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ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review

ZTE Axon 7 Mini 6.8

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ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review

Introduction


Smartphone shoppers love having a nice variety of devices to choose from, so it's little surprise that we see device manufacturers churn out variant after variant of their most popular models. Maybe there's a Plus, Pro, or Max version of a flagship, offering a bigger screen and maybe a few other hardware upgrades, or an Active or Sport edition, beefing up waterproofing and ruggedness.

One of the more popular trends, especially as standard phone sizes have drifted higher and higher, is the availability of pint-sized versions of flagships, whether we call them Compact, Lite, or Mini.

ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review
All the way back in May, ZTE first launched the Axon 7, a power-packed handset with a 5.5-inch screen. Months later, as summer was starting to wind down, the Axon 7 was formally joined by its smaller cohort, the Axon 7 Mini.

But with a screen size that only shrinks to 5.2 inches, and a body that's barely smaller than its parent phone, does the Axon 7 Mini still manage to scratch that smaller-phone itch? And while the handset costs 25 percent less than the full-sized Axon 7, do downgrades to processing power, camera hardware, and battery capacity ultimately hurt the 7 Mini's appeal? Let's take a look at what this ZTE phone has to offer, and if it manages to strike the right balance between size, features, and price.

In the box:

  • ZTE Axon 7 Mini
  • Fast charger
  • USB standard A (reversible) to USB Type-C cable
  • Earbuds
  • Quick-start guide
  • Axon Passport flyer
  • Registration notice
  • Clear plastic case

Design

The Axon 7 Mini's biggest success may be the degree to which it reproduces the design of the larger Axon 7

ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review

Sometimes a manufacturer tries to come up with a new look for the smaller version of one of its flagship phones, but with the Axon 7 Mini, ZTE resists that temptation; if you've seen the Axon 7 proper, you know quite well what to expect from the Mini, as it follows the same design notes to a T. That means the same sort of smoothly sloping metal body, same rear-fingerprint-scanner orientation, and same prominent front-facing stereo speakers.

While we applaud ZTE for giving us a phone that really does feel like a different version of a larger handset (rather than a wholly new small-screened model), the Axon 7 Mini really doesn't come across as significantly smaller than the Axon 7: it's only three percent shorter, four percent narrower, and precisely as thick as the Axon 7. Maybe the biggest change is in terms of weight, with the Mini coming in thirteen percent lighter – but that's still not a huge difference. Really, this is one Mini model that's going to be defined more by its specs and price than its size.

ZTE gives the handset an analog headphone jack up top, USB Type-C port down below, volume rocker and power buttons on the phone's right side, and its hybrid SIM/microSD tray on the left. On the back we find a camera that has a minor bump, dual LED flash, and the phone's fingerprint scanner.


ZTE Axon 7 Mini
5.81 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches
147.5 x 71 x 7.8 mm
5.40 oz (153 g)

ZTE Axon 7 Mini

Honor 8
5.73 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches
145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm
5.40 oz (153 g)

Honor 8

ZTE Axon Mini
5.65 x 2.76 x 0.31 inches
143.5 x 70 x 7.9 mm
4.94 oz (140 g)

ZTE Axon Mini

Motorola Moto G4 Plus
6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches
153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

A great-looking AMOLED panel gives us most of what we want – except brightness to spare

ZTE Axon 7 Mini Review

At 5.2 inches in size, the screen on the Axon 7 Mini isn't that much smaller than the Axon 7's 5.5-inch panel; we're looking at about 10 percent less surface area. Like the display on the larger phone, we're dealing with another AMOLED component, though this one at a slightly lower resolution – 1080 x 1920 px to the Axon 7's 1440x2560 px screen. Even though the panel's not that much smaller, things still look pretty sharp, and we're not hurting from the loss of those extra pixels.

The more concerning quality of the Axon 7 Mini's screen is its limited brightness, which our tests identified as among the dimmest screens we've seen all year. Indoors, at least, it looks pretty nice, and by default it offers the sort of over-saturated bold colors for which AMOLED screens are known. If that's not your cup of tea, ZTE provides some easy color-intensity controls, as well as the ability to adjust color temperature.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
ZTE Axon 7 Mini 342
(Average)
4
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7702
(Average)
2
5.24
(Average)
5.79
(Average)
Honor 8 528
(Excellent)
5
(Excellent)
1:1508
(Excellent)
8502
(Poor)
2.23
5.26
(Average)
9.2
(Poor)
ZTE Axon Mini 343
(Average)
5
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8108
(Poor)
2.23
4.36
(Average)
8.02
(Poor)
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 680
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:1412
(Excellent)
6820
(Excellent)
2.32
4.95
(Average)
3.54
(Good)
View all


17 Comments
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posted on 07 Dec 2016, 10:27

1. libra89 (Posts: 752; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)


Good review. I was tempted to try this out of curiosity but I think I'm good camera wise and also with battery life. It's a clear downgrade to my Honor 8 when it comes to those 2 things, which are important to me.

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 10:30 6

2. TrackPhoneUser (Posts: 244; Member since: 21 Oct 2015)


So where's the Axon 7 review?

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 10:52 3

3. jellmoo (Posts: 1896; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Seriously. One of the top devices of 2016, and no review in sight.

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 16:38 2

7. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1990; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Go to a real phone website:

http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=18062

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 18:58

9. Acdc1a (Posts: 333; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)


They are still the best, least biased site. Not really sure why they lost traffic.

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 21:05

10. ibend (Posts: 6306; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


because their site so old-fashioned..
it's looks like a website from 90's...
too much empty space on both side, all menu is just style, no dropdown, search bar is passive...
phone finder is total mess (compare it to gsmarena)
comment section is totally empty...

the only reason to come there is just to read review

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 22:48

11. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1990; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


In other words, they don't cater to the troll crowd. Do you realize how shallow you sound? "The only reason to come there is just to read review". No sh!t Sherlock.

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 22:50

12. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1990; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Because they don't put up with trolls. Phonescoop is for mature audiences.

posted on 08 Dec 2016, 17:22

14. BlackhawkFlys (Posts: 556; Member since: 07 May 2014)


Maybe because they are Nokia... This is 2016 and just look at their website... The logo seems to be created by a kid.

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 11:12 1

4. saturn_boy (Posts: 6; Member since: 13 Feb 2016)


yep....

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 11:37 4

5. Ren_Gonzalez (Posts: 55; Member since: 29 Nov 2016)


I want my regular Axon 7 review!

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 12:24

6. firito (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)


as an axon 7 owner i also dont get why they would review the downgraded mini version instead of the full fleged flagship

posted on 07 Dec 2016, 16:56

8. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1990; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


I can't for the life of me understand why companies put USB-C on their phones yet stay with the older USB 2.0 protocol. There are still plenty of Micro-USB cables that people have as well as accessories. If you're going to go with the newer standard, bite the bullet and include USB 3.0 and USB-OTG. It's like having a Ferrari with whitewall tires.

posted on 08 Dec 2016, 02:08

13. nagoli (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Dec 2016)


Am I the only one who is bothered with the fact that one can only make anonymous calls with this phone since it's missing the ability to alter the caller id behavior?

posted on 12 Dec 2016, 12:04

15. legiloca (Posts: 1431; Member since: 11 Nov 2014)


Has review for the mini but not for the regular.. Great Job PA!

posted on 14 Dec 2016, 20:06

17. yabeshphotography (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Dec 2016)


the Chinese have been taught to fly cheap with a good iron, but with questionable software and support. And then the prices have probably adjusted to our market.

posted on 12 Apr 2017, 06:15

18. Austiniter (Posts: 20; Member since: 06 Dec 2015)


Bad Bad Customer Service. I just recently bought a ZTE Axon 7 and can't get customer service to return my calls nor emails. Their having some software issues and the added spyware apps they've loaded onto the software has me selling this phone and never buying ZTE again.. I'll just buy a Samsung which at least has customer support.

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Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, Octa-core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
3 GB RAM
Size5.81 x 2.80 x 0.31 inches
(147.5 x 71 x 7.8 mm)
5.40 oz  (153 g)
Battery2705 mAh, 15 hours talk time

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