ZTE is finally back in the smartphones market after the U.S. ban with a very complete flagship. If we exclude the foldable experiment Axon M, the Chinese company did not release any flagship phone since 2016, but a few days ago it has finally unveiled a surprising device under every point of view: Axon 9 Pro. But will this extraordinary handset be able to compete with the actual best affordable flagships out there? This comparison between Axon 9 Pro, OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8 will help you find out.
ZTE Axon 9 Pro vs OnePlus 6 vs Xiaomi Mi 8
|ZTE Axon 9 Pro||OnePlus 6||Xiaomi Mi 8|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT||156.5 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm||155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm, 177 grams||154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6 mm, 175 grams|
|DISPLAY||6.21 inches, 1080 x 2248p (Full HD+), 402 ppi, AMOLED||6.28 inches, 1080 x 2280p (Full HD+), 402 ppi, 19:9 ratio, AMOLED||6.21 inches, 1080 x 2248 pixels, 402 ppi, 19:9 ratio, Super AMOLED|
|PROCESSOR||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, octa-core 2.8 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, octa-core 2.8 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, octa-core 2.8 GHz|
|MEMORY||6 GB RAM, 128 GB, micro SD slot||6 GB RAM, 64 GB – 8 GB RAM, 128 GB – 8 GB RAM, 256 GB||6 GB RAM, 64 GB – 6 GB RAM, 128 GB – 6 GB RAM, 256 GB – 8 GB RAM, 128 GB|
|SOFTWARE||Android 8.1 Oreo, Android One||Android 8.1 Oreo, Oxygen OS 5.1.11||Android 8.1 Oreo, MIUI 9.5|
|CONNECTIVITY||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS|
|CAMERA||Dual 12 + 20 MP f/1.8
20 MP front camera
|Dual 16 + 20 MP f/1.7
16 MP f/2.0 front camera
|Dual 12 + 12 MP f/1.8
20 MP f/2.0 front camera
Fast Charging with Quick Charge 4.0
Fast Charging with Dash Charge
|3400 mAh, Fast Charging (Quick Charge 4.0)|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES||Dual SIM slot, IP68 waterproof, stereo speakers||Dual SIM slot, splashproof||Dual SIM slot, infrared face unlock|
There is nothing special in any of these phones when it comes to aesthetics. They all come with a glass back, an aluminum frame, a chin and a tri-borderless notched display, and they even have similar looks. But we are going to choose ZTE Axon 9 Pro as the winner of the comparison because of its better build quality. Indeed, it is the only one to feature the IP68 certification which makes it fully waterproof and dustproof. OnePlus 6 is just splashproof, while the Mi 8 does not have any kind of certification for water resistance.
Just like the aesthetics, even the displays are very similar, at least on the paper. All of them have a size of about 6.2 inches and a Full HD+ resolution. ZTE Axon 9 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 8 support the HDR10 technology, so their colors should be slightly richer than the ones of the OnePlus 6. But the OP6 has still a great display thanks to the high DCI-P3 coverage, so do not expect noticeable differences. Anyways, it is worth mentioning that ZTE Axon 9 Pro has slightly better multimedia capabilities thanks to its stereo speakers.
Specs & Software
ZTE Axon 9 Pro, OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8 all come with top-notch hardware, you can not expect better components from a smartphone. They feature an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and a high quantity of RAM: 6 GB on the Axon 9 Pro and up to 8 GB on OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8. So, they all deliver blazing speeds with top-end stability, and they are smooth in every scenario, including gaming. In the most powerful configuration, we would choose OnePlus 6 because we like how the company optimized its software. While ZTE Axon 9 Pro and OnePlus 6 come with stock Android version (Android One for the 9 Pro), Xiaomi Mi 8 has a highly customized UI (MIUI).
Xiaomi Mi 8 seems to be the best camera phone among these ones. We say “seem” because we still have no chance to test the Axon 9 Pro as it was unveiled a few days ago, but on the paper, Xiaomi Mi 8 has a better camera department. However, note that ZTE Axon 9 Pro is more innovative due to its wide-angle secondary sensor reaching 130 degrees.
On the battery side, ZTE Axon 9 Pro wins the comparison immediately, thanks to its huge 4000 mAh. OP6 and Mi 8 have classic 3300 and 3400 mAh batteries which can only reach the end of the day with a normal use, while ZTE Axon 9 Pro can survive even with a stressed use.
I choose ZTE Axon 9 Pro as the overall winner of the comparison because of its stereo speakers, waterproof design, bigger battery and wide-angle camera (which I define more interesting on a mobile phone than the photo quality, as if I’d want real quality I’d buy a Reflex), but it has not the highest value for money and this would not allow me to buy it instead of the other twos. ZTE Axon 9 Pro will soon land in Europe for €650, while OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8 can be actually bought with price tags of $519/€519 and less than $450/€400, respectively. Which would be your choice?
ZTE Axon 9 Pro vs OnePlus 6 vs Xiaomi Mi 8: PROs and CONS
ZTE Axon 9 Pro
- Stereo speakers
- Huge battery
- Android One
- Wide-angle camera
- Higher price
- Great performance
- Good camera
- Good price
- No micro SD
Xiaomi Mi 8
- Affordable price
- Good hardware
- Infrared face unlock
- Great camera
- No micro SD