The ZTE Axon V doesn’t have a notch… It has a tab.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ZTE Axon V, but it sure is inventive as hell. For starters, it’s managed to crack the notch and camera punch hole problem and delivers on a complete bezel-less screen experience without moving parts… but its lack of a notch has led the front-facing camera to manifest somewhere else. This is the ZTE Axon V, and it’s the world’s first smartphone… with a TAB.

Reminiscent of folders that have tabs in the side (to let you open to a particular category), or for the more paperless generation, the tab from your favorite web browser, the Axon V comes with a protrusion on the side which houses the front-facing cameras… two of them. The protrusion would, technically, count as a bezel, but somehow it doesn’t, because it doesn’t conflict with the full-video content you’re watching, whereas notches, chins, and hole-punches do. The Axon V has a complete 6.8-inch edge-to-edge screen otherwise. The tab on the side is the part I’m sort of confused about. My immediate sense of aesthetics tells me it’s wrong. There’s no app to fix this tumor on the side of my phone, which sort of plays a crucial element, given it’s also responsible for facial-recognition unlocking.

But then again, we’ve lived in a world with phones that have had antennas and phones that were awkwardly shaped to begin with, like Nokia’s N.Gage (an icon in mobile gaming, no doubt). The ZTE Axon V may not have a desirable aesthetic in today’s smartphone line-up, but it isn’t the weirdest phone ever made (that title would probably go to the Nokia 7600). We’ve put weirder looking smartphones in our pockets, and pockets, for centuries, haven’t changed much… so the Axon V should fit into them jeans just fine.

Designer: ZTE Axon V