- Weak battery
- Dim display
- MiFavor UI
Usually, when you see a “mini” version of a phone released, you expect that they’ve shrunk down its predecessor. In the case of the ZTE Axon 7 Mini, it’s not so much a smaller version of its big brother as an all-around less powerful version. But if cuts are made in the right areas, that’s not always a bad thing?
Did ZTE succeed in trimming the price and size of the well-received Axon 7? Reviews are rolling in! Let’s see what they have to say!
The phone’s aluminum chassis and rounded edges were a hit with every review we found. Many noted how comfortable the phone was to hold and how upscale it looked. The fingerprint scanner on the rear of the device was also noted for its fast response times and accuracy. Android Central noted, “Tthe Mini's futurustic style makes you feel like you're carrying a device worth more than its price tag.”
Heading around front, reviewers loved the slim bezels and dual front-facing speakers. While a few reviewers mentioned the plastic speaker grills standing out to them, most loved the design.
Unfortunately, reviews on the display were mixed. The 1080p AMOLED screen provides great color and detail according to reviews. However, virtually every review noted how dim the screen was in outdoor settings or bright lighting.
Powering the phone, you’ll find a 1.5GHz eight-core Snapdragon 617 processor. Paired with 3GB of RAM, it pleased reviewers for basic usage--such as emails, social media and web browsing. However, it’s far from a powerhouse. PhoneArena notes, “Try firing up something a little more demanding (like a graphics-intensive game), and the 617's limitations quickly become apparent.”
You’ll find 32GB of internal storage. Should you need more, you can use microSD cards up to 128GB in capacity. However, adding a memory card requires using the slot for second SIM. So you’ll need to choose between expanded storage and expanded calling and data options.
ZTE’s MiFavor 4.0 runs on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallows. Reviews of the UI varied greatly. Some didn’t notice much difference at all while others called it one of the worst parts of the phone. Trusted Reviews said, “I don’t think the interface looks good. The ZTE Axon 7 Mini has fairly ugly app icons. And while there are several icon packs that change their colour scheme, all have the same lumpen quality.”
Camera reviews were equally varied. With good lighting and slow movement, the 16MP rear camera appears capable of taking decent shots. However, with any amount of movement or in low lighting, reviewers were quick to point out a severe lack of detail--particularly near the edges of the frames.
There’s also an 8MP front-facing shooter for selfies and video chat. Reviewers loved that you could use the fingerprint sensor to trigger the front camera. However, in the end, its reviews were as mixed as the rear camera. Trusted Reviews said, “The Mini can't compete with the high-end camera phones, but it still produces some pretty sharp-looking photos so long as the light is right.”
The biggest complaint about the phone across all reviews is battery life. The 2,705mAh battery didn’t last a full day on a single charge for any of the reviews we found. However, support for QuickCharge 2.0 does allow for fast top-offs if you have easy access to power outlets throughout the day. Tom’s Guide summed up opinions well, saying, “Get this phone, and you're giving up all hope of making it to dinnertime without having to look for a charging port.”
However, reviewers did find one thing about the phone to rave about--the dual front-facing stereo speakers. Trusted Reviews declared that the phone “has among the loudest speakers in its class, and the sound doesn’t become an ear-serrating mess at top volume, either.”
Unfortunately, the biggest flaw in the device appears to be in a crucial area. For this reason, most reviewers recommended passing on this phone. Trusted Reviews offers an excellent overview of most reviews, saying, “The ZTE Axon 7 Mini is a solid mid-range phone let down by poor battery life and unwanted software changes.”