10 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for ZTE Axon 4G

Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for ZTE Axon 4G

Do you feel like your money was well-spent on this phone? We hope so. The Axon is substantially cheaper than its nearest competitor and ZTE has really stepped up its game regarding design and specs.

Still, not a lot of people have heard of the ZTE Axon. Because it’s not as popular, there’s really not a lot of information to help guide you on how to use it. The designers obviously knew what they were doing, but maybe less so when it came to putting the word out about tips and tricks.

That’s what we’re here for—to fill in the gaps. We’re not talking about the little sundries, like making a phone call. We want to focus on the qualities that set the Axon apart, increased functionality or customizations that will make your phone uniquely yours. Everyone has a cell phone these days, but not everyone is you. And the ZTE Axon is certainly not like every other phone.

1. Get a New Theme


A change in theme can mean a change in wallpapers, sounds, colors, icons, or even your system UI and apps. A few themes are included by default. You’ll find them by touching the Home key or long-pressing an empty area of the home screen. A window will appear, and from there can tap on Themes and then select the theme you like.

2. Save on Battery

Extend Battery Life

The ZTE’s battery isn’t anything to sneeze at. With a 3000 mAh battery, though, odds are you still wouldn’t turn down an improvement. The current battery will last you 4-4.5 hours of on-screen time and about 8-16 hours off the charger, depending on usage. While this isn’t bad, you would probably have battery life that is spectacular. You aren’t going to achieve that by replacing the battery because that is one of the Axon’s few downsides—no removable battery.

Nonetheless, there is a way to do that without compromising too much functionality. You could lower the screen brightness and timeout. To do so, go to Settings>Display>Brightness Level. If needed, disable Automatic Brightness first, but then you’ll want to click and drag the slider to the left side of the screen. Confirm by choosing OK.

To shorten the timeout, visit the Display menu again, but this time, select Sleep. Choose the timeout value of your choice, but 10-20 seconds is recommended. To enter Battery Saving Mode for Location, go to Settings>Personal>Location>More>Battery Saving.

If you have apps running unnecessarily in the background (and you probably do) you can disable background data by visiting Settings>Data Usage>Menu. Enable Restrict App Background Data. This won’t cause any system-critical apps to close, but it does mean that messaging and email apps that rely on new data will not update until you open them.

3. Make More Space

MicroSD Reader

One of the cons for the Axon Pro is that it has no expandable memory, and the existing memory is only 32 GB. Users aren’t left totally helpless, however. The silver lining to having smaller internal storage is better performance. Nonetheless, you might be grappling with how to handle limited space.

The phone does have a micro USB to which you can attach a microSD card reader. If you are willing to make the sacrifice, try to limit widgets and live wallpapers. You can also free up space by disabling applications and animations. Backing up pictures to cloud storage will help as well.

4. A Screen Captain Hook Could Navigate

The ZTE’s screen is not thin—maybe even plus-size by Hollywood’s standards. The Axon Elite features Mi-Pop, which is a little onscreen widget intended to make one-handed usage easier. It gives you quicker access to a virtual Back button in a location of your choice. Drag the Back button to display Back, Home, Menu, and Recent Apps, or drag all of it wherever you please.

This could definitely help out users who wish to use only one hand or who have small hands. Additionally, the Back and Overview buttons located at the bottom of the screen have definitely been a source of confusion to some. They lack clear icons and can disappear at times. If Mi-Pop is not available to you on the Axon Pro, there are a few apps that don’t require root access in Google Play that can assist you with the Back button at the very least.

Back Button (No root)

Google Play download button

5. Have Some Fun

You might as well take advantage of this phone’s quick processor by testing out some new games. We are not responsible for your new addictions, of course. If you are into puzzles, check out Cut the Rope 2. Although the game seems like it might be meant for children at first glance, it actually gets pretty difficult in later stages.

If you are looking for something more akin to a video game, try Traffic Rider. The visuals are great. If you like the thrill and danger that motorcycles can provide, but are also fond of staying alive with all bones intact, this game will whisk you away to a place where you can have it both ways.

Cut the Rope

Google Play download button

Traffic Rider

Google Play download button

Must Read: 10 Most Popular Games on Android

6. Heighten Your Sense of Security

The phone offers several different options to unlock the screen, but you have to enable them first. If you are using the Pro, you can choose from a sliding gesture, drawing a pattern, or entering a numeric pin. To enable these, touch the Home key and go to Settings>Security>Screen Lock. Touch the option you desire; specify your unique code and notification preferences if necessary.

The Axon Elite offers more biometric options. It contains an eye scanner, fingerprint sensor, and voice recognition. The fingerprint sensor works extremely well, and the other two options can sometimes be fickle. The fingerprint sensor sits just below the secondary rear camera.


7. Manage Shortcuts, Widgets, Folders

Android Widgets

To add shortcuts or widgets, tap the Home key or long-press any free space on the home screen and choose Widgets. Now, long-press the widget or app of your choice and drag it to the home screen. To remove them, long-press and drag them over to the Delete (trash can) icon. To move them, long-press and drag them wherever you’d like.

If you want to start a folder of these shortcuts, long-press one of the widgets or shortcuts and drag to release directly over another shortcut. This creates a new folder in which both shortcuts are present. To name it, simply touch the folder, then the name field, and add a name.

8. Add or Remove Home Screen Panels


To remove a panel, go to a Home screen, long-press a blank area and slide either direction to view the home screen thumbnails. Tap on the orange triangle in the upper right corner of the thumbnail. Confirm the deletion by pressing OK. Any items present on the panel will also be removed!

To add a panel, you will still touch and hold an empty spot, but you will then select Widgets. Long-press and drag an icon or widget to the right edge of the screen. This action creates a new home screen panel. This will also insert the icon or widget you used.

9. Notification Bar Toggles

Notification Bar

These toggles make it to where you don’t have to forage to find your settings, and even more so after you rearrange them. Pull down the notification bar and you can adjust syncing, turn on Battery saver, turn off Auto-Rotate, enable data, and even more options than those given in stock Lollipop. Pull upward from the bottom of the screen and there’s a Quick Info panel. This feature offers fast access to your favorite contacts, a music player, Yahoo! Sports news, and a step counter.

10. Get a Custom Launcher

Google Now is pretty decent, especially if you personalize it by adding your favorite sports teams, financial interests, or even mode of transportation. Zte has customized this launcher so that now you can change the home screen transition effect. To see it for yourself, long-press the home screen and select Effects. You have some options, and the interface will demonstrate how each of these work.

But if you grow bored, or you just don’t like it, you don’t have to be stuck with it. To change the way you view folders and get more say in your layout, try Nova Launcher. If you want a different, more intuitive method of app organization, Aviate could be your perfect launcher.

Nova Launcher

Google Play download button


Google Play download button


Not bad for a phone that receives little recognition, huh?  One thing that would really unleash the enormous potential of the phone’s specs would be the ability to root. Unfortunately, this is a phone that is difficult for hackers/developers to crack. So much so that there is a bounty being offered on the XDA forums for someone who can. Could it be you?

We hope you find these tips and tricks for the ZTE Axon 4G to be useful. Which ones were your favorites? Did you experience any issues? Tell us about it below.

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