Poor, misunderstood ZTE Axon M. It came screaming and kicking into the world of consumer retail at the end of 2017. Sadly, the dual screen phone did not achieve a strong following with its unusual form factor and high price tag.
Reviewers at The Verge and CNET gave the phone mostly positive reviews, but the lack of apps—combined with the flagship price and mid-tier specs—did not instill confidence in the reviewers or the general public. The use of dual displays was ahead of its time, but the release of the Yoga Book C930 earlier this year, as well as the announcement and demo of Samsung’s folding Galaxy X point towards an emphasis on moving beyond the single-screen displays commonly found in phones, tablets, and laptops.
I personally like the idea of the Axon M, but have to agree with just about everyone else that a retail price of over 700 dollars was a little extreme. Now, if I had seen Moon+Reader or FBReader or another quality Android e-reader app made to utilize the individual screens as pages in a book, I might have had a different view on the initial price offering.
However, the Axon M can now be found brand-new on eBay for $249.99. If you don’t mind a refurbished or used unit, searching through eBay or Amazon’s used listings should turn up even better deals.
Part of me still thinks the Axon M has a niche role for reading books, but it’s hard to say without having had the opportunity to test it for myself. The bezel bifurcation seems like it would be a huge distraction. If you owned or have used an Axon M, please leave feedback in the comments.