ZTE Axon 7 Mini Delivers Well-Designed Handset for Affordable Price

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-10-19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    ZTE Axon 7 Mini Delivers Well-Designed Handset for Affordable Price
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    ZTE Axon 7 Mini Delivers Well-Designed Handset for Affordable Price

    In an attempt to take on the likes of Apple and Samsung, ZTE is launching the Axon 7 Mini, a smartphone that comes with several notable features but is priced at just under $300.
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    The Design Is Similar to High-End Axon 7
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    The Design Is Similar to High-End Axon 7

    If the ZTE Axon 7 Mini looks familiar, there's a good reason for that. The device's design was modeled after the bigger and more expensive Axon 7, one of ZTE's most powerful smartphones. Like the more expensive alternative, the Axon 7 Mini has a big screen on the front, hardly any bezel above and below its display and a metal finish. Although the price is relatively low, the ZTE Axon 7 Mini still manages a look of luxury.
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    Components Deliver Midrange Performance
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    Components Deliver Midrange Performance

    Since this is a cheap smartphone, it's perhaps no surprise it doesn't come with groundbreaking performance. The smartphone ships with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and the Adreno 405 GPU. Users also will get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. That should suffice for standard apps, but programs that require more resources for sophisticated features might bog down the Axon 7 Mini.
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    There's a Fingerprint Sensor Usually Found in Costlier Models
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    There's a Fingerprint Sensor Usually Found in Costlier Models

    It's still uncommon to find a fingerprint sensor in such a cheap device, but the Axon 7 Mini is bucking that trend. In a somewhat surprising move, ZTE announced that the Axon 7 Mini will come with a fingerprint sensor on the back that will be used to unlock the Android software it runs on, as well as facilitate mobile payments. It's an unexpected, but welcome, inclusion.
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    Battery Life Is Notably Strong
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    Battery Life Is Notably Strong

    The ZTE Axon 7 Mini ships with a 2,705mAh battery, a sizable cell for a cheap device. With such a big battery, ZTE says the handset can last for up to 15 hours during continuous talk time and 270 hours on standby. Better yet, its battery can regain 50 percent of its life after just 30 minutes of charging.
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    The 5.2-Inch Screen Delivers Full HD Resolution
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    The 5.2-Inch Screen Delivers Full HD Resolution

    The ZTE Axon 7 Mini comes with a 5.2-inch screen. According to ZTE, the display is based on AMOLED technology and delivers full HD resolution. It might not be the best-looking screen on the market, but it should suffice for anyone looking to do basic things on the handset such as play games or watch videos.
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    Audio Features Are Top Notch
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    Audio Features Are Top Notch

    ZTE has invested in audio quality with the Axon 7 Mini. According to the company, the smartphone will ship with Dolby ATMOS digital surround sound support and features dual stereo speakers to deliver an appealing audio experience. In addition, the Axon 7 Mini has HiFi audio support for better-sounding music and voice quality.
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    Camera Quality Is Adequate
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    Camera Quality Is Adequate

    Unlike a growing number of high-end devices hitting the market, the Axon 7 Mini doesn't come with dual rear-facing cameras. However, its single rear-facing lens should capture solid shots. The sensor comes with 16 megapixels and can capture video in full HD. The front-facing camera, with its 8 megapixels and wide-angle lens, should work just fine for selfie-seekers.
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    Dual SIM or MicroSD Support
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    Dual SIM or MicroSD Support

    Like the Axon 7, the Axon 7 Mini comes with the customer's choice of dual-SIM or microSD card support. The device comes with a larger SIM tray that holds a SIM on one side. On the other side, users can choose whether to bundle a microSD card up to 128GB in size or a second SIM for global travel. It's a simple feature that might get overlooked, but for anyone traveling globally, it's a must-have.
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    ZTE Is Offering Decent Warranty Terms
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    ZTE Is Offering Decent Warranty Terms

    ZTE is offering its Passport 2.0 warranty option with the Axon 7 Mini, which gives users 30 days to try out the smartphone and offers exchanges if they want to upgrade to another device. More importantly, it offers a full two-year warranty, replacement assistance if the phone is irreparably harmed and unlimited out-of-warranty repairs. It's one of the most highly regarded warranties in the mobile market.
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    There's No Beating the Price
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    There's No Beating the Price

    ZTE is selling the Axon 7 Mini unlocked for just $299.98. The device can be run on just about any carrier, including those on GSM and CDMA networks run by AT&T and Verizon, respectively. The Axon 7 Mini, in other words, is one of the cheapest smartphones on the market that still comes with high-end features. For that reason, its value argument is awfully strong.
 

In recent years, Chinese mobile device maker ZTE has been expanding its sales footprint around the world in hopes of becoming a leading smartphone maker alongside Apple and Samsung. The company's Axon 7 Mini is its latest attempt at achieving that goal. The smartphone is available for preorders as of Oct. 17 and is slated to reach store shelves Oct. 27. The Axon 7 Mini comes with several features worth noting, including a large, full-HD screen; a fingerprint sensor for hardware security; and dual SIM support for global traveling. But arguably its most notable feature is its price. Priced at just under $300, the Axon 7 Mini will attract customers who aren't so concerned about getting the most processing power or latest features, but are content with a well-appointed handset at an affordable price. Indeed, ZTE has positioned the Axon 7 Mini as a cost-effective alternative to higher-end Android smartphones such as the upcoming Google Pixel and LG V20. And, for certain customers, the ZTE alternative could be a great buy this holiday season. Here's why.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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