ZTE Nubia Z11 mini breaks cover with 16 and 8MP cams, fingerprint scanner, $230 price
It’s not exactly customary for a diminutive derivation of a new flagship phone to go official before the “full-sized” model does, and several major Android OEMs have altogether renounced mini-hero devices.
Not ZTE, though, or rather the Chinese company’s Nubia sub-brand, which proves big things can indeed come in small packages today, as promised. The Z11 mini foreshadows both the standard Z11 and Z11 max, unfortunately rehashing a number of Z9 mini specifications it couldn’t possibly upgrade at its sub-$250 price point.
Nor can you justifiably show discontent over upper mid-range features like a respectably sharp 5-inch 1080p display, or 16 and 8MP cameras. Besides, the shooters may retain last year’s megapixel counts, but they still find ways to improve, with a Sony IMX298 sensor and PDAF on the rear, and an 80-degree wide angle lens and beautify functions on the front.
Then you have a host of even more meaningful enhancements, including an incremental bump from Snapdragon 615 to 617 processing power, 3GB RAM instead of 2, 64GB internal storage space as standard, fingerprint recognition added in the mix, USB Type-C connectivity, and faster-charging battery.
Aesthetically, the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini is arguably a bigger knockout than its predecessor too, courtesy of 2.5D curved glass, a smooth and robust aluminum unibody construction, and optional wooden finishes that will probably cost extra.
What we don’t like very much is that the 5-incher actually downgrades battery capacity, from 2,900 to 2,800 mAh, running ancient Android 5.1 Lollipop on the software side of things. But for a starting price of CNY 1,500 ($230), we’re pretty certain you’ll be inclined to accept the two minor compromises. If only the Nubia Z11 mini would launch on the Western hemisphere soon at a similar MSRP.