ZTE Axon Mini review
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.
Beyond a full day
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
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- 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)