Smartphone review ZTE Nubia Z7 mini

I have long wanted, but there was no reason or timewrite your first review. But for a week now, as I have a wonderful smartphone and a great desire to share my impressions about it. Let's see what happens.
Introduction
My previous smartphone was ZTE V987, a very successful model from a fairly popular and good brand. But nothing stands still, the soul asksupdates, and now, after a long study of the forums, the range and prices, the choice fell on the representative of the same company - ZTE Nubia Z7 mini. This gadget is already a class higher and belongs to the top, at the moment, Chinese models. Here are its characteristics:
• Operating system: Android 4.4
• Network: CDMA 800, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, GSM 850, GSM 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600, TD-SCDMA 1880, TD-SCDMA 1900, TD-SCDMA 2010, TD-SCDMA 2025, UMTS 1900, UMTS 2100, UMTS 850, UMTS 900
• Processor: Quad-core, 2 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AA
• Graphics subsystem: Adreno 330
• RAM: 2 GB
• Memory for data storage: 16 GB
• Slot for memory card: yes
• Memory cards: microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC
• Support for 2 SIM cards: yes
• Interfaces: Wi-Fi (b / g / n / ac) Dual-Band, Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0, OTG) for charge / sync, 3.5 mm for a headset
• Screen: New Mode2 / IPS, 5 ”diagonal, resolution 1920 × 1080 pixels, PPI 445, automatic backlight level adjustment
• Camera: 13 MP with autofocus, LED flash, video is recorded in 4k, 1080p, front camera 5 MP
• Navigation: GPS (A-GPS support), Glonass
• Optional: FM radio, G-Sensor, gyroscope, light sensor, proximity sensor, digital compass
• Battery: 2300 mAh
• Dimensions: 69.3 x 140.9 x 8.19 mm
• Weight: 145 grams
So, what immediately catches your eye fromcharacteristics against competitors? Of course, 2 SIM cards, an SD card slot, LTE that supports Russian frequencies, and a price. I’ll try to describe in my review all the strengths and weaknesses of the smartphone that I could identify for so short of finding it with me.
Contents of delivery
Box made of sturdy cardboard,It looks very stylish and spectacular, it immediately feels that inside is not some Chinese crafts, but something more interesting. The color is white outside and red inside. But the factory equipment is very scarce (this trend has now spread everywhere): the smartphone itself, with a protective film already attached, a microUSB cord, charging. Also, the seller put an adapter for Russian outlets.

Design
I will say right away that Nubia in reality looks even better than in the photo. It’s hard to find special refinements in design, but each little thing in total gives something similar to a “wow effect”.
The Home button is made in the form of a red circle,which is highlighted while using the gadget, blinks when charging, missed calls and SMS. Thanks to a prompt from one of the users, I learned that you can also configure notifications for other programs. To do this, you need to add the desired application to the notifications on the lock screen in the screen settings menu. To the right and left of the central button are red dots that light up only with the screen. They perform the “Back” and “Menu” functions, and the location can be changed in the settings (by default, “Back” on the right).
The rear camera has a red steel frame, which also looks very interesting.
Materials and assembly
The smartphone is made of plastic. The back cover is matte and it is removable, unlike the battery. Due to the fact that the battery is screwed to the body, the rigidity was sufficient, but there were some mistakes. In my sample, in the places where the battery was attached, the plastic “blurred” a little and therefore the end turned out to be uneven, which in turn led to a slight backlash and creaking of the cover. The problem is not significant, but a little sediment leaves. I note that she decided quite quickly with scotch tape and scissors
Dimensions
Nubia, with a 5 "screen, has excellentDimensions: 69.3 x 140.9 x 8.19 mm. The frames on the sides are thin, above and below there is nothing superfluous. In the hand, the smartphone lies perfectly (of course, a matter of habit), while it is also lightweight - 145 g. The battery played a significant role in the small mass, but it was later on. Such dimensions, weight and materials of the case made it very slippery, and for some who are not used to carefully handling the equipment, I would recommend purchasing a rubberized or silicone bumper.

Controls and connectors
On the right side are the power keys andvolume control. Moreover, the power button is located in the thumb area (we are talking about right-handed people), due to this, the device is conveniently unlocked with one hand. Looking ahead, I’ll say that you can turn on the screen on the native firmware with a double tap. The keys are moderately hard, without backlash, with quiet clicks, in general, I would call their performance ideal. The left end is freed from any controls.
Under the screen, as mentioned above, are locatedtouch buttons "Home", "Back", "Menu". There are no complaints about their work, clicks are recorded accurately and without false positives. True, there is one point that, quite possibly, is associated with the firmware - the right or left button does not light up periodically. It is not possible to track some regularity, but it does not affect performance.
Above the screen are the earpiece mesh, proximity and lighting sensors, a 5 megapixel front camera.
On top is a headphone jack and a 3.5 mm headset. Bottom - microUSB and microphone hole.
On the back side are 13 megapixela camera with LED flash, a hole for the second microphone, which is used for noise reduction and recording sound during video recording, and a speaker slot. It should be noted that to the right and to the left of the slot there are small protrusions that do not allow the sound to be muffled strongly when the smartphone lies on a solid horizontal surface.
Screen
The Nubia Z7 mini uses a screen made byNew Mode 2 technology, which has another name - IGZO. This technology is also used in the new flagship from Meizu. The Sharp matrix is ​​considered one of the best in the world at the moment, in addition, it has high energy efficiency.
Viewing angles are maximum. There is enough brightness with a margin, the screen remains readable even in sunny weather with a protective film attached.
There are small questions to auto brightness, but at thisthe moment I got used to it and almost always suits me. In the settings menu there is an item "Intelligent Sensor", which somehow should improve its work. This moment remains a mystery to me.There are also options to adjust the saturation and hue of the screen and backlight settings for the center ring. For comparison, I took a couple of screenshots along with the ZTE V987, which has a slight "yellow". Nubia bottom, standard settings. In general, I really liked the screen, at first I always wanted to unlock the smart to enjoy it
Camera
The main camera of the Nubia Z7 mini is13-megapixel, Sony Exmor IMX 214 sensor, five lenses, f / 2.0 aperture. The maximum image resolution is 4208 × 3120 pixels. Next to it is an LED flash, which can also be used as a flashlight.Regarding the quality of the pictures, the opinions of the ownersdiverge. What can I say, they are radically different even when viewing the same photos. How many people, so many opinions, I personally concluded for myself that the camera is excellent. Perhaps there are some software flaws, but with straight arms and a correctly selected frame, even in automatic mode, you can get wonderful pictures. Some images lack brightness and contrast, but even SLR cameras are not protected from this.
Also, some people complain that the phototurn out dark, but firstly, in the “Pro” camera mode, you can manually set the exposure point separately from the focus, and secondly, you can increase this exposure in the settings. So, it’s better to see once than read a hundred times, so the examples of the photo below, and even more can be found here. All pictures are taken with default settings andnot subjected to any processing. I note that a couple of clicks in any graphics editor can significantly increase the quality of the resulting photo by “playing” with brightness and contrast. In addition, the result can be improved by setting finer settings in the camera itself.
By clicking on the picture you can open the original.
Sunny evening:
The picture was taken during the day, but behind a closed window.
Cloudy evening:

Night:

Macro:

In room:
With flashNo flash
Front-camera. Resolution 5 megapixels, no autofocus. But the focus is somehow set not very well - when shooting yourself, the image is clear a little further than the distance of the outstretched arm. In the photo with the apple, this is noticeable, the objects in focus are just behind it.

Video. The maximum recording quality is 4K (3840 by 2160 pixels), the standard one is FullHD (1920 × 1080). There is also tracking autofocus. The video quality is quite fine with me, for example, I post a couple of clips (you should not look directly at the site, because the video resolution in the preview is significantly reduced):
FullHD video sample (MP4, 55.5 MB) >>>
Video sample 4K (MP4, 1.2 GB) >>>
Sound
Perhaps for me this is the most difficult section, because and I don’t have a sensitive hearing, and I can’t compare it with anything I knowingly qualitative.
So, I have DUNU Trident headphonesDN-12, having very high ratings in terms of price / quality ratio among professionals, and two smartphones: ZTE Nubia Z7 mini and ZTE V987. I will say this, I personally liked the sound, and without any software processing it is better than on the V987. When you turn on the Dolby Digital Plus built-in firmware, a pleasant and rather deep bass appears, the sound starts to please even more. But I did not like the built-in DTS - the sound gets lost in some kind of mess.
But I got the best sound using the ViPER4Android program configured by this instructions. The sound with it becomes saturated, developed, deep. In fairness, I note that on V987 I really like sound with a viper. I could hear only a slight difference from nubia at medium frequencies, for the better for the latter.
Music player when playingThe external speaker is very loud, the sound is good, does not wheeze, but there are practically no basses either.
Autonomous work
The smartphone has a battery capacity of 2300mAh Most will say that this volume is not enough, but to achieve such a compact size and mass had to sacrifice something. The low frequency of the processor and the energy-efficient screen can be a small help.
With an average load, I charge the nubia once every twoof the day. Always included auto brightness and 2G mobile Internet, sometimes 3G. Over the weekend, she lasted a little more than a day, this time includes a couple of short calls, about 5 hours of communication in the social. networks (the screen was not always turned on) and 2 hours of watching online video (both with Wi-Fi turned on). 20 minutes of the series on the Internet discharge the smartphone by 5-6%.
According to measurements from one popular resourcein reading mode, the Z7 mini should live 13 hours 20 meters, in video mode - 7 hours 20 meters and in 3D games - 4 hours 50 meters. During use, I had no reason not to trust these numbers, everything is approximately the same.
Platform, memory
The smartphone is built on the platform of QualcommSnapdragon 801, one of the top at the moment. It includes a 4-core processor, working in nubia at a cut-off frequency of 2 GHz, instead of 2.5, and a graphics subsystem (GPU) - Adreno 330 with a processor frequency of 578 MHz. The device has 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory. The lack of main memory is more than compensated by the presence of a slot for microSD-cards. Volumes up to 64 GB are supported.
Performance tests
Unfortunately, I have not been able to test it yet.the smartphone is in games, but according to reviews of other owners there are no problems with this, most modern ones go at maximum settings. In all other respects, the device just flies, applications open quickly, there are no lags. True native launcher fails - when scrolling through the desktops there are slowdowns. I hope that in later versions of the firmware this will be fixed. Below are some screenshots from AnTuTu.

Interfaces
The smartphone can work in a huge range of different networks:
• GSM 850/900/1800/1900
• CDMA 1X / EVDO 800
• TD-SCDMA B34 / B39
• WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
• TD-LTE B38 / B39 / B40
• FDD-LTE B1 / B3 / B7
Having such a range of supported networks andtwo SIM cards gives the Z7 mini a huge plus against the competition. LTE in Russian networks should work without problems. I managed to get a MTS SIM card for testing and try out 4G. The connection happened right away, the network level is good, but the speed is not pleased, it practically does not differ from 3G. He made measurements in different parts of the city (Pskov). I want to believe that the matter is not in the device, but in the quality of the network for the operator. The microUSB connector supports the OTG standard, which makes it possible to connect USB drives and various peripherals (keyboard, mouse) to it. As far as I know, there is no support for MHL.
Built-in Bluetooth module in smartphone version 4.0 with A2DP support.
The Wi-Fi module is dual-band, supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.
Neither NFC, nor infrared port in the younger model.
Navigation
Nubia Z7 mini supports except GPS and Glonassalso the Chinese navigation system Beidou. Satellites are very fast and in huge numbers. With a cold start in my room, three meters from the window, I caught 17 satellites in about a minute. On the street, it takes a few seconds. Perhaps such a high-quality GPS work is already a plus when compared with competitors in the same price range, but working on MTK.

Software
The smartphone is running Android 4.4.2 with a proprietary Nubia UI 2.5 shell. In order not to greatly increase the review, I will not describe all the features of this shell, but instead I will share a link where it has already been done for me and in full (thanks to the user rualvik from the forum w3bsit3-dns.com) z7mini.blogspot.ru/2014/10/nubia-ui-zte.html
I will attach only a few screenshots of the main or distinctive functions.
Desktop (clock widget - Chronus)Dialer and Messages Settings Touch Sensor Settings Gesture Sensor Settings Split screenProfiles Bottom Key Settings Application "Energy Saving". In it, you can see the statistics of energy consumption for various applications, manage autorun, add to the white list programs that do not need to be unloaded from RAM during cleaning.Security application. The names of the menu items speak for themselves.
Replaceable covers
Another distinctive feature of the smartphone is the presence of interchangeable covers in various colors. You can add black to those presented in the photo, they have already appeared on sale.
Conclusion
No one and a half weeks of communication qualityno questions arose. And I, and they always called me. The sound in the conversational dynamics is very clear, the volume is enough with a margin. But the vibration is not too strong, which is not surprising, given the size of the device.
Price for Z7 mini is currently aroundmarks of $ 280, which in translation to Russian rubles with the current exchange rate will amount to a little more than 11,000. But do not forget that there are group purchases, various discounts, coupons and sales. I could buy my copy for $ 254, which at the rate of a month ago amounted to 9400 rubles. For that kind of money, given the support for LTE in Russian networks, the availability of slots for two SIM cards and a memory card slot, Nubia simply has no competitors. The nearest models are almost 2 times more expensive. If you are not interested in any of these parameters, a slightly wider scope for thought opens up, although even in this case the Mink can argue.
Pros:
• Price
• Powerful filling
• Great screen
• Support for Russian LTE
• Support for two SIM cards
• Support for a large number of communication standards
• Availability of microSD slot
• Great GPS
• Nice camera
• Great sound in conversational dynamics
• Small size for its diagonal
• Overall, good design and build
• Replaceable covers
Minuses. As such, I can’t single out, but still I’ll list small flaws:
• Battery. But as I wrote above - you can live.
• Lid may be loose on some samples. It is solved with direct hands.
• A little "dampness" of the firmware and the lack of an official Russian language in it. There is a high probability that in the near future these shortcomings will be corrected by the manufacturer.
UPD I managed to get a SIM card with 4G support. Complemented the review.