The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra has arrived, and this new premium Android phone from Chinese tech company ZTE bears more than a passing resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
With an under-display selfie camera, powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, big, beautiful curved-edge display and plenty of RAM and storage space options, this is certainly a top-end device. At the moment, it’s only going on sale in China, but ZTE has confirmed that it’ll be rolling out to the rest of the world in June 2022.
But there’s one feature that’s somehow even more surprising and impressive than the under-display camera, and that’s in the video recording department.
You see, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra has three rear cameras, each of which uses a 64MP sensor with a wide, ultra-wide and periscope lens respectively. And apparently, every single one of these supports 8K video recording.
Usually, when we see a smartphone support recording video at this high resolution, it’s just on the main wide camera – so if you want to shoot at a wider field-of-view, or zoomed in, you’re out of luck.
That’s not the case here – you can use the periscope camera’s 5x optical zoom and shoot at that if you want, which should be great for versatile video recording.
Analysis: bye-bye iPhone
iPhones have a reputation for being great for video recording and film-making, and you can argue until the cows come home about whether this is deserved or completely wrong.
But at the moment, iPhones only record at up to 4K – the iPhone 13 Pro has three rear cameras that all record at this resolution, though non-Pro iPhones have even fewer snappers.
Rumors suggest the iPhone 14 will be the first member of the family to support 8K video recording, which matches up with reports that state the phones will get a 48MP main camera (which would be necessary for 8K recording).
It’s worth pointing out that subsequent leaks point to this being purely for the iPhone 14 Pro, not the standard one.
So it’s possible that the iPhone 14 Pro will be able to record at 8K with at least one of its rear cameras, but the others will almost definitely stick to 4K. Meaning that, if you like high-res footage, the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra will be better for video.
Not everyone needs 8K video, for sure, but it can be useful as recording it lets you re-frame or crop the footage when you’re editing it – it’s better to record 8K and crop down to a 2K resolution, than film in 1080p and realize you can’t resize the footage.
Sure, the iPhone 14 might have some video features that make it more useful for video recording – but the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra might too, and we’ll have to test it out for this function when we get our hands on it.