Call Quality

One needs to get used to the offset earpiece hidden beneath the phone’s top grille when positioning the Axon Mini against their ear. Once that’s taken care of, the user is treated to a clear, detailed, and loud sound – a pretty solid in-call experience overall.

The other party in our calls was also able to get our voice loud and clear, without issue understanding us, even when we were walking the busy streets.

Battery life

Beyond a full day

As we mentioned earlier, the Axon Mini features a MiAssistant app, which will kill apps when the phone is sleeping – something like Sony’s Stamina Mode, but not as elaborate. As a result, the handset takes care of any unwanted battery drains, and we found it to have a remarkable standby time. During our time with the phone, we never felt paranoid about running out of juice and we often spent a day and a half without recharging (when only using it casually).

On our battery test, the device lasted for about 7 hours, which goes to show that even if you spend most of the day with the Axon Mini in hand, you will still be able to get quite a bit of use from it before having it die out on you.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
ZTE Axon Mini 7h 15 min (Good)
ZTE Axon Pro 6h 15 min (Average)
OnePlus X 5h 57 min (Average)
HTC One A9 6h 3 min (Average)


As mentioned, the Axon Mini isn't sold in the USA. You can still buy it from 3rd party websites for around $400 before tax and shipping, but be sure to check what cellular bands the model you are buying supports.

If you’ve felt that we’ve been too critical of the smartphone thus far – it is this price point that caused us to be. Well, that and the fact that we really liked the vanilla Android-toting Axon Pro. The Mini packs a lot of tech, impressive on paper but not so much in real life. Force Touch – great, but unresponsive and unnatural-feeling; fingerprint scanner – awesome, but not quick or reliable; iris scanner and voice unlock – clunky and impractical; 13 MP camera sounds great, but performs worse than some cheaper handsets we’ve reviewed. It feels more like a tech fan’s toy than an actual, fleshed out upper-midrange smartphone.

All that aside, it does look and feel good in the hand, it’s compact and ergonomic, has good call quality, and even some nice ideas throughout its custom Android skin. But not one of these ideas strikes us as completed and perfected. Rather, the MiFavor interface is, at this point, so undercooked that it left a bad taste in our mouths.

In other words – go for the Axon ($330), or Axon Pro ($400), both of which are sold in the US. If you want to test an Android smartphone with Force Touch just out of curiosity, this is not the one to sate that hunger.


  • Good design and choice of materials
  • Great call quality
  • Fast charging


  • Laggy and unintuitive interface
  • A mess of features, which feel unfinished
  • Low value for the price

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

1 Reviews



2. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Orange is the new black

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Damn You Just Destroyed This Phone Pa LOL Was It Really That Bad? And Over Here They Make It Sound Like An Ok Phone.

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014 they also give its good phone :-/

16. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I was wondering who sponsored phones for PA to review. I don't think any manufacturers would be silly enough to send their phone to PA given PA reviewers track record.

17. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

lol true.

6. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

It just got axe'd - no pun intended.

7. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

My old Note 3 is STILL better than this thing. It's a failure in its own right. ZTE cloned the Force Touch technology with absolutely NONE of the fit and finish of the iPhone, and don't get me started with its interface and the horrible CPU, it's akin to having a 3 cylinder engine power an Audi R8, it's dumb!

9. jellmoo

Posts: 2628; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Decent screen, fair camera, a little laggy, pretty good battery life, not a fan of the UI... Yeah that sounds like 4. Arbitrary scoring system is arbitrary.

11. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Bands 12 and 17 for T-Mobile and AT&T, yet no bands 2 or 4? Dafuq?

12. shaxs

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Wow what a HORRIBLE review. I imported the non-premium version (i.e. no force touch) and I liked it a lot. Im an enthusiast was coming from a G3. I only stopped using it because I got a free Galaxy S6 and the camera was sort of meh. He got that part right. Otherwise I found the screen to be nice, the size right, the audio quality good, the fingerprint sensor responsive (I like it better than the G6 fingerprint sensor), battery life great, and OS was good. The OS had some nice features but lacked a few things I missed in the LG interface. Also lack or root was sad for me. But no, I would rate this phone a 7.5 maybe an 8 for the price I paid at $299.99.

13. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

You have lost every little bit of reliability you may have had. It's got worse.

14. SonyOwner unregistered

Because the reviewer is Paul K. He know nothing :)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Axon Mini
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 616, Octa-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(18h talk time)

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