Last year, ZTE boasted that it had accomplished what even companies like Samsung have yet to achieve. He brought the first commercially available sub-display camera on a smartphone and explained how he managed this trick. As much excitement as it generated, it also raised doubts about how it would work in practice. The initial feedback was less than encouraging, but perhaps the most striking comes from the analysis by DxOMark, which almost put the ZTE Axon 20 5G at the end of its selfie list.
Placing a camera under an active display is not an easy task, which at least justifies the pride of ZTE. Making it work, however, is one thing, but making it work well is a totally different game. Unfortunately, DxOMark found very little to praise on the Axon 20 5G when it comes to the 32MP selfie camera, as well as being an impressive party trick.
The biggest problems with the camera were the white and color balance, which is not really surprising, considering the technical obstacles that had to be overcome with this UDC technology. If you thought some phones produced pasty selfies, they have nothing to do with the Axon 20 5G’s color shading, color projection and color quantization. The artifacts are also prominent and the image quality degrades further when the screen above the camera is actively emitting light, something that only the ZTE camera app corrects.
It is observed that the video is just a little less bad, although it has the same color and exposure problems. Stable focus is the best thing about it, but that’s just because it has a fixed focus system.
With an average score of 26, the ZTE Axon 20 5G almost falls to the bottom of DxOMark’s list for selfie testing, narrowly beating the ironically named Intex Aqua Selfie for the title of worst selfie camera. DxOMark notes that, for its price, the phone can still be good for other things, especially with its novelty. Just don’t expect too much from selfies and video calls.