The ZTE Axon 7 mini can now be preordered. But don't let the name fool you. This is a proper phone.
With a 5.2-inch AMOLED display, the Axon 7 mini is anything but miniature. ZTE probably just needed something to differentiate this handheld from its Axon 7 flagship smartphone, which was released last July.
Aesthetically, the two phones are similar except for the obvious size difference since the bigger Axon 7 stands at 5.5 inches. The bigger differences come with what's packed under the hood.
While the Axon 7 got fitted with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, the mini will come sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip, which has 8 Cortex-A53 cores — half is clocked at 1.5 Ghz while the other half is at 1.2 Ghz. The 617 integrates with an Adreno 405 GPU.
The Snapdragon 617 Soc is complemented by 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of on-board storage. ZTE also equipped the mini with a microSD card slot that can cater to 256-GB cards. Note that this microSD slot also doubles as the second SIM slot, which means that you'll have to take out the microSD card if you want the phone to host two SIMs.
The ZTE Axon 7 mini has an f/1.9, 16-megapixel as its main shooter, which is not that big of a downgrade from its bigger brother's f/1.8, 20-megapixel rear camera. Just like the Axon 7, the mini has phase detection autofocus, HDR and dual LED flash. Sadly, it doesn't have optical image stabilization (OIS) and lacks 4K video recording. All it can manage is 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 120fps. For selfie shots, the mini has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
The smartphone runs natively at 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) and will have Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. And yes, it also has the Axon 7's front-facing speakers.
Aside from LTE, the mini also features Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.1.
The handheld is powered by a non-removable 2,705 mAh lithium-ion battery. The Axon 7 mini takes advantage of Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, which the Snapdragon 617 features. It can be fully charged within 90 minutes using Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 charger that can be plugged into the phone's reversible USB 3.0 Type-C port.
After listing down the ZTE Axon 7 mini specs, it's quite obvious that it is meant for the mid-range market, which is verified by the $299.98 price tag. As mentioned, the mini is currently on preorder and is available via ZTE's online store. Retailers such as B&H, Newegg and Amazon also list it.