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ZTE Axon 7 Mini review

6/10 AVG.
RATING



6/10
Informr score
The ZTE Axon 7 Mini currently has an Informr score of 6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 10 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Premium look and feel
  • Excellent audio
  • Dual SIM or microSD card support
  • Fingerprint reader
  • USB Type-C
  • QuickCharge 2.0

What's bad

  • 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.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


LaptopMedia

Axon 7 mini has kept the elegant looks of its bigger sibling and we note once again the fully metal construction. The body is slippery but this is not such a trade-off or at least for those of you that haven’t dropped their phone on the hard floor. Despite being mini, the model display is a 5....

- LaptopMedia Team, LaptopMedia
Tom's Guide

There's a lot to recommend the Axon 7 Mini if you're in the market for a phone that won't break the bank. This device retains the same great design as the flagship-challenging Axon 7, while making acceptable trade-offs in performance to keep the price low. The rear camera can turn out some pretty go...

- Philip Michaels, Tom's Guide
Talk Android

The device features a similar design, but lesser specs to accommodate a more budget-friendly price tag, which isn’t always a bad thing. There are plenty of excellent budget Android phones to choose from right now, and one more option can only help.

- Jared Peters, Talk Android
Digital Trends

At $300, even if it’s priced appropriately in terms of internal hardware, the processor isn’t capable of offering a smooth user experience. The same is still true if it’s priced at $200 — and it’s a clear fault of the software, not of the processor. Go get a Moto G4 Plu...

- Julian Chokkattu, Digital Trends
Paste Magazine

If you have a hard budget of $300 or less, the Axon 7 Mini offers truly fantastic hardware, and chances are you’ll grow used to its performance. But if you have a bit of wiggle room, use it, and find a better value.

- Eric Walters, Paste Magazine


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The ZTE Axon 7 Mini's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MSM8952 Octa core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2705mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2705 mAh battery.

Axon 7 Mini Specs

Overview
Release date September 30, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MSM8952 Octa core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1 W/kg
Body: 0.77 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2705 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 11.2 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Quartz Gray, Ion Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.8 x 7.1 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 153 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.9
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Reviews
Where to buy ZTE Axon 7 Mini
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