Pretty soon, IFA feels like it is going to overtake Mobile World Congress for smartphone and mobile type launches. With all the announcements already out, ZTE has one as well - a companion device to their recently launched flagship. The AXON 7 gets the AXON 7 mini as a smaller sibling, with the idea being that a number of the features of the AXON 7 are migrated down into a 5.2-inch form factor. 

ZTE wants the mini to be a flagship killer, with specifications and price. The core design uses a 5.2-inch Full HD AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC (4x ARM Cortex-A53 at 1.5 GHz, 4x A53 at 1.2 GHz, Adreno 405) and a Cat 6 modem with FDD + TDD support plus carrier aggregation (bands listed below). The smartphone uses USB Type-C, and supports Quick Charge to rake it's 2705mAh battery from 0% to 50% in a rated 30 minutes. 

ZTE is keen to point out that the design for the mini was a collaboration with BMWs Designworks division, known for its designs (PC users may remember their involvement in Thermaltake's Level10 chassis or Asrock's M8 barebones). This is pointed out as part of the metal unibody finish and 2.5D curved glass design, which seems to be a strong selection in a number of releases at IFA this year. 

Rather than go into extensive depth on cameras (16MP PDAF+8MP), ZTEs focus was on the audio, with a collaboration with Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) to adjust the audio. This includes Dolby Atmos and what ZTE calls a '7.1 surround sound hi-fi experience'. 

ZTE Axon 7 Series
  Axon 7 Axon 7 mini
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

2 x Kryo @ 2.15 GHz
2 x Kryo @ 1.60 GHz
Adreno 530
Qualcomm Snapdragon 617

4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz
Adreno 405
NAND 64 GB 32 GB
Display 5.5-inch 2560x1440 AMOLED 5.2-inch 1920x1080 AMOLED
Dimensions 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm
147.5 x 71 x 7.8mm
Modem Cat 6
Cat 6
SIM Size Dual Nano-SIM Dual Nano-SIM
Front Camera 20MP, f/1.8, PDAF, OIS 16MP, f/1.6, PDAF
Rear Camera 8MP, f/2.2 8MP, g/2.2
Battery 3250 mAh 2705 mAh
Connectivity LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/20/25/26/29/30/41 (USA)
1/2/3/4/5/6/8/19/20/28/38/40/41 (A2107G)
LTE Band
USB 2.0
Launch OS Android 6.0.1 Android 6.0
Launch Price ~€450 €299

The mini is set for Russia, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and USA, with a price of €299 (that's including tax). Outside the US, the release date is set for the 7th of September. 


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  • johnsonx - Sunday, September 4, 2016 - link

    spec-wise this seems a lot more like an ZMax Pro "Mini"... or perhaps a "ZMini Pro"... if we can indeed call a 5.2" phone "mini". Same SoC, same screen resolution, same 32GB storage. It clearly does have some more upscale features though, including the 3GB ram, AMOLED screen, curved glass, a bit better camera. Either way, what it clearly is not is an Axon 7 in a smaller body.
  • FlyBri - Sunday, September 4, 2016 - link

    For people who are complaining and saying the Axon 7 Mini is not be "mini", I understand that point of view if you're just making a general observation, but compared to the Axon 7 it is smaller, so the name makes perfect sense and is exactly the reason why they called it the Axon 7 Mini. May not make general sense, but in the way ZTE is using it, it's the best choice.

    Also, to the author Ian, you need to make some edits to your specs tables. For one, the rear camera specs are where the front camera specs should be, and vice versa. Also, for the front camera specs of the Axon 7 mini, it should be "f/2.2" not "g/2.2"
  • Lolimaster - Monday, September 5, 2016 - link

    When the main version is a doberman and the "mini" a chihuahua. At least put the 652 @14nm.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - link

    ZTE makes a 5.2 inch phone. Calls it a Mini. Laughs at stupid customers all the way to the bank.

    Seriously, phones are turning into the next American arms race now that the idea of driving progressively more and more gigantic SUVs and trucks are becoming old hat for people that fell like they need to compensate for their physical shortcomings.
  • serendip - Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - link

    For most people, a 5.5"-5.7" phone will be the largest that they can fit into pants pockets. I'm a big fan of big phones because everything looks big on the screen, a good thing when my eyesight isn't as good as before. I'd rather carry a phablet around than squint at a small screen.

    That said, 6"+ screens aren't popular because they're too big. Maybe a phone with a tiny front camera and no hardware buttons could squeeze a 6.5" screen into a typical 5" chassis. I hope someone comes up with this soon.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - link

    As someone else with poor eyesight due to age, I can't agree with you more that small screens are a pain to use. Then again, I use my phone for making phone calls. If I want to do anything else, there are computers with internet access all over the place and I know my way around without a phone telling me where to go (a rare thing these days apparently). There's nothing important enough on the Internet that I can't wait to look at a 15+ inch screen on a computer later.

    Doing that lets me use a cheap flip phone for a lot less money per month. The additional money I gain from doing so go towards other things like strippers and booze. Priorities, good sir. You need to take a long, hard look at them if you feel you need a big phone over drunken debauchery.
  • rocky12345 - Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - link

    Was looking at these phones with slight interest until I noticed the odd camera setup. 20MP front 8MP rear and the mini with just as stupid setup WTF. Not everyone's a selfie King/Queen these are off the list and files in the C file labeled as crap.
  • blzd - Friday, September 9, 2016 - link

    They kind of gimped this one using the Snapdragon 617 at this point. At least give it the 625 for the 14nm power savings and Adreno 506.
  • a1exh - Monday, September 12, 2016 - link

    Why would anyone buy one when you can get the Motorola G4 Plus 32/3 (pretty much the same spec and a bigger screen) for 50 Euro less?

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