Nubia's fresh new 5.2-incher is sleek, powerful, and enticingly affordable
Another week, another brand new monster from Asia! Okay, we can't hide the truth anymore - we've got a soft spot for phones coming straight from mainland China! Despite the issues with actually getting yourself one of these, such devices usually offer value for money of cosmic proportions, easily wiping the floor with any other device when the discussion gets narrowed to the retail price.
Although the Nubia Z11 Mini S' name heavily implies it's a compact device, that's not exactly the case here. In reality, it's a 5.2-inch device, standing somewhere in-between the large >5.5-inch tablets and those sub 5.0-inch phones out there — okay, it's still compact, but not that compact. The aluminum munchkin is as sleek as it gets, with curved antenna bands at the rear top and bottom (similar to the iPhone 7 and several other phones). Similar to multiple other phones, the Nubia Z11 Mini S also features a rear-positioned fingerprint reader as well.
Admittedly, we are not sure if the brand new Nubia Z11 Mini S will be aggressively or not, but there's one thing certain: this fresh new munchkin definitely deserves a closer look. Created by ZTE's Nubia sub-brand, this device is another reminder that China has got it all. Okay, what are we waiting for then?
The 5.2-inch display is a full HD one, meaning that the 1080 by 1920-pixel resolution works out a nifty 424ppi pixel density. Nubia also boasts that the display has a maximum brightness of 450 nits, wide 150% NTSC color gamut, and 1500:1 contrast ratio.
All fine and dandy, but it's now time to head under that hood and see what Nubia has thrown in its latest handset. That'd be a 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, paired with an Adreno 506 GPU and 4GB of RAM. We're pleasantly surprised by the storage options - the base version of the Nubia Z11 Mini S hauls 64 gigs of storage, but you can also opt for double that and get yourself 128GB of native storage.
If that's somehow not enough for your needs, you could throw a microSD card in the hybrid SIM slot and call it a day. Naturally, this will only allow you to use one SIM card with that phone since it's a dual-SIM slot one. There's a 3,000mAh battery at the back, which would probably last you a whole day of moderate usage.
Finally, it's time to talk about the main camera, easily the highlight of the Nubia Z11 Mini S. There's a 23MP camera at the rear utilizing a Sony IMX318 sensor, equipped with phase-detection autofocus and an f/2.0 aperture. The main shooter supports a handful of shooting modes and additional goodies, namely the ability to snap RAW pics in the DNG file format, as well as appealing time-lapse videos. Meanwhile, a 13MP front-facing camera utilizing a 1/3.06" sensor with f/2.2 aperture and PDAF will be taking care for your selfies.
Connectivity-wise, the phone has got all the bases covered - 4G LTE, VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac are all part of the Nubia's deep feature bag. The device will be running on Nubia's own Nubia UI 4.0 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
As far as pricing, availability, and release date of the Nubia Z11 Mini S go, we know that the 64GB version will be priced at 1499 Yuan (~ $223), while the 128GB one will retail for 1899 Yuan in mainland China (~ $282); both versions of the phone are already up for pre-order locally and will ship around October 25. No info about a potential US launch just yet, though such is somewhat possible - ZTE and Nubia have few device on the US shelves. Of course, you might also buy the phone from a third party retailer, but we suggest you do your research before plunging head-first!