This Android phone just stole the Galaxy S21’s killer feature

zte axon 20 5g
(Image credit: ZTE)

A few days after Chinese phone maker ZTE announced that the ZTE Axon 20 5G would feature the first under-display camera, we’re getting our first official look at the phone well in advance of its Sept. 1 reveal. And it’s a pretty impressive-looking piece of hardware.

Thanks to a series of images the company itself has unveiled via Dutch publication Tweakers, we can wrap our heads around what the phone's going to look like and how it could steal the thunder from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21.

Shared by Ni Fei, ZTE's president of mobile devices, on Chinese social media platform Weibo, the image is low-key until you look a little closer. At first glance, the ZTE Axon 20 5G looks a lot like any other smartphone we’ve seen, but there's one glaring difference: there is no notch or hole punch camera at the top of the device.

Samsung‘s Galaxy S21 has been rumored to feature an under-display camera of its own, but that’s not slated to be unveiled until February. 

The Axon 20 renders provide both front and back views of the device. The front features a seemingly nondescript panel displaying nothing. It's difficult to make out the bezels or where the actual front camera could be located. According to the TENAA listing — (the Chinese equivalent of the FCC) the panel will be a 6.92-inch full HD+ OLED screen, and the phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 765G chipset with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

A battery that’s between 4,300 to 4,400 mAh will keep the Z20 5G powered up — or at least, that’s what rumored specs claim so far.

ZTE Axo 20

(Image credit: ZTE)

There's an additional image Fei shared by way of Weibo that gives us a better look at the ZTE Axon 20 5G screen lit up with an image, rendered horizontally instead of vertically. You can see a minimal bottom bezel here at the right side of the phone (in reality, the device’s bottom), but there's no visible camera with the screen powered up. It's difficult to place where it might actually be, but the phone certainly does look slick as-is. 

Then there's the back of the ZTE Axon 20 5G, emblazoned with a dark, glossy and wavy pattern showing off its array of four vertical cameras, with a 64MP main lens. There's a row of buttons on the right side of the phone as well. It ultimately adds up to a decidedly unique look, and the fact that the Axon 20 will feature a hidden front camera beneath the display only serves to help make it stand out even further. 

Of course, ZTE isn't the only manufacturer to move toward under-display camera tech. Previously, Xiaomi and Oppo have indicated interest in adding those features to their smartphones, though this is the first time we've seen such clear render of what ZTE has up its sleeve. 

Unfortunately, there's still a lot we don't know about the Axon 20 5G, including whether or not it will actually ship outside of China or when it's set to debut. Hopefully all will be revealed – including how the camera looks and works – when September 1 rolls around. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.