Some ZTE Axon 7 phones in the US now running test version of Android Oreo

23 January 2018

So you want an affordable but powerful phone with unmodded Android? “Affordable” means not a Pixel. “Powerful” dismisses Android Ones. And “Unmodded” discounts the likes of Xiaomi. A surprising answer to this question might be the ZTE Axon 7, a phone that is (unfortunately) no longer in production.

Launched in mid-2016 with Marshmallow, the phone is on track to receive Android 8.0 Oreo in April. And better yet, the company is dropping the MiFavor custom ROM to something much closer to stock – in fact, it’s called Stock+.

A test version of Oreo is currently running on some Axon 7 phones in the US. It’s Android 8.0.0 with the January 5 security patch, quite fresh. Here’s a shot of the About screen.

ZTE Axon 7 running Stock+ version of Android 8.0 Oreo
ZTE Axon 7 running Stock+ version of Android 8.0 Oreo

Clearly Stock+ will have some additions to AOSP, but to be fair even Google’s phones do not run AOSP. And ZTE is collaborating with the LineageOS team to help them build version 15 (the one based on Oreo) for the phone.

Anyway, you can probably still find some leftover Axon 7 units - at less than €300 for a QHD AMOLED screen, stereo speakers and Snapdragon 820. But what we really want is a new model. So come on ZTE, bring out the Axon 8.

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