We’ve seen smartphone in the past with two displays, such has Yotaphone 2 with a color front display, coupled with an e-Paper rear display that’s always on and consumes less power.
ZTE Axon M also comes with two displays, but it’s a completely different beast, as both are color displays, and foldable to create an extended display when needed, somewhat like a foldable tablet.
ZTE Axon M (partial) specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad core processor up to 2.15 GHz with Adreno 530 GPU
- System Memory – 4GB RAM
- Storage – 64GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD slot up to 256 GB
- Display – 2x 5.2″ @ 1920×1080 displays making a single 1920×2160 screen when opened
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, dual speaker, Dolby Atmos support, AKM 4962 HiFi chipset
- 20MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, dual-image stabilization, dual LED flash
- Up to 4K @ 30 fps, 720p @ 240 fps
- Cellular Connectivity – NanoSIM card
- Sensor – Fingerprint scanner (inside power button)
- Battery – 3,180 mAh with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- Dimensions – 150.8 x 71.6 x 12.1mm
- Weight – 230g
The phone currently runs Android 7.1.2, but an update to Android 8.0 is expected.
The various modes are explained in ZTE developer forums. Basically you have an extra “M” button in Android which allows you to select one of four modes:
- Single mode – The phone is closed, and you are just using one display.
- Mirror mode – Both display show the same content vertically or horizontally, which can be useful to watch a video among a group of people.
- Extended mode – Both screens as used as one so you’d get an “extended desktop” like you would on PCs. Some apps can also leverage this mode to show different content on both screens. For example, the Gallery app can be used to show a list of photo on the left screen, and display the select photo on the right screen, or YouTube apps is split to show the video on the top screen, comments on the bottom screen.
- Dual mode – Both screens run independent apps
A side effect of having two displays is that you only need one camera for standard photos and selfies, so the front-facing camera is gone. The company launched the phone as a special event, where some bloggers could play with them for one hour or so, and a few ZTE Axon M hands-on videos have been uploaded to YouTube, such as the one below.
XDA Developers: reports that ZTE Axon M will sell for around $725 starting in to the US with AT&T at the end of the year, then with Docomo in Japan, China Telecom and HD.com will follow in China in Q1 2018, and Europe soon after. More details may be found on the product page.