If 5.5 Inch display is just a little too big for your taste and if  you are looking for decent compact smartphones with 5 Inch screen real estate, ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini is one of the few options which also includes a great camera. Here is our full review of Nubia Z9 Mini to help you makeup your mind.

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ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini Quick Specs

  • Display Size: 5 Inch Full HD IPS LCD, 1920 x 1080p resolution,  441 ppi
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz Snapdragon 615 Octa Core
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Software Version: Android 5.0.2 Lollipop based Custom Nubia UI
  • Camera: 16 MP rear camera, 1080P Video recording, F2.0 Aperture
  • Secondary Camera: 8 MP, 1080p video recording
  • Internal Storage:  16 GB
  • External Storage: MicroSD support up to 128 GB
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • Connectivity:  4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, GLONASS

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini Unboxing, Quick Review, Camera, Price and Overview [Video]

Design, Build and Display

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini looks good. Their is Aluminum alloy along the curved side edges and textured faux glass finish on the rear side. The red Nubia home capacitive key and  the red accent on the rear camera are the subtle design elements which certainly make it more than a plain rectangular slab.

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At 8.1 mm thickness, it lies beyond the slim end of the spectrum and the glossy back accumulates smudges too, but we are satisfied with the comfort and looks of Nubia Z9 Mini when held in hands.

The 5 Inch Full HD display is sharp and crisp, with great contrasts and a bit AMOLED like colors which pop. If you don’t like it, you get to customize saturation and hue to an extent from display settings, as per your personal liking. Outdoor visibility is not great as the display panel is quite reflective. The display is also layered with Gorilla Glass 3 for some added protection against scratches.

Performance and Heating

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini is powered by Snapdragon 615 octa core chip, which is the choicest Qualcomm Mid range chip all tier 1 manufacturers have adopted. The SoC Includes 4 Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and another 4 Cortex A53 units clocked at 1 GHz.

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ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini runs warmer but we didn’t face any performance issue in our review unit. The phone isn’t very snappy, but it doesn’t stutter in day to day usage. The 2GB LPDDR3 RAM ensures sufficient room for multitasking and gaming. Nubia Z9 Mini won’t be ideal for heavy gamers, but offers enough for everyone else.

Benchmark Scores

Benchmark Standard Score
Quadrant 16390
Antutu 30480
Nenamark 2 58.5fps

Camera and Internal Storage

Camera is where ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini really shines. The handset includes a 16 MP Sony IMX234 Exmor RS sensor with wide f/2.0 aperture lens. This is as good as it gets at this price. Both the low light shots and daylight shots show accurate colors and great details.

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The camera app also includes a very convenient Pro mode which you can use to tweak ISO, white balance, shutter speed etc. Again, the phone heats up with a long photography session or while recording long videos, but that is common to most smartphones these day.

Out of 16 GB storage, 11 GB is available at the user end. Up to 128 GB MicroSD card is supported, but you can not move apps to external storage.

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Camera Samples

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Software

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini is running Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) with heavily customized Nubia UI 2.8 on top. The software is rich in customization options. Some noteble features include split screen functionality, double tap to unlock, single handed mode, palm screen lock and gesture support. Some of them work well, while others like split screen don’t.

Nubia UI is however very colorful, flat and vivid. We liked the aesthetic appeal of the software, though several aspects like system apps need more work.

Battery and Other Features

Battery backup on Nubia Z9 Mini is comfortably above average though not astonishing. The phone lasted more than a day with moderate usage, but, battery drains fast when the device heats up. A battery saver mode is also present which can be used for extending usage.

An average user shouldn’t find any difficulty reaching one day mark, and compared to what others are offering, this is a good deal.

Both SIM card slots support 4G LTE connectivity and call quality is also decent. Sound quality is very good from headphones (Headphones are not included in the box) but isn’t very good with loudspeakers specially at high volume levels.

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini Photo Gallery

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Conclusion

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini has a great camera and perhaps that is the reason you should consider buying this over other great option in a very competitive market. It doesn’t disappoint in other areas either. Build quality, performance and battery life are all good, but we can’t help but wish it were selling for under 15,000 INR in India.

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The Author spent a significant chunk of his formative years resisting technology. He now keeps an eye on where the world is heading to, and drives a passive pleasure from this indulgence. His passion to write, learn and improve drives him each day. When his day ends, he enjoys the pleasant languor and detoxifies with family. You can connect with him on and Twitter