ZTE isn't a household name in the United States yet, but the Chinese company is hoping they can improve their overseas profile after announcing a new flagship Android smartphone called the Axon, a device that has been specially designed for the region.

The ZTE Axon comes with a fairly typical array of flagship specifications. There's a 5.5-inch 1440p display on the front, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC with 4 GB of RAM under the hood, a 3,000 mAh battery, 32 GB of internal storage, and support for both AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE networks.

According to Engadget, the Axon feels a little thick in your hands, but the phone's lightweight metal body and curved design "kept it from feeling too substantial". It doesn't look like the best designed handset on the market from a visual perspective either, though it's certainly better than ZTE's previous efforts in the budget smartphone space.

On the back of the device are two cameras: a main 13-megapixel Sony sensor alongside an additional 2-megapixel shooter, allowing the camera system to apply depth-of-field effects without needing to take multiple photos. This technology isn't new (we first saw it on the HTC One M8), although it's nice to see it used on another device.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Axon is its price tag: at just $449.98 unlocked and off-contract, this flagship Android handset is around $100 cheaper than alternatives such as the LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6. It also comes with a two-year warranty and a commitment from ZTE to keep the device's software updated beyond Android 5.1 that it ships with.

The Axon is already available to pre-order from ZTE directly, or through major retailers Amazon, eBay and Newegg. It will begin shipping on July 27th.

Image courtesy of CNET