ZTE has become the latest smartphone maker to join the 5G phone race with the launch of its new flagship Axon 10 Pro 5G at the Mobile World Congress.
The 5G phone runs on a Snapdragon 855 processor and comes with a fingerprint scanner embedded in its screen. Other key features include three rear cameras, a 6.47-inch display and an artificial intelligence performance engine that adjusts CPU, GPU, RAM and ROM using AI algorithms.
ZTE said the 5G flagship smartphone delivers “significant gains” in both size and thickness, as compared to a 4G smartphone.
“Compared with traditional 4G phones, 5G phones have more components, support more RF bands, may consume more power and may generate more heat. Power and heat are a function of usage and data transfer, so it will depend on the user and use case, but we need to design for maximum usage,” said Jeff Yee, vice president of innovation and partnership at ZTE Mobile Devices. “ZTE has been working on 5G for a decade now and we have solutions for these problems.”
He said ZTE engineers addressed a wide variety of technical difficulties, such as the electromagnetic compatibility, antenna design, power consumption and heat dissipation in the development process of the 5G flagship.
For example, ZTE used a model corresponding to total power consumption and surface temperature and successfully improved heat dissipation by applying a liquid cooling technology and composite phase-change thermal materials.
The new phone also applies new antenna design and a new slot antenna architecture solution to improve system performance and reduce by reducing signal interference.
As a result, the 5G phone maintains the same thickness (7.9mm) as the Axon 4G model, despite incorporating 35% more components, Yee told reporters at the launch in MWC2019 Barcelona this week.
The 5G smartphone will be available in the first half of this year in Europe and China.
ZTE didn’t disclose the price of the phone, but a spokesperson said it “will surprise the customers.”
Xu Feng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices, said the company is currently conducting 5G terminal tests with eight global mobile operators, including China Unicom, Elisa and Hutchison Drei Austria, in Europe and China.
“Terminals are an important part of ZTE’s end-to-end layout of 5G applications. Along with the commercial launch of the world’s first 5G network, ZTE is pioneering the launch of the first 5G flagship smartphone, which perfectly combines 5G core technologies with the ultimate user experience,” said Xu.
The Axon Pro 10 5G joins other 5G devices, including the LG V50, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, and the Huawei Mate X, that launched at the MWC2019 early this week, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S10 debuted in US last week.
ZTE has also announced a new Blade model featuring a front-facing 32-megapixel “selfie” camera and two rear cameras. The Blade V10 has a 6.3-inch display and is equipped with a water-drop screen and 2.1GHz octa-core processor.
ZTE will sell the phone in China and Europe starting next month, and Latin America in April.
ZTE also announced the Blade V10 Vita, aimed at the youth market.