the Chinese phone maker introduced its successor with another ground-breaking technology.
The ZTE Grand S III arrived with Eyeprint ID technology at the Mobile World Congress in March 2015. It allowed users to unlock their phones by scanning the pattern of blood vessels in their eyes. They could use this biometric solution to authorize payments as well.
ZTE Axon Mini – The first smartphone with a pressure-sensitive display
ZTE followed with yet another industry-first smartphone technology in a few months. The Axon Mini launched in July 2015 as the world's first phone with a pressure-sensitive screen. The phone had a force touch display, allowing users to activate certain functions by applying pressure on the screen.
Apple launched the iPhone 6s series with a pressure-sensitive display in September that year.
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G – First 5G smartphone in China
2019 was the year when 5G mobile networks first became available commercially. South Korea, the US, and China were among the first to flip the switch on the next-generation wireless technology. While Samsung was the first to launch a 5G-enabled smartphone globally with its Galaxy S10 lineup, it was the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G in China.
The smartphone was also the first 5G phone in Northern Europe and the Middle East.
ZTE Axon 11 SE 5G – First 5G phone to support all major Chinese carriers
Launched earlier this year, the ZTE Axon 11 SE 5G was the first 5G-enabled smartphone in China to support all four major national wireless carriers. Surely, ZTE can be lauded for its part in the rapid expansion of 5G networks in China.
ZTE Axon M – The first foldable dual-screen phone (not really!)
In its post on Weibo, ZTE claims it was the first to launch a foldable dual-screen phone. The company says it's Axon M smartphone, which launched in October 2017, was the world's first such device. However, it's not true. The Kyocera Echo (2011) and the Sony Tablet P (2012) arrived much before the ZTE Axon M with a similar dual-display form factor.
Nonetheless, ZTE’s appetite for innovation is remarkable and some of its pioneering smartphone technologies speak for themselves.
As for the dual-screen phones, those devices seem to have arrived much before time. It's only now that dual-screen devices are garnering interest from consumers. Microsoft certainly believes people are now willing to splurge a good amount of money on such devices. Its Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone launches next month starting at $1,399.