This BMW-designed smartphone gives the Galaxy S7 a run for its money

As far as smartphones go, ZTE is relatively unknown in the US, but the Chinese company’s latest smartphone should help change that.

The new Axon 7 smartphone is ZTE’s latest premium flagship smartphone, and it could truly give the Samsung Galaxy S7 a run for its money, even more so than the other big smartphones from LG, HTC, and Motorola.

The Axon 7 offers high-end specs for at least $100 less than other premium flagships from well-known companies.

Check out the Axon 7 to see how it can compete with the latest and greatest Android smartphones.

To design the Axon 7, ZTE collaborated with BMW's design arm Designworks, which also designed the BMW X series and the two-man bobsled for the USA Olympic Bobsledding team.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

This unique collaboration resulted in a sleek all-metal phone that looks and feels great. It comes in the gold colour option you see here.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

It also comes in metallic grey.

ZTE

The Axon 7 has a beautiful 5.5-inch 1440p AMOLED display that looks as good as Samsung's Galaxy S7 screen, and is better than the iPhone 6s, LG G5, and HTC 10's display.

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On paper, the 20-megapixel camera has all the makings of a great shooter. It has optical image stabilisation (OIS) to compensate for shaky hands and an f/1.8 aperture for good low-light performance. But only a camera test will prove if it's worthy.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

It runs on the latest and powerful Snapdragon 820 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM, which should make for smooth and fast performance. It also has excellent stereo speakers.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

The Axon 7 comes with a minimum 64GB of storage, while many other Android flagships come with a minimum of 32GB. You can also add storage with a microSD card.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

It uses USB-C for fast charging and data transfers.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

ZTE also claims to have one of the fastest fingerprint sensors around just underneath the camera, a claim we'll have to test when we get a review unit.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

The Axon 7 will support Google's Daydream VR platform, which you'll be able to use with the ZTE VR headset.

ZTE

The Axon 7 will be one of three smartphones that works with VR headsets designed specifically for it. Samsung's $100 Gear VR headset works with the Galaxy S6 and up, as well as the Galaxy Note 5. LG has a $200 VR headset designed to work with phones that use USB-C.

There's no details on pricing and availability yet, but ZTE promises the price will be under $500 and that it will come out soon in the US.

ZTE

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