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Axon M Dual mode

Care/Don't Care: The dual-screen smartphone

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Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I could get way more work and play done on the go if I had two phone screens instead of just one”? Android phone maker ZTE is hoping so, Because it’s just come out with the first modern, foldable dual-screen phone.

Marketed as a pocket-friendly productivity monster / ultimate entertainment device, the Axon M has different modes for either running two separate apps on each of its displays at once or stretching one across both for really digging into a piece of work or piece of content.

ZTE Axon M

The phone comes at a lower price than today’s larger-sized, single-screen smartphones – $725, available only on AT&T – but the trade-off is that each of its 5.2-inch screens is a little smaller than the average phone. Also, the Axon M is carrying last year’s cutting-edge Qualcomm processor, which is noticeably slower than today's premiere smartphones.

Axon M Extended mode
Messaging in Extended mode typically means one whole screen is used as a keyboard. A spacious keyboard.

But, with this phone, its selling feature is its dual-screens. We took the phone out on the streets of New York City to get some unsuspecting phone reviewers to give us their first-impressions of a phone with two screens. The results were a mix of positive, negative and "meh."

After using the Axon M myself for a spell, I can’t say I do really care for the dual-screen phone – yet. Playing a Miami Heat game on one screen while scrolling though #MiamiHeat Twitter on the other is cool, but it's not something I'd naturally find myself doing enough to offset the phone's inconveniences: It's overbearing thickness, that big seam between the two screens, and its lack of power.

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For now, one nice, big screen with fast performance – of which most can handle split screen apps, by the way – is probably still the way to go.

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