ZTE Unveils Smaller Axon 7 Mini Smartphone

The Axon 7 Mini, with a 5.2-inch screen, is a smaller version of the company's flagship Axon smartphone that was unveiled in May.

ZTE Axon 7, ZTE Axon 7 Mini, smartphones, mobile phones, unlocked phones, flagship smartphone

ZTE has announced its latest smartphone, the Axon 7 Mini, which includes many of the premium features of its Axon 7 stablemate but incorporates a 5.2-inch display instead of the 5.5-inch screen of the original device.

The Axon 7 Mini, which ZTE unveiled on Sept. 1 at the IFA 2016 conference in Berlin, will be available in the United States, Russia, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan, Australia, India and Saudi Arabia in the future, with pricing to be announced. The phones will be available in markets outside the U.S. at the end of September for about $334 in Europe with Value-Added Taxes included.

The smartphone features a 5.2-inch full HD (1,080-by-1,920 resolution) AMOLED touch-screen display, a Qualcomm MSM8952 octa-core processor, an Adreno 405 graphics chip, 3GB of memory, 32GB of onboard storage, a 2,705mAh nonremovable Li-ion battery and quick-charging capabilities. The phone can be charged to about 50 percent in about 30 minutes.

The Axon 7 Mini has an all-metal unibody for durability and a curved design that was inspired by racing cars and was created in collaboration with BMW subsidiary Designworks, according to ZTE.

Running on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, the Axon 7 Mini also includes a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for user and device security, dual SIM slots and a microSD slot for memory cards up to 128GB for expanded storage. The handset also features a 16-megapixel main rear-facing camera with auto-focus, an f/1.9 lens, dual LED flash and face detection technologies, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.2 lens. The phone can capture 1080p or 720p video at 30fps.

In addition, the handset features dual front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos capabilities to provide enhanced high-fidelity sound in a smartphone.

The Axon 7 Mini, like its larger sibling, is a 4G LTE unlocked handset that will work on GSM and CDMA networks. It also includes WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and near-field communications (NFC) connectivity, as well as a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headset jack.

The handset is 5.81 inches long, 2.8 inches wide and 0.31 inches thick and weighs 5.4 ounces. It comes in Ion Gold or Platinum Grey colors.

"Consumers around the world have gravitated to our Axon 7 device as it offers flagship level specs and experience at a price that is simply unbeatable," Adam Zeng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices, said in a statement. "By extending the Axon 7 series with today's launch of the Axon 7 Mini, we are giving consumers more options in device size, but with the same premium performance they seek in flagship devices."

ZTE's latest premier unlocked smartphone, the original Axon 7, was unveiled in May, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The Axon 7, which works on all major U.S. carriers, features a 5.5-inch AMOLED Wide Quad HD (WQHD) touch-screen display with 2,560-by-1,440 resolution (538ppi), a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display cover and a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 processor with an integrated Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU.

The smartphone comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage or with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Both models also include a microSD slot that holds memory cards up to 128GB for expanded storage. Plus, the Axon 7 includes a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera that uses a Samsung ISO-cell sensor, an F1.8 sapphire lens, Optical Image Stabilization, Electronic Image Stabilization, Phase Detection Auto Focus and dual LED flash. The camera features a Super Auto mode that includes Night Shot, Auto HDR and Automatic Scene Optimization capabilities, as well as additional manual, beauty selfie, refocus, slow motion, live photo, multi-exposure and long-exposure settings.

The ZTE Axon 7 is a dual SIM phone that is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. to start, with Sprint and Verizon capabilities coming possibly later in the year. Also featured in the phone is a rear-mounted fingerprint reader for user authentication and security, dual AKM HiFi audio chipsets, Dolby Atmos surround sound and dual front-facing speakers for excellent audio quality, and a 3,140mAh, nonremovable battery that promises up to 16 hours of talk time, about 360 of standby time and quick-charging capabilities.

The phone, which retails for $399.98, runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system and is 5.97 inches long, 2.95 inches wide and 0.34 inches thick, and it weighs 6.52 ounces.